A Road Unknown by Barbara Cameron
Abingdon Press, P. O. Box 801, Nashville, TN 37202
978-1426740596, $ 14.99, 2014, 294 Pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake
Caught at a Crossroads – Choices, Consequences, Conscience, and Self-Discovery
Award winning author Barbara Cameron introduces Elizabeth Bontrager in her book “A Road Unknown,” the first in the new “Amish Road” series of novels, based on the traditions of the Amish. Elizabeth is at a crossroad. The practices of her faith allow for a “rumschpringe” an opportunity to live outside of the protection of the community for a time before embracing the Amish way of life and joining the church.
Unsettled at home and responsible for the caring of her younger siblings, Elizabeth opts to join her friend Paula in Paradise, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth’s physical attractiveness, simple innocence, curious nature, polite manners, shyness, and spiritual inner beauty are quickly noticed by Paula’s friend Bruce, and by Saul Miller, the supervisor who helped her get a job at a store selling Amish products in the local community.
As the two young competitors vie for her attention Elizabeth is faced with uncertainty, and feelings of ambivalence; she realizes Bruce is looking for more than friendship while her feelings toward Saul are deepening. She is also experiencing an overwhelming sense of homesickness. She is again at a crossroads. She now has another choice to make; to pursue making a life for herself in Paradise with the possibility of romance or to return to the love and responsibility of the family and a commitment to the church.
Cameron brilliantly uses the dialog in the development a strong character driven plot. Her characters become three dimensional as they show growth in self-awareness, work through conflict resolution, and a commitment to deeply engrained spiritual convictions.
“A Road Unknown” is written for anyone who is working through the uncertainties of relationships, life’s circumstances, and the conflicts that arise while reexamining inner convictions and matters of faith, family, and destiny. Cameron’s writing is provocative, soul-searching, and inspirational without losing the heartwarming entertainment value of well written fiction.