Today’s Story Spark is from author Olivia Newport who shares her interest in Amish history and the inspiration for the second book in her Amish Turns of Time Series.
I first got interested in Amish history when I discovered a family line tracing back to one of the earliest Amish families in Pennsylvania. Now I have folders overflowing with bits of Amish history research. One of these topics led to writing Meek and Mild, my latest novel.
More than a hundred years ago, along the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland, an Amish district experienced a parting of the ways. Some members dabbled in more “Protestant” ways, such as new hymns or Sunday school classes for children. Others thought the old ways were better. Division festered for decades.
In my story, when crises strike the church and her extended family, Clara is caught between two sides of the conflict—and hides her own fears. Andrew, the man who loves her, is ready to push for new ways—but at what cost? Her cousin, Fannie, can’t bear the pain when her own mother has a child on the way while Fannie’s arms are empty. And Andrew’s relative, Yonnie, threatens to turn him in to the bishop for his rebellious ways.
While the story is about the Amish, major themes relate to people who express their faith across the denominational spectrum. We all need to examine how well we listen to other perspectives and whether we treat each other with grace and kindness.
Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Meek and Mild is book 2 in the Amish Turns of Time set, which began with Wonderful Lonesome and will conclude with Brightest and Best later this year.
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