Customer Reviews for

Somewhere to Belong (Daughters of Amana Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Recommended

If you like historical fiction with no sex, this is a good one. It's a nice story & an easy read. Happy ending!!! Rated G!

posted by RobynDizney on May 11, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Plot spoilers

Too many plot spoilers giving away the entire story line then bragging how they got they got their book for free for their 'honest' review. What a joke. It is not an honest reviee. It is bought and paid for, and unfairly too. The rest of us dont get our book fot free, a...
Too many plot spoilers giving away the entire story line then bragging how they got they got their book for free for their 'honest' review. What a joke. It is not an honest reviee. It is bought and paid for, and unfairly too. The rest of us dont get our book fot free, and you plot spoilers ruin it for us. Please bn, ban these plot spoilers and delete their pists.

posted by 8888649 on October 17, 2013

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  • Posted May 27, 2010

    A Good Read

    Johanna Ilg was raised in the Amana Colonies. Why wouldn't she belong there? It's a peaceful life in 1877, where a community of Christian believers work and worship together. She and her parents embrace the doctrine and cooperative style of living. Johanna expects to remain in Amana, perhaps even marry and raise a family.

    In contrast, seventeen year old Berta Schumacher came to Amana thinking she was only visiting. Upon finding out that she and her parents will stay and not return to Chicago, Berta knows that she doesn't belong in Amana. She wastes no time throwing a fit, revealing her temper and spoiled nature.

    Johanna is assigned to teach and monitor Berta at work in the Kuche, or community kitchen. Unaccustomed to work of any kind, Berta is not only slow to learn, but very uncooperative. This unlikely pairing tests Johanna's mettle as interesting situations unfold. Will Berta ever settle down? Can Johanna's faith survive her unruly charge?

    Meanwhile, Johanna's parents think that it might be time for her to settle down and get married, now that she's reached her 21st birthday. Does Carl Froehlich, a newcomer from a neighboring Amana settlement, have anything to do with this plan? How does Wilhelm, Johanna's older brother who left the colony to live in Chicago; factor into all of this? Johanna thinks she belongs in Amana, but does she really?

    Miller's story unfolds in an entertaining and amusing way. I never knew what Berta might try next and how Johanna and the Amana community would react. I was pleasantly surprised at the layers of secrets that came to life through the course of the book. If you want to find out who really belongs in Amana, you will need to pick up this book. It's a good read for any day, rain, shine, or in between.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Easy read

    This is a good book. Easy read, perfect for a rainy day to read and relax. Reminded me of the adventure books I read when I was younger. Go ahead and get it. You wont be disappointed.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    somewhere to belong

    Very good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    MUST READ

    I enjoyed this novel very much. It opened up a whole new people to me. Although my father and his family came from Iowa City, I had never heard of the families who lived at the Amanas. This author made them very charming and interesting. I will read more of her work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    Enjoyable story

    Nice insight into Amana colonies. Good story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    Anonymous

    This was a good story. I have read a book about amana before this one. It was about the families who came from new york to start the colony. So i understood when they talked of different homesteads. A good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2014

    A Free Christian Type Book

    A young girl coming of age book which is an Easy, enjoyable read infiltrated with references to God. The writing is decent and I would not have been disappointed if I had paid for the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    Captivating

    It one thing to indoctrinate; and another to actually break one's spirit into submission! It was eye opening to read about how a young girl is draggedby her ear and made to conform to a society's norms.
    Keeping in mind that this is a work of fiction; the author still gives an insight into the culture.
    The religious stuff is overkill but I suppose if one writes about this cultural then the religion goes with it.
    If you are not religious, this will irk you.
    All the same, its a well written book and it keeps your attention.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    Very good - It is worth reading!

    This was well written and informative about the culture of a simple and beautiful way of life. The Amana way of life is hard work, but the faith that is so evident and the way people strive to live as God tells them is inspiring. I enjoyed the story and will look forward to more books by Judith Miller.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2014

    Recommend-It was a good read!

    Enjoyed it very much. Good story line.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    good light read!

    This book turned out to be a nice read and there was even a little twist to the plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Good sweet read

    Good book. Flows nice and entertaining.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    A really nice, well-written story

    I greatly enjoyed this book. With its view into the mid-Western Amish lifestyle, it is very interesting. It follows the stories of two young women from different backgrounds as they come together in the same community, each dealing with issues of family and place. We are reminded that people everywhere share universal dilemmas of identity and belonging. The characters are well-developed and the pace easy and enjoyable to follow. It's simple honesty is very enjoyable, it is a fine relaxing yet interesting read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    Lovely Story

    This was a good book - simple and easy to read. There were many times it was difficult to put down.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    great book

    This book started slow, but it is a good book.

