Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Review of A Road Unknown by Barbara Cameron

If you are looking for something a little different in the Amish genre, please consider reading A Road Unknown by Barbara Cameron.  The female protagonist is not your typical Amish girl which gives this book a fresh look at our Amish friends.  And as an added bonus, Barbara Cameron puts recipes in this book!


Barbara Cameron has delivered a superb new Amish novel, A Road Unknown (Abingdon Press).  The story begins in Goshen, Indiana as the main character, 20 year old Elizabeth, is leaving home and going to Paradise, Pennsylvania.  Elizabeth is in her rumschpringe years and feels an overwhelming need to get away from her family and her responsibilities in Goshen.  Barbara Cameron offers a refreshingly new Amish character in Elizabeth, a young Amish girl who isn’t all about babies and pleasing others.  Elizabeth has had her fill of soothing crying babies and amusing fussy toddlers while handling household chores, she wants some time for herself, away from the chaos of her large family.

Elizabeth makes her way to Paradise, Pennsylvania to stay with an Englischer friend Paula, all the while being torn between feelings of delight in all her new experiences of freedom versus worrying over her selfishness in putting her wants before that of her family back in Goshen.  Elizabeth has never had a room of her own or time for a bubble bath or the attention of a young man.  Before long, innocent and naive Elizabeth finds an Englischer boyfriend and at the same time, her Amish craft store employer, Saul, begins a friendship with her.  Will the charming Englischer boyfriend lose his luster if he tries moving too fast for Elizabeth?  She may be on her rumschpringe but she isn’t running wild.

The friendship between Elizabeth and Saul deepens and grows oh so slowly.  He is a soft spoken, gentle soul quite smitten with Elizabeth.  Saul is genuinely devoted to his mother and father.  Elizabeth fears that Saul won’t think much of her when he finds out she left her home in Goshen because she was tired of helping her family.   She has much to decide, stay in Paradise and continue with this new life and a potential new love or return to the family she misses and her old responsibilities in Goshen.  The bishop in Paradise pays Elizabeth a call to pressure her to return to her family in Goshen.  Saul fears he will lose Elizabeth if she returns to Goshen.  Amid all the competing voices, Elizabeth learns she must listen to God first as she makes key life choices.  Elizabeth eventually realizes she must take care of some unfinished business back in Goshen in order to move forward as an adult.

A Road Unknown presents authentic Amish and Englischer characters, and gives readers an encouraging message of trust in God’s plan.  Readers will find the fresh take Barbara Cameron gives its female Amish protagonist Elizabeth to be engaging and appealing.  This uplifting novel stands alone flawlessly, but does provide glimpses into some of the characters previously introduced in the Stitches in Time and Quilts of Lancaster County series.  Several delicious Amish meals and pies are described in appetizing detail in the pages of this book and Barbara Cameron treats her readers to the recipes in the back of the book.  A Road Unknown was published on February 4, 2014. 


  1. Love your blog, Gloria!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment! Hopefully we can begin an online discussion on our favorite Amish novels.