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Children of the Most High

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Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Graber has lived in the safety of her close-knit conservative Amish community her entire life. She has been dating Zeke Stolzfus, the Bishop's son, since her first singing and anticipates the day when the two will marry. Rebecca's life changes overnight when Zeke, the boy she loves and trusts, forcibly takes her virginity. Taught to "turn the other Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Graber has lived in the safety of her close-knit conservative Amish community her entire life. She has been dating Zeke Stolzfus, the Bishop's son, since her first singing and anticipates the day when the two will marry. Rebecca's life changes overnight when Zeke, the boy she loves and trusts, forcibly takes her virginity. Taught to "turn the other cheek" like Jesus would have done, Rebecca's religion requires her to forgive Zeke and put the rape in the past. Family relationships and community ties are put to the test in the wake of Rebecca's trauma. Feeling abandoned by her religion's minimization of the assault, she embarks on a journey where she discovers the answers in the most unlikely of places. This powerful novel examines what forgiveness truly means.


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Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Graber has lived in the safety of her close-knit conservative Amish community her entire life. She has been dating Zeke Stolzfus, the Bishop's son, since her first singing and anticipates the day when the two will marry. Rebecca's life changes overnight when Zeke, the boy she loves and trusts, forcibly takes her virginity. Taught to "turn the other Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Graber has lived in the safety of her close-knit conservative Amish community her entire life. She has been dating Zeke Stolzfus, the Bishop's son, since her first singing and anticipates the day when the two will marry. Rebecca's life changes overnight when Zeke, the boy she loves and trusts, forcibly takes her virginity. Taught to "turn the other cheek" like Jesus would have done, Rebecca's religion requires her to forgive Zeke and put the rape in the past. Family relationships and community ties are put to the test in the wake of Rebecca's trauma. Feeling abandoned by her religion's minimization of the assault, she embarks on a journey where she discovers the answers in the most unlikely of places. This powerful novel examines what forgiveness truly means.

58 review for Children of the Most High

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    I won this book through First Reads :) I really enjoyed reading this and found that, for its size, it was a remarkable fast read! I also couldn't put it down, haha. I have to say there were a few editing issues - the font size and page spacing kept changing back and forth, some sentences were jumbled, and there were about two or three typos, but perhaps this wasn't a finalised edition? Anyway, really interesting story. REALLY. Not just the rape storyline, but learning so much about the Amish and t I won this book through First Reads :) I really enjoyed reading this and found that, for its size, it was a remarkable fast read! I also couldn't put it down, haha. I have to say there were a few editing issues - the font size and page spacing kept changing back and forth, some sentences were jumbled, and there were about two or three typos, but perhaps this wasn't a finalised edition? Anyway, really interesting story. REALLY. Not just the rape storyline, but learning so much about the Amish and their ways. Because I knew pretty much nothing. I've only read one book before, and the Amish just aren't something you come across in Australia so much! (Although I did just do a quick google and apparently there are some. Neat.) The only time I EVER learned anything about them in school/uni was when their closed communities were cited in biology classes and genetics lectures. I have to say I found it strange that Ada was denied hearing aides, yet other Amish in the community wore glasses. Why one and not the other?! And the fact that even reading and learning was "prideful"... man, I just couldn't handle it. Also the first lot of police, when Rebecca told them of the rape and they basically said, sorry but we don't meddle in Amish affairs - IS THAT FOR REAL?! Because that's just sick. A crime is a crime. And what Zeke did was a crime. Also his father majorly pissed me off, accusing Rebecca of lying. Grrrrr! I can't believe how it ended either! Argh cliffhanger! But aww, I do like Jake :D

