by Mary Christner Borntrager
Series: Ellie's People #4
158 pages, General Fiction
Reviewed by Ariel_of_Narnia

Good story full of trusting God when times are tough.


Daniel Weaver, a grandson of Ellie Eash, is happily married to the woman of his dreams. Life goes well for them for a few years, and then the hard times hit. During this period, Daniel's wife suddenly disappears. With five young children to care for, a job in town, a farm to tend, and the whole world looking down on him, Daniel can only pray that God's will might be done.


Daniel tries to understand his parents' disapproval of his choice of wife (she's too "fancy", is an adopted child with little background, etc), but disagrees with them. When Hildie goes missing, Daniel's mother is unfortunately the most critical. However, his parents do as much as they can to help.

Daniel and Hildie are hard workers. Daniel does everything he can to provide for his family, especially in the hard times.

One woman tells a child to lie; later, she spreads a lie of her own, leading to unfounded suspicions about Daniel and Hildie's marriage. Over time, people in the church shun and eventually excommunicates him temporarily.

Spiritual Content

Daniel, his family, and his friends are Amish. They all have a great faith in God and Daniel depends heavily on Him. Daniel hates hearing blasphemy. He is submissive and firm in his beliefs. He also teaches his children lessons such as not judging others too harshly, forgiving, and so on. His excommunication is due to his "going against" the Order of the church.


Daniel's oldest daughter is slapped across the mouth by a woman who spoke badly of Hildie. Daniel's sons have a fight. His oldest son challenges a couple boys for making fun of his grandpa. Daniel's arm catches in some machinery and he suffers a couple broken and cracked bones as well as cuts and bruises. Two of his daughters fight, resulting in the younger one falling onto and being burned by the stove. Blows are exchanged between a couple men (these are heard, not seen). Another character is roughly treated.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A girl who helps Daniel's family reveals that her mom worked at a bar and her dad drank a lot. Daniel swerves his bike away from a drunk driver. One of Daniel's coworkers not only drinks, but makes moonshine and chews tobacco. He and his kids come across three men in the wood, all of whom had been drinking. Someone discovers a moonshine still.

Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content

None except for unknown curses.


I personally enjoyed this story more than its predecessors. It takes a small portion of a man's life and draws a fully-developed story from it. There's a small hint of mystery as Daniel struggles to understand what has happened to his wife. The story allows you to empathize with him and his children as they cope with their trials and come out fulfilled.

Note: Readers, or the parents of readers, should probably research the doctrines of the Amish while reading this series to be clear on what they teach.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

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