If you are looking for a book that will make you think and take you on a ride, you’ll love Jolina Petersheim’s brand spankin new book, The Alliance.
Jolina Petersheim is an amazingly talented young writer who’s already got two New York Times bestsellers under her belt. She’s every bit as colorful a character as any of her heroines; I would totally love to see her write a story of her family and their history. Including her parents’ spectacular wedding pictures taken back in the seventies or eighties with their not-quite-plain anymore finery and their stunning good looks.
Jolina’s story intersected mine briefly when I was a young college student and she was a junior high drama queen with the long blonde hair and the perfect complexion to make even a nineteen year old jealous. She even gave my phone number to my future husband one night in a teasing, “Quit talking and let us leave” attitude, and – to my horror, she stuck her little blond head out the window and screamed as I pealed off, “CAN I BE YOUR FLOWER GIRL?”
Although time has mellowed her somewhat, Jolina’s dramatic genius is stronger than ever, as evidenced by this amazing new book that Tyndale graciously allowed me to read in exchange for a honest review.
I guess you could categorize the story of Leora Ebersole and Marine pilot Moses Hughes as an “Amish Dystopian Christian Romantic Thriller,” but by the end of the second chapter, the importance of all such genre classifications evaporated – I was so engulfed in the drama unfolding so believably before me.
Really, what WOULD happen if technology failed us? Like Moses inviting Leora to plunge into the cold water that separates her from her secure past, Jolina bravely plunges us into a world that is frighteningly enlightening. I couldn’t wait to turn the pages to delve deeper into the “what if” world that she has so masterfully woven.
In the book, a plane crash alerts the small plain community to the disaster that has occurred that will instantly transform modern society into a jungle of base survival. As the pilot recovers, his memory of war-torn countries with haunted refugees fleeing for their lives drives him to beg the small community to prepare for the hordes of city dwellers that are sure to come searching for food in the next weeks.
As the community deliberates over how far to suspend their ancient doctrines of pacifism to protect their families, Leora Ebersole finds that her strong faith is under fire, and as the heat increases, only that which is true will stand the test. Will she find that her beliefs in non-resistance are foolish? Will battle-hardened Moses discover that fighting back only makes him into the very image of the enemy?
Leora Ebersole is an independent young woman responsible for her mentally challenged teenage sister, her thirteen year old brother, and their near-blind grandmother. Her determination to protect her family makes her unwilling to open up to others, even to the handsome young pilot who believes he understands her or to the conscientious young community leader who’s made his mind up to rescue her.
Moses Hughes is a veteran who’s also unwilling to let others see deep into his heart, where unrelenting guilt colors his every decision and makes him long for death. Meeting Leora gives him the chance to see a reflection of his own soul, as he recognizes the pain of undeserved self-blame. His clear perspective and fearlessness make him perfectly fitted to advise the community of their need for protection, but will they listen?
Jabil Snyder is the influential, single neighbor who’s been determined for years to court Leora – and now, to prevent her from getting too close to Moses, who increasingly seems to be coming between them. His firm adherence to traditional belief makes him diametrically opposed to Moses at every turn, even though the two of them are actually very similar and are both devoted to the well-being of the community, and specifically, to the well-being of Leora.
Anna is the sixteen year old sister of Leora whose beauty somewhat hides her mental handicap. Leora’s passion to protect her is a driving force in the transformation that changes her from a bitter, guarded individual hiding behind her religion to one who begins to see that God – the true God who can’t be boxed in by religious platitudes, really does all things well, even when the world is on fire.
This book is a very challenging read. It doesn’t offer easy answers, but it does offer hope – the same hope that each of us must eventually choose either to embrace or reject. Does God love me? Does He have a plan in the midst of pain? Is it possible to realize the good plan of God in the throes of bitterness? While this book isn’t preachy, the story itself reminds you that surely the God who gave His own Son to suffer for us all might not always shield us from suffering, but He will sustain those who trust Him, come what may.
This book is the beginning of a series, and it does leave you hanging. Still, the ending is satisfying, even if it does make me eager to read the next book in this explosive series.
I was so thankful to receive this book for free from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review. I got it in the mail yesterday, and it gripped me so hard that I kept turning pages until I finished it in the wee hours of this morning.
Yes, it’s one of THOSE books.
Thanks, Jolina, for a great read and for keeping me awake! I enjoyed every minute of this book. 🙂