  2. 4 out of 5

    I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}

    Children of the Most High is an unforgettable book. I absolutely devoured it: Rebecca's story drew me in from page one and I couldn't put this book down. The premise of Children of the Most High is devastating---the book starts out with Rebecca's rape---yet so compelling. I had to know if Rebecca would overcome her circumstances, and if her attacker/boyfriend, Zeke, would be brought to justice. Despite the crux of the book being the aftermath of Rebecca's rape and its impact on her family, and t Children of the Most High is an unforgettable book. I absolutely devoured it: Rebecca's story drew me in from page one and I couldn't put this book down. The premise of Children of the Most High is devastating---the book starts out with Rebecca's rape---yet so compelling. I had to know if Rebecca would overcome her circumstances, and if her attacker/boyfriend, Zeke, would be brought to justice. Despite the crux of the book being the aftermath of Rebecca's rape and its impact on her family, and the Amish community at large, Children of the Most High is a book about forgiveness. Rebecca's innocence is taken, and her picturesque view of her future is shattered the night Zeke rapes her. For years, Rebecca has planned out she and Zeke's future, and is content to live her life among her close-knit community of Plain People. She never questions those in authority or envisions another type of life for herself. Her only breach of her community's strict rules is her secret love of reading. Rebecca hides her library books (she's not even allowed to get a library card!) and loves to escape into other worlds, as well as learn as much as she can (she had to stop school after 8th grade per her church's rules for girls). So the fact that Rebecca starts a journey to discover herself, and how to learn to forgive Zeke, is huge, and so completely foreign to her family and the her Amish community. I loved Rebecca's spirit, and how she grows throughout the story. It was inspiring to see Rebecca get stronger as the story progressed. The way Rebecca valiantly tries to reconcile the Amish way of turning the other cheek and leaving justice to God, with her feelings of anger, hatred, and betrayal was the essence of her personal journey. I was so invested in Rebecca's story, and longed for her to triumph over her situation. As in Unravelled, Scanlon's previous book (which was also fantastic; read my review here), Children of the Most High is written with comfortable assurance. I can tell that Scanlon researched the Amish and their way of life to the point where she most likely became an expert on them. I greatly admire a well-researched book, especially fiction, because it shows the author's dedication to writing a great story. Children of the Most High has a slightly open ending. I finished the book with one question, that was really more of a suspicion, but I would have liked to have it confirmed. There's something to be said, though, for authors who have the confidence to leave their endings slightly open. It shows moxie, and leaves the reader thinking about the book long after it's over (at least for me it does). In the end, I couldn't stand not knowing, so I emailed Anna Scanlon to ask my question. She replied and gave me great news: there will be a sequel to this book. Yay! I can't wait to read more of Rebecca's story! I highly recommend this powerful, moving book. I can't wait to read more from Anna Scanlon!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    **I received a free copy of this book through First Reads in exchange for an honest review.** Rebecca Graber, an Amish girl in a very conservative Ordnung, is raped by her boyfriend, Zeke. Rebecca and Zeke have grown up together and planned to get married, but Zeke's actions cause Rebecca to question everything she thinks about him and her way of life. I thought the way Rebecca's inward struggle was portrayed was realistic. There is not a ton of dialogue in this book, but I can imagine that being **I received a free copy of this book through First Reads in exchange for an honest review.** Rebecca Graber, an Amish girl in a very conservative Ordnung, is raped by her boyfriend, Zeke. Rebecca and Zeke have grown up together and planned to get married, but Zeke's actions cause Rebecca to question everything she thinks about him and her way of life. I thought the way Rebecca's inward struggle was portrayed was realistic. There is not a ton of dialogue in this book, but I can imagine that being sexually assaulted would make someone turn in on themselves in an attempt to sort through all of the emotions and shame. The fact that she is Amish puts a twist on this inward struggle, but I found a lot of it to be universal in concept. Some reviewers have questioned Anna Scanlon's facts about Amish life. While I am no scholar on the Amish, I recently read a book called Amish Grace (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...) that explored the reaction of the Nickel Mines community after the school shooting of the young Amish girls in 2006. This event was mentioned several times in Children of the Most High. The community described by Scanlon differs from Nickel Mines, but the authors of Amish Grace wrote that trying to specify the "Amish" way of life is nearly impossible because every community is different. There are a couple of things I would have liked to see that were not in this book. First, I wish there had been more discussion from the people in Rebecca's community about how to forgive. It seemed like everyone expected her to forgive automatically. While I realize forgiveness is ingrained in the Amish way of life, I still think there must be some allowance for time between an offense and forgiveness. Then again, this may be due to the conservative nature of Rebecca Graber's Ordnung. Second, the ending was too abrupt. **Spoiler alert** Why did the police actively pursue Jonas when they turned Rebecca away? Is that meant to be left to the reader to figure out? Will there be a sequel? I would recommend this book for fans of drama, psychological issues, and for anyone interested in learning more about Amish culture. For a non-fiction spin, or for further reading, I also recommend Amish Grace.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    I really enjoy books set it other cultures, religions and ways of love plus I've always been fascinated with the amish so really enjoyed this book. It was really interesting the way it showed both sides of the amish religion and way of life, not just a negative or positive point of view. I thought it was interesting how it looked into other religions too. The story itself was great, heartbreaking and interesting to follow Beccas internal struggle. I did find it was a bit over explaining at times I really enjoy books set it other cultures, religions and ways of love plus I've always been fascinated with the amish so really enjoyed this book. It was really interesting the way it showed both sides of the amish religion and way of life, not just a negative or positive point of view. I thought it was interesting how it looked into other religions too. The story itself was great, heartbreaking and interesting to follow Beccas internal struggle. I did find it was a bit over explaining at times or went into too much detail or internal monologue which I'd often skim over to get to the real live action so to speak. but I really enjoyed it. .. when is book two out??!

