Good Day! Jan Drexler is the author of Journey to Pleasant Prairie series, The Amish Nanny's Sweetheart, A Mother for His Children and An Amish Courtship.
The Sound of Distant Thunder by Jan Drexler is the first story in The Amish of Weaver’s Creek series. Katie Stuckey is seventeen years old in 1862 and lives with her family on their farm near Millersburg, Ohio. She is ready to marry Jonas Weaver, but her father wants her to wait until she is eighteen. Jonas begins work on their home in his spare time. The Civil War is raging on and Jonas is against slavery. He knows the stance of the church on fighting, but Jonas has yet to be baptized. Conscription is enacted and the names for their county are drawn. Jonas is spared, but his married brother, Samuel is on the list. Samuel has a choice of paying the $200 fee or get a substitute. Samuel does not wish to pay the fee because the funds would go to the war effort nor is he comfortable with having someone go in his place. Jonas takes matters into his own hands and goes in Samuel’s place. He leaves a letter for his family, Katie and his friend, Levi. He asks Levi to keep an eye on Katie for him while he is away. Can Jonas and Katie’s love survive the choice he made and the separation? Join them on their journey in The Sound of Distant Thunder.
The Sound of Distant Thunder takes us back to April of 1862 to an Amish settlement in Ohio. I felt the author captured the time period with the viewpoints of the characters and the description of their everyday lives as well as their homes, clothing, literature, conveyances, and methods of construction. It must have been a difficult time to be a pacifist with the Civil War going on around them. Conscription had them battling their conscience versus their church teachings. Jan Drexler did a wonderful job at capturing the differing thoughts and the inner conflict. I thought The Sound of Distant Thunder was a slow paced story (it plodded along like an old horse). The first half of the book is Jonas and others rehashing the same issues regarding war over and over. Jonas debating if he will stay at home or go off to fight. The pace improves slightly after Jonas goes off to war. Christian views are prevalent throughout the book. Prayer, faith and turning our worries over to God are some of the themes. We get to see how the various Amish settlements had differences and their attempts to find common ground. The Amish in the story are portrayed as hardworking and caring individuals. I did not feel like I was reading the first book in the series. The backstory on the main characters was lacking. I was confused by Katie and her fear. She has a fear that men who are attracted to her will die. It is not fully explained until late in the book. It seemed unreasonable because she was not afraid Jonas would die if they married. Wouldn’t she be afraid to marry the man she loves? The ending was abrupt and felt incomplete. I was left with several unanswered questions. The romance between Katie and Jonas is sweet and heartwarming in the midst of such brutality. I am giving The Sound of Distant Thunder 3 out of 5 stars.
Thank you for reading my thoughts on The Sound of Distant Thunder. I hope you have a joyful day. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader