Monday, July 16, 2012

The Face of Heaven-Murray Pura

The Face of Heaven

Murray Pura

Harvest House, Aug 1 2012, $13.99

ISBN 9780736949491

In 1861 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Lyndel Keim finds two slaves in her barn. One of them Moses Gunnison says he is a man not a slave while his friend Charlie Preston is injured. If caught they will be returned to the Virginia plantation where Charlie will be hanged for his third escape attempt. Moses is valuable as he can read. Sheriff Jackson arrives to take the property back to its rightful owner to the chagrin of Lyndel and others. She, her brother Levi, her beau Nathaniel King, his brother Corinth and Joshua Yoder argue against the Amish “Thou shalt not kill,” pacifism.

The community including three respective families shuns the five rebels. Though non-violence is imprinted in each of their make-ups, they feel a need to serve God by fighting against slavery. Lyndel Keim trains under Clara Barton as a field nurse following her Nathaniel and the Iron Brigade into combat. The three other males also join Union combat units.

The second Snapshots in History (see the WWI thriller The Wings of Morning) is a terrific Civil War epic that follows the emotional trials of mostly Lyndel and Nathaniel at Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, Antietam and Gettysburg. Both sees the horror of war; amplified by their pacifist nurturing. Character driven, fans will enjoy this Amish war tale as the lead couple knows they can never go home, but until he is severely injured at Gettysburg, they felt the cost was worth doing what they believe the Lord would want of them: to free the enslaved peoples.

Harriet Klausner

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