Review: A Simple Change by Judith Miller

Jancey Rhoder’s life is turned upside down when her parents tell her that they are returning to the Amana Colonies in Iowa. With Jancey’s mother being ill, Jancey makes the decision to go with them. What lies ahead of her in the Amana Colonies? Will she miss the children of the orphanage that she works at in Kansas City so much that she will return? Does true love await her in the Amana Colonies or has she left her heart behind in Kansas City?

What I Liked

Jancey: Throughout the book, you watch Jancey go from a young woman who struggles to trust God and His timing to a young woman who learns to place her trust in Him and other people.

The Middle Amana Colony: While I know that I personally wouldn’t enjoy living a life like those of the citizens of Amana, I found Ms. Miller’s depiction of life in the Amana Colonies interesting. I found myself drawn to different aspects such as the way that they worked and lived closely together and how money was not used except by outsiders. The lifestyle is similar to many of the Amish and Mennonite communities that I have visited with the church owning the property and the strict rules about dress, etc., but one of the major differences that I saw between them was that anyone was welcome and that people were not shunned for not agreeing to live the way they chose to live.

Ritt: Ritt is a man who is strong in faith and walks closely with the Lord. He was raised in the Amana Colonies and knows that they are where he wants to stay. He is patient with Jancey and yet works to guard his heart as he waits for her to decide if life in Amana is truly what she wants.


What I Didn’t Like

There really wasn’t anything that I didn’t like about the book. If I had to pick something, I would say that Jancey’s relationship with her parents bothered me at different times throughout the book. Although they were close, it seemed at times as if they had difficulty communicating with each other. Her parents frequently questioned her about her decision to move, and she doesn’t always share with them what she should. At the same time though, this is what makes the characters relatable.



Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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