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Tricia Goyer
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Still Life in Shadows - Alice Wisler;Alice J. Wisler I've read Amish fiction by several authors and while it's well-written, I don't find I enjoy it. The heroines are generally immature, and it feels to me as though the novels romanticise the lifestyle, in the same way as Pretty Woman romanticised prostitution. I'm wary of any religious community that values conformity to the rule of an individual over belief in and obedience to God. Still Life in Shadows isn't the typical Amish story. Gideon Miller ran away from his Amish family at the age of fifteen, and now runs a motor garage. Gideon was brought up to believe only the Amish are true Christians, and believes that by leaving the Amish faith he has forfeited his opportunity for salvation. But that doesn't stop him helping Amish teens who seek to do something more with their lives than farming and manual labour. He's known as the Getaway Saviour.Kiki is a teenage girl with autism, and finds life in mainstream school difficult. But she's great with bicycles, and circumstances conspire to get her a job working for Gideon in his garage. The two form a strange relationship, especially when Gideon's younger brother arrives in town.The novel is written in the third person from the viewpoints of Kiki and Gideon, and my one complaint is that they sound too similar - or perhaps that's meant to show us they are both damaged individuals (or to remind us that the Amish are only educated to age twelve).This novel really made me think. If the Amish really believe they are the only way to God, why do they stay in their insular communities rather than seeking to share their faith with others?