Belonging

Karen Ann Hopkins

belongingRose became Amish so she could be with Noah, but is this where she really belongs?
‘I left everything I knew behind. but it was worth it. He was worth it’.
No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren’t even allowed to see each other. Not until I’ve proven myself.
If I can find a way to make it work, we’ll be Rose & Noah, together forever.
But not everybody believes this is where I belong’.

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Temptation’(read my review here), Karen Ann Hopkin’s first book that introduces us to Rose and Noah and their blossoming young love with all it’s trials. In fact for Rose and Noah they have suffered and are suffering more trials than your average young couple as Rose is ‘English’ and Noah is Amish. Rose and Noah meet when Rose is new to the area, they fall quickly and hard for each other but face much opposition both from Rose’s protective family and Noah’s very traditional Amish community. At the end of Temptation we leave Rose and Noah in love and prepared to make whatever sacrifices are necessary in order to be together. And to make this a possibility, Rose decides to join the Amish community.

I was very pleased to receive an advanced reader copy of ‘Belonging’ and pretty much devoured the book over a couple of days. Without wanting to give too much from the first book away, Noah is recovering from an accident and Rose has made a commitment to be part of the Amish community, leaving her father and brothers and moving in with an Amish family in order to learn their ways and to show them how much she is prepared to work to prove her love and commitment to Noah.

Rose’s dad and brother, whilst not happy with her decision gave their blessing, secretly safe they believe, in the knowledge that Rose will get a shock and come to her senses and not last more than a couple of weeks. Rose meanwhile is on a steep learning curve having been told that she will not be allowed to court Noah until she has become a member of the Amish church and that this will not happen until she’s had ample opportunity and time to learn their ways and become more like them.

I really enjoyed learning more about the Amish in this book. With Rose living with them, this community is where the story is mostly set and we get to read about all their activities; their services, feasts and different occasions. All the while Rose is fighting against her natural and very ‘English’ ways and desires and trying to fit in with the Amish as best as she can.

Rose makes begins to make friends among the girls and she begins to realise that not all Amish girls are sweet and innocent… Also she still has to deal with Ella Weaver who wants shot of Rose as she is interested in Noah for herself.

Noah meanwhile, is watching Rose and worrying about how she is settling, behaving and stressing over who she is becoming friends with and what sort of influence they will be. He soon finds out when the boys meet up with the girls in the middle of the night in the woods after a sleepover sneak out. As secrets are shared Rose discovers that while the Amish may project a particular image of purity and high moral standards, in fact there is a lot more going on that she realised and that one of her friends in particular has suffered horribly within the community.

Rose is coping with an awful lot considering her still very young years and is finding the change in lifestyle tough, especially as she misses her father and brothers. However she perseveres and eventually is able to join the church and is allowed to officially court Noah. But that doesn’t mean their happy ending is in sight. There is a lot more to happen to Rose and Noah yet.

I just loved this second book. From a kidnap, and misunderstanding between Rose and Noah, new relationships and creepy dealings with creepy Levi Zook which actually put Rose’s life in danger, I don’t want to give too many spoilers away but there is a lot going on and I couldn’t put the book down.

verdict: I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next chapter in Rose and Noah’s story.

Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 416
Genre: Contemporary romance
Age: YA
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Received from author
Challenge: None
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