Late last year, I won a copy of Judith Miller’s book, A Simple Change. This past week, I gave it a read. Even though the title hinted at it, the beautiful simplicity of the tale took me by surprise. That’s not to say there weren’t twists and turns along the way. I wouldn’t like it if those elements were absent. They were there, and boy were they wonderful!
In A Simple Change, Jancey Rhoder’s world gets tipped on its axis when her parents declare they’re moving back to Middle Amana, the colonies they grew up in. Deciding to move with them, 22-year-old Jancey leaves behind a suitor and the life she’s always known. As she wonders if she’ll find a place to belong in this new-to-her town, she uncovers secrets that may threaten the entire village. Will she figure out who she can trust? Or will she let a slip of the tongue destroy her hopes of remaining with her ill mother?
This book reads quite like a memoir or diary, especially since it’s written in the first person. Though a bit unusual, the singular point of view created an intimacy difficult to pull off in other vantage points. Also, it brought a tenderness to the characters that I really enjoyed. If this is what Judith Miller brings to the table, I’ll gladly read more of her novels … and recommend them to you! I’m sure you’ll be just as delighted with this tale as I was. It’s a charming story of trust and devotion, two things difficult to come by in a technology crazed world. So, turn off your cell phones, iPads, and other gadgets and take a step back in time to Middle Amana. You might be surprised at how little you miss your doodads once you submerge yourself into Jancey Rhoder’s new world.
Have you ever read a book that transported you to a different place or time? Did you learn anything that could be applied to today’s world? What historical fiction books do you recommend that achieved this sense of time travel?