TITLE: The Sound of Distant Thunder
AUTHOR: Jan Drexler
PUBLISHING: Fleming H. Revell Company
RELEASE DATE: September 18th 2018
GENRE(S): Amish, Historical Fiction, Romance, War
STAR RATING: 3 ***
“MOVIE” RATING: G
Jan’s writing about the land in Ohio is like eating cake. It was so rich and full of details of the land, how the Amish live and live their lives separate from the world, and really gave true perspective on how one would choose between their religious beliefs and principles to what is instinctively right.
For historical reference, this novel takes place in the Civil War time period between 1862 and 1863. Jonas is torn between his faith – which refuses to remain united within the faith and amongst different congregations – and his desire to be a part of a war in order to free the slaves in the South. This was another cake moment for me as I read the conflict within Jonas. He wanted to do the right thing and free slaves, though his faith is against violence and support of violence. It was wonderful in Drexler’s writing how she was able to set Jonas in this division of himself and watch him grow in this conflict and in himself. It was also interesting to continue reading on and finding out just where Jonas fit in with all this conflict. Truly great cake that I loved eating up.
The other main character is Katie. For myself, the story is more about Jonas and his character growth throughout this book instead of Katie. She really seemed to me such a boring character. She doesn’t seem to grow or change regardless of the challenges she faces. She’s very much a stagnant character. All Katie seems to do is think about the future and Jonas which is what a lot of young women do at that age but it would have been interesting to see some dimension inside her, to see her find her own calling in life or do something worthwhile in the book.
I don’t mind when a book has different povs, in fact, I love being able to see other’s opinions in a more intimate why rather than by one character. However, this was too much for me. Each chapter would start off with a different pov. And there would be at least 3 or 4 breaks within the chapter, each with different povs as well. I didn’t know the characters well enough until maybe halfway through the book so I had to constantly flip back to see who I was reading about. Perhaps if the chapters and/or breaks were labelled with the person’s pov, it might have been easy to follow. I was just confused a lot of the time when I’d get to the end of one break and the beginning of another.
I really do hope that Jan’s next books cover these characters or the same family because I’d love to see how they continue on. I’d definitely continue with the series if so!
There also is a mild trigger for sexual assault in this book that comes up quite randomly and not appropriately added to enhance the story. As a reader, I wasn’t attached to Katie and she seemed pathetic in relating this odd experience to Jonas’ mother. Please note, I do not take mean to discount victims or instances of sexual assault, I just didn’t see why it was needed in the plot as it didn’t feel genuine.
ABOUT Jan Drexler:
Jan Drexler brings a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs to her writing. Her ancestors were among the first Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. Jan lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband of thirty-five years, where she enjoys hiking in the Hills and spending time with their expanding family.
Connect with Jan! https://www.jandrexler.com/