Wednesday, September 15, 2010
More Than Words
Gretchen Kohler is an Amana storekeeper's daughter with a secret passion for writing. But artistic pursuits are frowned upon in her conservative Amana village, so she confines her poems and stories to her journals, letting only close friends read them.
When a young reporter comes into her store, she believes she's found a kindred spirit. She shares a few of her stories with him--only to have her trust betrayed in the worst of ways, resulting in trouble for her entire community.
The scandal is made even worse by the fact that gypsies have camped nearby and seem to be preying upon the Amanans' compassionate, pacifist nature. Will Gretchen lose her job, her reputation, and the love of her childhood beau all because of one bad decision?
Judith Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her novels, two of which have placed in the CBA top ten lists. In addition to her writing, Judy is a certified legal assistant. Judy makes her home in Topeka, Kansas.
If you would like to read the first chapter of More than Words, go HERE.
When in school we studied Eutopian societies. After reading the first book I received about the Amana colonies, it reminded me greatly of the Eutopian societies which we studied in school. The concept of the Amanda colonies was that everyone lived together. Everyone had homes, food, health care and community. Everyone has a job within the community allowing them to contribute, but everyone's worth is equal. All meals are taken within the community kitchen contributing to the community spirit.
Gretchen's role within the community is working within the colony store which her father runs. However, she has taken on another responsibility which she is taking great pains to hide from everyone. Her grandmother is showing increasing signs of dementia and Gretchen is working to hide those signs. Her fear is that if it is discovered she will be sent off.
Making her life more difficult is her grandmother's infatuation with the gypsies who have moved just outside the boundaries of the colony. The Amana people are very leery of the gypsies and their way of life which is so different from them.
With all this clash, hiding and outsiders, you have the basis for a book which would take "More Than Words" to describe!