Johanna Ilg has lived her entire life in Main Amana, one of the seven villages inhabited by devout Christians who believe in cooperative living, a simple lifestyle, and faithful service to God. Although she's always longed to see the outside world, Johanna believes her future is rooted in the community. But when she learns a troubling secret, the world she thought she knew is shattered and she is forced to make difficult choices about a new life and the man she left behind.
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Customer Reviews for Somewhere to Belong - eBook
Review 1 for Somewhere to Belong - eBook
Date:April 15, 2011
I enjoyed this book and didn't want to put it down. The characters were very real and you felt you knew them
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Review 2 for Somewhere to Belong - eBook
This product was a test product for me.
Date:April 8, 2011
Basically, I read this book because it was a free ebook. The story was interesting but not riveting. I discovered that I still much prefer a book in my hands to one on the computer. I snuggled up on the couch with my laptop and a blanket but it still doesn't give me the pleasure of a book.
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Review 3 for Somewhere to Belong - eBook
Date:March 25, 2011
Location:Bethel Springs, TN
It was my very first e-book. It was very easy to read...and it seemed like the reading was faster than a regular book.
I found the history behind the Amana’s interesting. In 1930, they ceased from communal living, but I guess there are still operational churches of this sect that continues to this day. Both Johanna and Berta had to face questions that plague many of us even this day. We don;t have to face judgement for wearing a pink skirt, but I wonder if we thought it would save our family, would we do drastic things to bring a family closer together like the Schumacher family tried to do?
Can we be content with what we have always known, or is the grass always greener on the other side?
Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller is the story of two young women who are brought together in an unusual way. This is the first book in the Daughters of Amana series.Berta comes from a privileged family. She is uprooted by her parents, who desire a more simple life, and moved to the Amana community. Berta is a rebellious young woman, who becomes even more rebellious when she realizes Amana will be her new home. Berta experiences many challenges and brings disruption and chaos to the peaceful community.Johana has always lived the simple life in Amana. However, she has always longed to view the outside world. When Berta joins the community, she becomes even more intrigued by the lavish stories of the outside world. Many secrets lie ahead for Johana that cause pain and frustration. Can she work through them to find out where she truly belongs?This book was hard for me to get into. Each chapter flips to either Berta or Johana's story, so I had a hard time following. After several chapters, it finally started flowing better for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.Judith Miller creates twists and turns throughout the story that keep you captured and you are drawn to the characters and the challenges they face.I have heard of communities such as this before, but have never read any books. I can't wait to read and learn more about the community.I received a copy of this book courtesy of the Bethany House blog review program. All opinions stated are my own and are not swayed by receiving this product.
Somewhere to Belong is the first time I have heard about the Amana Colony and I was really looking forward to traveling back in time and enjoying the peace and tranquility of this community. While life in Amana was exactly what I was expecting, the story that Judith Miller told, far exceeded my expectations. I have a couple of Judiths books prior to this one and I have always enjoyed her writing, but Somewhere to Belong really captured my heart. Johanna and Berta were two young women from very different worlds who, surprisingly, had a great deal in common. Their lives intersected at the exact moment they needed each other. While I could not relate to the desire to live the way those in the Amana Colony lived, this book did remind me how wonderful it is to be home. We all want to feel at home and we all have different ways in which we want to live and this book served to remind me how much I appreciate the idea of home. This is a warm story and full of Christian inspiration. It is a relaxing and fast read that proved very difficult to put down. The next book in the Daughters of Amana series, More Than Words, is releasing soon and I am very excited about returning to Amana. Judith Miller is becoming one of my favorite authors because of her warm and interesting storytelling. I highly recommend Somewhere to Belong. It is a real delight.
I liked how Judith Miller brought two different life styles together. Johanna Ilg has so much patience with Berta Schumacher as she tries to teach her the ways of Amana Colonies. This book also shows how important it is to be open and honest with each other. I also like the fact that both girls learn to lean on the Lord and forgive others of past mistakes. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series! This book was given to me from Bethany House to review.
On July 4th I read a review of the book in the Cedar Rapids Gazette and immediately started my search. Living close to the Amanas and having visited there numerous times I just had to read it. I couldn't put the book down, it was a wonderful story about the two young ladies. I have just ordered the next two books in the series "More Than Words" and "A Bond Never Broken" and am anxiously awaiting their arrival.
I really enjoyed this book. But, in my opinion, the writing was good, not great. I just wasnt wowed by it. It IS a good book, and I loved the characters and seeing them grow and change. I also really liked the message or theme of secrets. I liked how the author portrayed how secrets can potentially destroy relationships and how wonderful it feels to just get everything out in the open. I would recommend this, just not highly.
Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller is the first book in the Daughters of Amana series. Johanna Ilg has always been the ideal daughter for her parents in Amana, Iowa. Living on a religious commune that focuses on work and prayer is often a austere existance, and Johanna has long desired to see the world outside of their small community. When Berta Schumacher moves to Amana, she's in for a rude awakening. The spoiled and petted daughter of a Chicago doctor and his wife has been forced to give up her big city life for the hard life in Amana because of her out of control ways. Johanna is both intrigued and angered by Berta, especially after the elders force her to teach the young woman about their community. Berta is free-spirited and has no understanding of the rigid life of rules of the town, despite who it hurts. The two girls become friends, despite their differences, and both just may have something to teach the other. While this book is ostensibly a romance, it is in truth a novel of friendship. Berta and Johanna are both of the cusp of womanhood (Johanna more so), and are both incredibly sheltered. It's only through their leaning on each other and God that they will be able to manage the terrible secrets their families have been hiding from them. I hope in the next novel Miller demonstrates more of the Amana lifestyle and introduces characters outside of the kitchen. But I look forward to reading about what Berta is up to next!
The story follows two girls, Johanna Ilg, who has grown up in the Amana colonies. She enjoys her life there, and although she does having desires to see more of the world, she follows the rules and tries to live a life that would please her elders and the Lord.Berta Schumacher has just moved to the colony from a pampered lifestyle in Chicago. She resists all aspects of life in the colony and gets into any and all kind of trouble!These two completely different girls have been thrown into each others path and as Johanna is given the responsibility to train Berta, the girls from an unlikely friendship, though it's not without its' frustrations! When troubling secrets are exposed, the girls face the question of where they really belong.I will definitely say that I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. Nothing in the plot is hugely dramatic or climactic, but it's the characters themselves that drew me in and kept my attention. Seeing the same story from two different viewpoints was a great way to get to know the girls better. A great story of family, friendship and the things that are really important in life!I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing.
Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller is a story of two young women trying to figure out what they are looking for in life. When Berta Schumachers parents move her the Main Amana colony she is certain that her life is over. Berta is used to the Chicago city life and she doesnt know if she can settle in to life in the religious village. Johanna Ilg was born and raised in Main Amana, but she sometimes wonders what it would be like to live somewhere else. Johanna is given the job of teaching Berta her new duties in the kitchen and the way of life in Amana. Johanna has her hands full with the willful girl, who is determined to find a way to return to her home in Chicago. Johanna had always believed her roots were in Main Amana, but after she stumbles across a family secret, she begins to wonder exactly where she does belong. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.
Set in the 1870s in the Christian cooperative community of Main Amana, Iowa this is the story of two young women, Johanna Ilg and Berta Schumacher.Johanna is a kind, compassionate, and respectful young woman who has grown up in Main Amana. Though she longs to see the outside world she knows her home is Main Amana. She is given the task of training Berta Schumacher in the ways of life in the Amana Community.Berta is a spoiled and rebellious daughter of a physician who is forced to move to Main Amana when her parents decide a simpler life would be best for all of them.Berta antics were good for few laughs, but nevertheless the plot was fairly predictable - with one exception near the end. The characters were rather flat and I really had a hard time connecting with either one of them.It is clear that the author put a considerable amount of research into this book. There is great detail in the political structure of the colonies. She clearly understood what the gender roles were and how they all worked together as a community. However, there was very little detail in regards to the theology of the people, which would seem to be more important in a Christian Community.Overall, it was a decent book, but not great.I must mention that I did receive a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House, but that in no way influenced my opinion of it.
In Somewhere To Belong, the quiet and very conservative village of Amana is turned upside down with the arrival of Berta Schumacher. Accustomed to big city living, Berta thinks that shes just visiting Amana with her parents. When the realization hits her that shes going to be living there Berta intends to make her parents pay. Sassy, strong willed and impulsive, Berta sends the plain people into a tailspin with her forward behavior and rude manners. Amana resident, Johanna Ilg and her family have the unfortunate responsibility of housing the Schumacher family. When Johanna is put in charge of training Berta in the ways of the plain people, it proves to almost be too much of a task to control the very wily, rebellious newcomer. With tricks up her sleeve and a mischevious spirit, Berta is difficult to get along with. Add to that her meddling ways, eavesdropping and lying and you begin to understand why Johannas patience is tested to the brink in this fun, fast moving story.This book is different from other plain people fiction that Ive read in that the families live in a co-op type setting and are Inspirationists. (For more background you can visit http://www.amanacolonies.com/history.htm)I liked that the plain ways were interwoven into the story very naturally and yet this novel did have some contemporary feel to it. Berta is a far more rebellious character that you usually see in typical plain people fiction which made it very entertaining to read. I really enjoy historical fiction that piques my curiosity and this book did just that. The people of the Amana Colonies are not Amish although very similar. If youd like to read further about these colonies, visit: http://www.amanacolonies.com/ For the historical background on how the colonies were started and what the name Amana means visit: http://www.amanacolonies.com/history.htmHow fun to read about a real place that is still in existence today!
Somewhere To Belong, is set in one of seven villages settled by devout Christians who believe in cooperative Living, a rather simple type of lifestyle, while integrating their Faithful services to God. There are two main characters throughout the story, Johanna Ilg, and Berta Schumacher. Johanna has lived in the village of Amana, Iowa, her entire lifetime, always longing to see the outside world, she truly knows that she is grounded for life in Amana. Berta on the other hand, is the total opposite of Johanna. She has lived a rather privileged life of sorts, so coming from the big city of Chicago, to settle into a much simpler lifestyle in Amana, she is very resistant and rebellious! Johanna sets off with the difficult task of helping Berta become accustomed to the Amana waysof living. Berta is resistant of course, as she was not expecting to stay forever, she was only expecting to stay for a visit! During this journey, the two girls develop a friendship and learn many life changing secrets about each others families. This story is about the power of faith, love, forgiveness, and not letting circumstance rule your future. I really enjoyed how the author alternated the characters throughout the chapters, it gave a new perspective in each chapter, and kept one wondering what was going to happen next in the story, and also kept the story interesting and the reader coming back for more. I will definitely read more from Judith Miller! As per FTC Guidelines, I must state that I was given a review copy to read from Bethany House Publishers. My opinions are my own, and are in no way positively or negatively influenced, due to receiving this copy to review.
I have received a review copy of this book from Bethany house publishers and enjoyed reading it very much. Johnna Ilg has grown up in the High village of Amana colony. A steadfast community of hardworking, faithfulChristians who live simply serving God and one another. Ever since Johnna's brother left the community, Johnna has secretly dreamed of visiting the places Wilhelm has written of. While Wilhelm is visiting his parents, Johnna learns a shocking secret that leaves her angry and confused. She decides to visit with her brother in Chicago and her parents are afraid she will never return. Berta Schoumacher has lived an easy life as the daughter of a doctor. When her parents decide to relocate to Amana Colony to live a simpler life, the spoiled girl rebels against everything she is told to do. Until an accident happens and she is forced to look at her selfish actions and begins to see that God cares for her if she will only seek forgiveness.
Johanna Ilg has lived her entire life in Main Amana, one of the seven villages inhabited by devout Christians who believe in cooperative living, a simple lifestyle, and faithful service to God. Although she's always longed to see the outside world, Johanna believes her future is rooted in the community. But when she learns a troubling secret, the world she thought she knew is shattered and she is forced to make difficult choices about a new life and the man she left behind.Not only do we have Johanna, someone who has grown up in this community living, but the story follows Berta Schumacher as well. Berta is an outsider from Chicago. She was uprooted from all that she knew and loved at the age of 17 and forced to conform to community living. Berta and Johanna are thrown together into a very unlikely friendship. To start off with, Johanna has to supervise Berta in the Kuche, which gives us hilarious insight into what is expected of community dwellers. I was kind of bored at the beginning. Berta would cause trouble, people would get upset, she wouldn't care, etc... It wasn't until I was halfway through the book that the plot started to thicken. Once the plot started to really thicken, I was hooked. I couldn't put the book down and read for about 4 hours straight to finish it! Judith Miller did a great job of throwing curve balls at you when you least expect them. I also appreciated how I felt like I was going through the same emotions as both girls. All in all, this was a good book. Judith Miller definitely did her research and didn't necessarily bog us down with details and descriptions. One thing that I felt was missing was the involvement of God in their lives. Yeah, they would say to pray, but that was it. Berta did not accept Christ as her Savior at any time. To me, this was surface religion. Do good and you will be blessed. God's not like that!
Set in the late 1800's in a communal village, we find Johanna Ilg, a young woman who is devout in her faith, and looked upon as a suitable young lady to help train a new member into their village. Johanna is not so sure about this, once she meets Berta Schumacher. Berta is an only child who has been pampered and catered to all her days, living in a communal village, and having to work is something Berta rebels against strongly. The things she manages to get into is amazing. She is a trouble maker with a capital "T" and keeps Johanna on her toes. She also makes Johanna realize how much she would like to see the outside world before she settles down and perhaps marries. Her parents worry that she will not return, just as her older brother did not. An incident where Johanna finds out that her family has not been totally honest with her, shakes her faith, causing her to act on her decision to see the outside world. Will she return to Amana? How will she handle this new and devastating truth? Will Johanna find love in the outside world, or back in her familar home village? This story is a very different story, it is similar to Amish books, in the faith aspect, but the communal living is a new concept for this reviewer. I enjoyed the story very much and look forward to more books in the Daughters of Amana series. 364 pages $14.99 US 4 starsThis book was provided by Bethany House for review purposes only.