  5. 5 out of 5

    G

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    This book about Rebecca's story truly impressed me and it was hard to put down. It was interesting to get a little insight in the amish culture and way of living. Four stars only because it is an open ending, sort of. However, I would definitely recommend this very touching story. This book about Rebecca's story truly impressed me and it was hard to put down. It was interesting to get a little insight in the amish culture and way of living. Four stars only because it is an open ending, sort of. However, I would definitely recommend this very touching story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matilda Hardie

    http://heyahowsyou.blogspot.fr/2014/1... http://heyahowsyou.blogspot.fr/2014/1...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

  9. 4 out of 5

    Telina

  10. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amber Frechette

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rachael Galvan

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jay

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susan cash

  16. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carol Liller

  19. 5 out of 5

    Daniela Arcos

  20. 5 out of 5

    Holly

  21. 5 out of 5

    Books 'n' All Promotions

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ayoub Sadni

  23. 4 out of 5

    Angela Sekovska

  24. 5 out of 5

    Donna

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jhoana Paula dela Cruz

  26. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Freeman

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

  28. 4 out of 5

    linda mast

  29. 5 out of 5

    Oussama El Omari

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy Hill

  31. 5 out of 5

    Books 'n' All Promotions

  32. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

  33. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Fantom

  34. 5 out of 5

    Betty

  35. 5 out of 5

    Jyoti

  36. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

  37. 5 out of 5

    Khalid Boukdran

  38. 5 out of 5

    Meryem Gahamou

  39. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  40. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty Hoggons

  41. 5 out of 5

    Ricardo

  42. 5 out of 5

    Indah Hartani

  43. 4 out of 5

    Lulu

  44. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

  45. 5 out of 5

    Marlene Santos

  46. 5 out of 5

    Simona Mihalache

  47. 5 out of 5

    Edward Solano

  48. 4 out of 5

    Casidye

  49. 5 out of 5

    Diana Banciu

  50. 4 out of 5

    Vykki

  51. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Bali

  52. 4 out of 5

    Cristina Riquelme

  53. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Carnes

  54. 4 out of 5

    Richard Hicks

  55. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Beck

  56. 5 out of 5

    Jaideep Khanduja

  57. 4 out of 5

    J

  58. 5 out of 5

    Marina Botoaca

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