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  • Posted September 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable

    Judith Miller's book Somewhere To Belong is the first in a series based upon the Amana colonies in Iowa. The colonies were a group of God fearing people who believed in communal living. Their livelihood came from farming and fabric mills. These people of faith believed in spending as much time as possible in studying the Bible and in prayer. They were assigned jobs by a Bruderrat council; the jobs included working with children, gardening, cooking, working in the mills, stable work, and many other duties. They lived a devout, simple, hard working life.

    Johanna had lived all of her life in Main Amana and yearns to see the outside world. She longs to begin her adventure by visiting her brother in Chicago. Berta is a young lady who had lived the life of wealth in Chicago. When Berta's parents decide to move to the colonies, she struggles to adjust to this new life. Johanna is assigned the responsibility of teaching Berta and the adventure begins. Both young ladies discover that not even parents always live a life free of deceit and both learn the importance of truth and honesty.

    If you enjoy the Amish books that have become popular, then this book will be one that you appreciate. Honestly I did struggle with hearing some of the requirements the families had to live with in the colonies, but the book was interesting, well written and educational.

    Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2010

    1st in Daughters of Amana series is terrific novel of friendship

    Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller is the first book in the Daughters of Amana series. Johanna Ilg has always been the ideal daughter for her parents in Amana, Iowa. Living on a religious commune that focuses on work and prayer is often a austere existance, and Johanna has long desired to see the world outside of their small community. When Berta Schumacher moves to Amana, she's in for a rude awakening. The spoiled and petted daughter of a Chicago doctor and his wife has been forced to give up her big city life for the hard life in Amana because of her out of control ways. Johanna is both intrigued and angered by Berta, especially after the elders force her to teach the young woman about their community. Berta is free-spirited and has no understanding of the rigid life of rules of the town, despite who it hurts. The two girls become friends, despite their differences, and both just may have something to teach the other. While this book is ostensibly a romance, it is in truth a novel of friendship. Berta and Johanna are both of the cusp of womanhood (Johanna more so), and are both incredibly sheltered. It's only through their leaning on each other and God that they will be able to manage the terrible secrets their families have been hiding from them. I hope in the next novel Miller demonstrates more of the Amana lifestyle and introduces characters outside of the kitchen. But I look forward to reading about what Berta is up to next!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Somewhere To Belong

    Johanna Ilg loves Amana, the plain community that she has always lived in. Though she longs to visit the outside world, she finds fulfillment by serving her people and her God. When the Schumacher family moves from Chicago to Amana, Johanna is given the responsibility of helping Berta Schumacher learn her responsibilities. The problem is that Berta does not want to be in Amana and she certainly does not want to work in a kitchen all day. Despite difficult moments, a unique friendship is formed between the two young women. When these young women discover family secrets that threaten to change their entire lives, they will only find restoration by pursuing the will of God. But will either of them be willing to face the difficult challenge of forgiveness?

    I enjoyed this book, but it was one I would suggest renting from the library before buying. It was okay, but some things were confusing. I don't think Amana is an Amish village, but it has a lot of plain living characteristics. If you really like Amish stories, then you will probably love this book. The plot has a sweet love story woven within it, but focuses mostly on the lives of the two young women.

    I suspect that there may be a sequel featuring more of Berta's life. The ending was very open. :)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read

    Somewhere to Belong
    BY: Judith Miller
    PUBLISHED BY: Bethany House
    PUBLISHED IN: 2010
    ISBN: 978-0-7642-0642-9
    Pages: 364
    Reviewed by Billy Burgess

    Book one in the "Daughters of Amana" series is set in Main Amana, one of the seven villages settled by devoted Christians who believe in living a simple life. Johann Ilg has lived her entire live there and is devoted to God. A part of her has longed to see the outside world, but stays loyal to her community.

    The Schumacher family leaves the big city life and moves to the Amana community. Their daughter, Berta, doesn't care for the change, and she wants to rebel.

    Meanwhile, Johanna stumbles upon a dark secret.

    There have been dozens of books released in the last few years about the Amish/simple life communities. "Somewhere to Belong," stands out from some of the others by using great descriptions of what life would have been liked in the late 1800s. I liked that the author threw in a bit of mystery. It's a great read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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