Author: Jan Drexler
Genre: Historical Romance
For two hopeless romantics, the Civil War will be the ultimate test . . .
Seventeen-year-old Katie Stuckey is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait until she is eighteen to marry Jonas Weaver as her parents insist. Twenty-year-old Jonas knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church, yet he can't help being taken in by the romance of the soldiering life, especially for the abolitionist cause.
When his married brother's name comes up in the draft list, Jonas volunteers to take his brother's place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation?
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
I was looking forward to The Sound of Distant Thunder by Jan Drexler because of its unusual topic - an Amish man in the army. I'd never heard of that before, so I was intrigued to see how that worked.
Katie Stuckey is seventeen and in love with Jonas Weaver. They both want to marry right away, but Katie's father wants her to wait until she is eighteen. Waiting is something she will have to learn to live with as the war between the States begins, and her beloved Jonas takes his brother's place in a mandatory draft. Will he survive until their wedding? Or will their dreams of a life together never happen?
While reading this book, I felt I had stepped into the second or third book of a series. So I was quite surprised to realize it is the first book in the Amish of Weaver Creek series. There were many confusing parts and a few unexplained scenes. Also, there were Katie's irrational and unrealistic fears regarding those who love her.
First, the scene when Ned tries to attack her leaves one wondering that something horrifying is going to happen later on in the book after Katie gets away. I was fully expecting him to be the antagonist in the story who goes after her after Jonas joins the army. But he never does. He attacks, and it is never dealt with or explained again. Then there is the weird notion Katie has that men who are attracted to her will die. It was very unrealistic. She also keeps referring to her teacher who "leered" at her and sounds like she was attacked by him too but the character in question is never introduced, and nothing is explained. It almost seemed like the author was looking to "fill" pages but couldn't decide what to write.
Once Jonas goes into the army the story does pick up, and it looks like Levi Beiler is going to sweep Katie off her feet while Jonas is gone. I'm not going to say what happens, but the ending was so abrupt I was surprised that it was over.
Overall, the characters of Katie and Jonas were sweet, but the lack of backstory on other aspects and how they related to Katie, along with the sudden ending fell flat for me. Perhaps this will be addressed in the second book. Despite the inconsistencies, the author has managed to capture the faith and hardworking attitudes of the Amish, and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.
Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing.