A Simple Change (Home to Amana Book #2)

A Simple Change (Home to Amana Book #2)

by Judith Miller

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Judith Miller's Novels Offer a Fascinating Look inside the Amana Colonies

Joining the communal society of the Amana Colonies isn't what Jancey Rhoder planned for her future, but when unforeseen circumstances force her family to make some difficult decisions, she chooses to give up her teaching position in a Kansas City orphanage and move with her parents to Iowa.

Her besotted suitor, Nathan Woodward, isn't at all happy about the move and is determined to get Jancey to change her mind. And Jancey herself isn't sure what she's gotten herself into when the simple life of the Amana Colonies means she'll be assigned a job and may have to give up teaching for good. Will Nathan woo her back to the city, or will she be forever changed by the mysterious events and new relationships that await her in the quiet villages of the Amana Colonies--and decide to make this unique place her forever home?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441261434
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/01/2013
Series: Home to Amana Series , #2
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,058,855
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Judith Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. When time permits, Judy enjoys traveling, visiting historical settings, and scrapbooking the photographs from her travel expeditions. She makes her home in Topeka, Kansas.
Judith Miller is an award-winning writer whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. Judy and her family make their home in Kansas. Learn more at www.judithmccoymiller.com.

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A Simple Change 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
PennyMindingMom More than 1 year ago
When I first received the book “A Simple Change” by Judith Miller, I thought it was going to be another story about the Amish life but I was mistaken. It instead tells of life in the Amana Colonies of Iowa which is a communal settlement where everyone shares everything they have with one another. The author tells a tale of Jancey Rhoder, a school teacher in an orphanage in Kansas City. When her parents decide to move back to the Amana Colonies where they were born, Jancey must make one of the most difficult decisions of her life. She can stay in Kansas City, continue working with the orphans and marry her beau, or leave it all behind and take care of her mother during her last days. Nathan doesn’t want her to leave, but Jancey feels that she needs to be with her mother during her last days. She makes the difficult choice to leave everything she knows for the simplicity of life in Amana. When Jancey discovers secrets that wreck havoc with those around her she must make a choice to move back to the city or embrace life in Amana. “A Simple Change” is the second book in the Home to Amana series. It can be read and enjoyed on it’s own merits. Ms. Miller uses simple language to write an engaging story about a life in the colonies. The books shows that there is power in prayer and to trust God in all circumstances and he will lead you through all your troubles. While reading this book you immerse yourself in Jancey’s life and feet her joys, heartaches and the love she has for her parents by always putting them first. I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the other books in the series. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group for review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
Jancey Rhoder is leaving a life of leisure in Kansas City and following her parents to the Amana Colonies in Middle Amana, Iowa to live the simple life.  Her mother's wish is to return to her birthplace to live out the short time she has left.  Jancey can't fathom not being by her mother's side. Jancey's father tried to convince her to stay and marry Nathan Woodard one of his business associates. She is not so sure she is ready to marry and informs Nathan she will be moving away with her parents.  He tries to talk her into staying but her mind is made up.  Is the old saying, "Out of sight out of mind.",  really true? Will Jancey be able to adjust to the simple life? She is determined  to learn all the rules and follow them.  Yet she pushed the rules almost beyond the limit.   She is appointed a job of doing housekeeping at the mill workers dorm. Housekeeping was something she had never done before, but was willing to learn. In Kansas City she had been a volunteer at an orphanage where she was an accredited teacher. She loved teaching.the children.  This author writes of a strong willed young woman wanting to to fit in to the simple life.  The lessons in this story are many which are meekness, love, hope, trust and faith in God's.   There is a villain and a hero. The story will keep you guessing until the very end as to whether Jancey goes back to Kansas City or stays in Middle Amana.   I have enjoyed this series and ready to read more of Home To Amana.  Judith Miller is undoubtedly one of my favorite authors. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
This book centers around one of the most interesting historical religious groups I have found, the Amana colonies.  Jancey Rhoder is a young, privileged, very happy young woman.  The time is 1881, and although she was privileged to receive a very good education, she is content to teach at an orphanage in Kansas City Missouri.   The only child of wealthy parents, she has stylish clothes, a beautiful home and a handsome young beau who wants to marry her.  Her perfect world is turned upside down when mother whose health is very bad, takes a turn for the worse.  Her parents decide they want to return their home and roots at the Amana Colony in Iowa where they both were raised.  She becomes torn between staying with the children and job she loves or going to be with her dying mother.  Nathan Woodward, her boyfriend adds to her confusion by trying to pressure into marrying him and staying. The new development in their relationship reveals a selfish, darker side of him that Jancey had not seen before. Her heart wins out and she moves to the Amana Colony with her parents. While it is very normal and comfortable to them, their daughter must learn to live not only in severe simplicity but with a multitude of rules and conduct guidelines.  Though it is  a bit of a social shock she works hard at adapting and accepting a new way of life.  She is caught totally off guard when she finds herself falling in love with a young man in the colony that is everything Nathan isn’t.   Trying to live the Amana life but making decisions based on her old way of life puts Jancey in some very difficult and even dangerous situations.  To complicate matters Nathan shows up to work with the Amana men and to try and convince her to marry him.  Living in the colonies away from all the trappings the world she had once enjoyed, Jancey finds herself renewing her relationship with God and turning to Him for the answers she needs.   I loved learning more about life in the colonies and how peaceful it was.  This book  has suspense, romance, mystery, and surprises!   A book you WILL want to read! I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
dgottreu More than 1 year ago
A Simple Change by Judith Miller is a well written wonderful story that begins in 1881 in Kansas City, Missouri but most of the story takes place in the Middle Amana Colony in Iowa. Jancey Rhoder is very happy teaching the orphans at the Kansas City Charity Home and is more or less comfortable with her suitor, Nathan Woodward. Her mother is quite ill and the doctors cannot determine exactly what is wrong with her and can offer no hope for recovery. Her mother and father lived in the Amana Colony until they married and moved to Kansas City. Now her mother wants to return to Amana to spend her last days, and her father is agreeable to the move. Jancey is torn because she wants to spend as much of her time as possible with her mother but she does not want to leave the children she teaches. Nathan definitely does not want Jancey to move but she is not too concerned about how he feels. The family moves to Amana and Jancey finds it a very different kind of life but she is not unhappy and fits in quite well with the women in the Colony. She cannot teach in Amana for women are not allowed to teach school but she is able to help a couple of the young girls with their reading skills which helps her adjust to not being able to teach at a school. Ritt is the son of the family that owns the house where Jancey and her parents live and since he and his family live upstairs, they have many occasions to meet and they quickly become friends and find that they are attracted to each other.. Nathan shows up for an unexpected and unwelcome visit and sparks start to fly in more ways than one. The author did an excellent job developing the characters, plot,dialogue, and all other elements of the story. The characters simply came alive on the pages of the book and by the time I finished reading, I felt as if they were friends, or at least some of them were friends. It was evident that the author did her research on the Amana Colony and it was very interesting to read about the daily life of the people living in the Colony. A very enjoyable way to have a history lesson. Descriptions of scenes in the book were very well done and with each I felt as if I were living and working in the Colony right long with the characters. The fire scene was so real that I could almost feel the heat from the flames. I highly recommend this book to everyone that appreciates a great story with a happy ending. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
clevyo More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Jancey Rhoder who's world is turned upside down when her parents decide to return to their childhood roots of Amana colonies. Jancey knows that she needs to follow her parents to this unknown world to take care of her ailing mother, but her heart longs to teach the orphans. She also walks away from a possible marriage to go to the Amana colonies. There she learns about a different life of hard work and lots of faith. She meets friends and finds conflict in her attraction to another young man named Ritt when she still does not know what to do with her former beau, Nathan who manages to complicate things by showing up in the Amana Colonies to woo her back to her former life. Jancey's life gets more complicated as mistakes are made and trust is given to the wrong person. She finds herself a keeper of secrets and her ability to find a solution harder to find. Jancey finds the peace and love she craves in the end. I must admit that this is the first book I have read that deals with the Amana colonies so that kept my interest to learn the nature of how they survive with the simplicity of life. I thought that the author was very knowledgeable on this subject. The plot itself is what I struggled with. I admire Jancey sacrificing all to go with her parents to take care of her mother. I had a hard time with Jancey and Nathan's relationship. She felt that a time of separation would tell whether things would work out between them, but later on she felt in her relationship with Ritt that separation would break their chance of a relationship. To me the plot was predictable. Also her relationship with her parents seemed to be so important to her that I found it odd that she would not confide in her parents or seek their advice until near the end of the story. I felt the story could have had a bit more romance in it as well. It was a one time read for me. I was given a free copy of this book from Bethany House for my honest opinion.
ILuvBooks25 More than 1 year ago
This was the first book that I have read by Judith Miller. With this being the second book in the series I was a little worried that I was going to be lost with not knowing what happened in the first book. However, that didn't happen because this book could stand alone in the series because even though the first books characters were in this one you would not need to know it The main character Jancey has always lived in the modern time in Kansas City splitting her time between the orphanage and spending time with her family and suitor Nathan Woodward. However, that all changes when her parents tell her that they are going back to the simple life in the Amana Colonies to live out their rest of their lives. Jancey is shocked and doesn't want to leave her children at the Orphanage but she doesn't want to miss the last couple months/year with her mother. So she leaves everything behind to move there with her parents.  As you continue to read the book you will find that Judith Miller does a fantastic job of describing how the people in the Amana Colonies live and how it is different from what the modern people in Kansas City lived. I really liked in addition how she showed the struggles that Jancey faced well trying to fit in to the colonies.  Lastly I really liked to the romance story she had included between Jancey and Ritt who is one of the colonies citizens and her relationship between Nathan and her. I felt like I was in the 1880's and experiencing what Jancey and her family were going through.  Having been my first read by Judith's I really liked it and I am very interesting to read other books in this series and by this author. I would not only recommend this book to Christian readers but also by readers who love history and romance as it has all three of those genres in them. 
LisetteRue More than 1 year ago
There’s a fast lane, even in 1881, yet Jancey Rhoder gives up her privileged life in Kansas City for a simple and humble one in the Amana Colonies in Iowa. Life in the Amana Colonies brings unforeseen challenges to Jancey’s life. Jancey is faithful, has a good heart and means well, but sometimes her good-heartedness isn’t for the better. When things begin to go awry, who can she trust? Jancey’s biggest struggle isn’t adapting to a new life, but in waiting for His answers in His time, not hers. Avarice is also evident throughout the book. While this historical Christian fiction novel is nice, it did seem to read slower than I would’ve liked. That said, I also think that works for the novel. Jancey’s life in the Amana Colonies is to be full of faith and honest work for the good of all (not just the individual), but at its core, it’s a simple life. Not simple as in plain and slow and boring, but in a serene way. The tone of the book matches that, though things do pick up speed in the final chapters. I’d recommend this book to those interested in historical fiction from the character perspective of someone learning to live life the Amana way. -- Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions are expressly my own.
J4Life5 More than 1 year ago
Jancey Rhoder's parents decide to move from Kansas City back to the Amana Colonies due to her mother's illness. Jancey makes the difficult decision to leave the job she loves, teaching at an orphanage to move with her parents and help in her mother's care. It is not as difficult a decision to leave Nathan, her suitor behind. Nathan assumes they will marry, but Jancey is not sure. Jancey has many adjustments to make in her new life, but meets new people and enjoys life in the colony. However, her decision to come to the colony is only the first of a series of difficult decisions she must make. Overall, I enjoyed this book. This is the first book of the Amana colonies that I have read. So, I was not familiar with the Amana colonies and was interested in the rules and the way of life depicted in the book. The first half of it was pretty slow going and I had a hard time maintaining my interest in it. However, I kept going and the second half of the book paid off. I wasn't immediately enthralled with Jancey's character, but her faithfulness to her family and her faith grew on me. I thought Miller did a great job with the plot and provided some surprises and unexpected twists that I didn't see coming, which is always a plus. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. It ends up being a good book, after a slow beginning. On an additional note, I usually don't pay a lot of attention to the cover of a book, but this one I found myself studying several times. The picture is lovely and it has a nice texture to it. Give this book a try, you will probably enjoy it! I was provided with a copy of the book from the publisher for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Teresa_Konopka More than 1 year ago
I'm not going to lie--this book started off a bit slow.  However, once I got a good hundred pages in, things started to get really good.  The protagonist is torn as she has several men competing for her attention, the stress of moving to a new place, and the sadness associated with her dying mother.  As a city girl coming to Amish country, the woman does not fit in exactly.  Things get complicated when an unexpected family friend visits her.  Add in the drama of thievery and fires and you've got once suspenseful novel.  This book was full of twists and turns.  Set in the 1800s, there was enough details to understand that time period but not so much detail to make readers want to fall asleep.  I also liked the psychology of this book.  It had a happy ending (surprise, surprise) but was also filled with real-world problems that aren't so fairy-tale.  This includes abusive men, dangers of walking alone, and others.  While the dangers in this book aren't horrifying or graphic, they do help paint a story that is realistic and not just fantasy. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the second book on the Amana Colonies by Judith Miller that I have read.  I enjoyed the book, and I enjoyed reading a little more about this group of people.  Jancey is a transparent character who has the same struggles we all have at some time.  The theme of waiting on God runs throughout the book, and this is what Jancey struggles with the most.  Ms. Miller also includes a vivid picture of how greed can destroy an individual.  These are both great lessons to learn.  While I do not think that this particular lifestyle is Biblical, this was an interesting book to read.  It gives the reader plenty to think about.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.