Home to Paradise is a charming story of love in the Amish Community of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. A cautionary advisory, Barbara Cameron’s characters often use words native to their culture, but foreign to those outside of it. The glossary on page 266, which sadly remained undiscovered until the story’s end, is quite helpful if used while reading.
Rose Anna Zook, a madel (young single woman), boppli (baby) of her family, and the only unmarried of her father’s daughters is a bit of a rebel. Home to Paradise, second in “The Coming Home Series”, begins after Rose Anna’s sisters have married their childhood sweethearts, former community exiles who have come back into the fold. Rose Anna’s true love John, much to her frustration, remains an outsider.
For those unfamiliar with the Amish way of life, Home to Paradise is an interesting if not completely factual peek into the culture. Much emphasis is placed on family, appearances, piety, community and church. Within the confines of those pillars, Rose Anna’s character struggles with her own desires to marry a man who no longer feels the same about her or their way of life.
In a culture obsessed with sexuality, the innocence and purity of Rose Anna & John’s attempts to rekindle their relationship is a refreshing change from the current norm.
Overall, Home to Paradise is a pleasant and enjoyable read.
*A complimentary copy of the book was provided in exchange for this review.