Series: The Heritage of Lancaster County #1
Published by Baker Books on April 1st 2011
Genres: Fiction, Amish & Mennonite, Christian, General, Religious
When Katie Lapp finds the satin infant gown in the dusty leather trunk of her parents' attic, she knows it holds a secret she must discover. Why else would her Amish mother, a plain and simple woman who embraces the Old Order laws, hide the beautiful baby dress in the attic? But nothing could have prepared Katie for the startling news that stumbles out of her anguished parents on the eve of her wedding to Bishop John. Will Katie suddenly find herself a stranger in the community she has always called home?
This poignant story of redemptive love offers readers a fascinating glimpse into the cloistered world of the Amish and the traumatic, life-shaking experience known as The Shunning.
The Shunning is book one in The Heritage of Lancaster County trilogy by Beverly Lewis and is inspired by the true story of the Author’s grandmother who left her plain community.
Katie Lapp is a 22-year-old Amish girl who has lost her first love, Daniel, in a tragic boating accident. Katie doesn’t fit in; she’s
unhappy with her plain life and feels drawn to a “fancy” way of life.
However, she’s already made her vows to the faith and is set to marry the local widowed bishop and become a mama to his children, more-so out of duty to being an upstanding member of her society instead of marrying for love. She feels trapped but is determined to go through with things and become a good Amish woman.
When Katie finds a satin baby garment in the attic she begins to question herself about her love for fancy things and her love for
music. This puts her in a bad place with her parents, and with the bishop, she is set to marry. Eventually, her rebellion leads to her
shunning. The shunning is a practice that is observed by Old Order Amish and some Mennonite churches. In a society that is very social, the shunning is particularly painful for the individuals who must endure it. The entire community is forbidden to speak to or have any contact with the Shunned. The Amish call the act of shunning- Meidung, which translates from German, avoidance.
The book wraps up with Katie leaving her plain community and leaves us with a surprising cliffhanger which I am sure will be explored in the next installment, The Confession. Unlike other authors, who shy from addressing issues of shunning or religious practices of the Amish, Beverly Lewis writes about these issues and gives a realistic view of what the Amish believe and not just a look at their lifestyle.