CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 15 . . . .April 1, 2005
In the sequel to When Lightning Strikes, six years have passed since the Hutterites arrived in South Dakota, and we find Hannah in search of her old friend Paul. Paul has abandoned the colony that took him in when he was orphaned as a young boy, and he is looking to finally start a life of his own. When Paul's Aunt Sannah is dying, her last wish is for Hannah to find Paul and bring him home, back to the colony and back to the only life he has known. Sannah provides Hannah with the money and the motivation to go off in search of her friend and true love.
Hannah's journey is recorded throughout the book from her sneaking off her colony grounds to her boarding a steamship. Adventures ensue, adventures that include her younger brother Checkela acting as her unwanted protector. Together, they take on rowdy tavern patrons and wild ship workers called "roosters." When they finally stumble upon a clue as to where they can find Paul, they are faced with some hard truths about the outside world. Bringing Paul back to the colony proves to be a challenging adventure.
This sequel was not what one would expect after reading When Lightning Strikes. You would assume the second book would be about Paul's adventures and travels aboard a steamship and how he managed to fit into the outside world. This book actually tells us the story from the point of view of Hannah this time, and how she felt about Paul's leaving the colony and her anxiousness to find him again after so many years. We see the world through the eyes of a young woman who is facing challenges and finding her own way in the "real" world. I will repeat what I said about the first book, When the River Calls; I would recommend this book to the grade 5 and up audience as the content may be hard for younger children to understand in certain areas. There is a definite line of religion running throughout the story. This is historical fiction with a touch of romance.
Shelly Tyler is a Reference Librarian for the Manitoba Department of Education Library in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.