Somewhere to Belong
By Judith Miller
Reviewed by: Martha Artyomenko
The Amana Colonies…..a religious group that little is published about until recently. This group that came from Lutheran background rather than Catholic like the Anabaptists (Mennonites, Amish, Hutterites and others), but in some ways seem similar to the Hutterites. Their communal lifestyle, and good marketing with inventing things and being responsible for Amana Appliances which is what Whirlpool came from, and were known for their woolen goods as well.
So, that little history lesson takes us to the Amana colonies in 1877.
Johanna is given charge to help a newcomer to the society, Berta. Berta does not wish to be here, from wearing a pink skirt under her plain dress, Johanna is frustrated and blamed for her improper behavior.
Johanna has her own secret though, she has discovered something that may change her life forever. What should she do about it? Should she look outside of Amana for a life?
Both Berta and Johanna face many changes, restrictions in either world and wonder where they belong? Can they find “Somewhere to belong”?
I found the history behind the Amana’s interesting. In 1930, they ceased from communal living, but I guess there are still operational churches of this sect that continues to this day. Both Johanna and Berta had to face questions that plague many of us even this day. We don;t have to face judgement for wearing a pink skirt, but I wonder if we thought it would save our family, would we do drastic things to bring a family closer together like the Schumacher family tried to do?
Can we be content with what we have always known, or is the grass always greener on the other side?
These are just a few of the questions that were brought up for me while reading this historical fiction novel. -Martha
Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing this book for review.