Saturday, September 07, 2013

Fancy Pants Jonah

Jonah, son of Bishop Eli Miller, was a rebellious Ohio Amish child who loved to wear "fancy pants".  When he had a chance to do his Rumschpringe or Rumshpringa (from the verb rumspringen meaning "to jump around"), he never wanted to return to his community. He was banned by his father, the Bishop, and shunned by the community.  I have just finished reading Blood of the Prodigal, an Amish Country Mystery

This is actually our book club pick for October.  It is a murder mystery that starts off with the thoughts and feelings of Jonah's ten year old son Jeremiah who is being raised by his grandparents. Jonah takes his son and leaves a note for Bishop.  The Bishop-grandfather seeks help from a local pastor and also from a college professor to locate the grandson. He does not want the help of the police. I loved the unexpected twists to this very short story, 230 pages.

I found the Amish life portrayed in this book very interesting. For readers who do not know, "Rumshpringe" is  a period for Amish adolescents to experience the world of the non-Amish, called the "English",with the hope that they will eventually return to the community to take Amish vows of commitment through baptism. I certainly did not know that any form of adolescent rebellion or exploration of freedom in the non Amish world was acceptable as part of Amish culture. 

I will seek out the next book in the series, Broken English. There is a sneak peek of the first chapter at the back of this book and it opens with violence from a criminal just released from prison.

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