Book Review: A Simple Change by Judith Miller

A Simple Change by Judith Miller is the story of Jancey Rhoder, a young woman who works as a teacher in Kansas City. When her mother's illness takes a turn for the worse, Jancey's parents make the decision to leave their home and business and return to the Amana Colonies. Jancey's parents were members of the Amana Colonies many years ago, so they know what to expect, but Jancey isn't sure what her life will be like if she decides to leave Kansas City. Despite this uncertainty, Jancey leaves her job and life in Kansas City behind to go with her parents and spend additional time with her mother. Jancey is being courted by a young man in Kansas City, Nathan, who is not pleased by her decision. When Jancey arrives in the colonies, she has a hard time adjusting to some of the changes, while she enjoys and appreciates some of the others. As Jancey adjusts to life in the Amana Colonies, she finds herself drawn into unexpected relationships and mysteries - making her life in Amana much more complicated than she anticipates. Only when Jancey gives up trying to control the outcomes of these situations does she find the peace of her simple life in Amana.

I very much enjoyed this book. I found the setting of the Amana Colonies extremely interesting. Amana is similar in some ways to the Amish in terms of the simplicity, but there are many other differences in how their society is run as well. Even though the setting is very different from our society today, I think many of us can relate to Jancey - her desire to stay with and help her mother during her illness, her difficulties finding her way and making decisions, and the way that things begin to fall into place when she begins to pray and rely on God for guidance more than herself. If you like historical fiction books, I would definitely recommend this one.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.

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