Friday, December 5, 2014

Review: A World Away by Nancy Grossman

A World Away by Nancy Grossman
Published: July 17, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
A summer of firsts

Sixteen-year-old Eliza Miller has never made a phone call, never tried on a pair of jeans, never sat in a darkened theater waiting for a movie to start. She’s never even talked to someone her age who isn’t Amish, like her.

A summer of good-byes

When she leaves her close-knit family to spend the summer as a nanny in suburban Chicago, a part of her can’t wait to leave behind everything she knows. She can’t imagine the secrets she will uncover, the friends she will make, the surprises and temptations of a way of life so different from her own.

A summer of impossible choice

Every minute Eliza spends with her new friend Josh feels as good as listening to music for the first time, and she wonders whether there might be a place for her in his world. But as summer wanes, she misses the people she has left behind, and the plain life she once took for granted. Eliza will have to decide for herself where she belongs. Whichever choice she makes, she knows she will lose someone she loves.
My Thoughts
Unique... Captivating... Engaging... 

Now that I was beginning to understand how to create the magic of this place, I wondered if I’d ever be able to get along without it.

Eliza Miller lives a completely different lifestyle than the normal sixteen year olds of today. In her world, there are no phones, computers, electronics of any sort, washing machines or modern day transportation. The people in her community come from what they refer to as the “Plain World” where their Amish beliefs mold the way they live and think. When Eliza decides to leave her family for her rumspringa, which is a time when Amish teenagers experience the “Fancy Word” for a period of time, Eliza can’t pack her new clothes fast enough.

Taking on a position as a nanny of two small children, Eliza begins to experience the excitement and wonders of this foreign world. She attends movies, concerts and even has the opportunity to date a “Yankee” who takes her to a homecoming and shares his love of music with her. In this new world, she also meets Beth, an aunt she never knew she had because she was shunned for choosing the modern world. During this time of discovery, Eliza not only falls in love with so many aspects of this new life, but also misses the close-knit community she left behind.

There wasn’t a trace of the girl who, only a week ago, had never gone out of the house without a bonnet, who had never stepped into a pair of trousers, who had never fastened an article of clothing with a button. The girl who stared back at me from the mirror was anything but plain.

As she struggles to decide whether to stay or head back home, she know the possibility of either life has its benefits and downfalls.

Overall, I loved the narrative of this story. Eliza’s journey and experiences were not only captivating, but exciting as I got to see through a fresh set of eye the wonders that we take for granted every day. I enjoyed how Eliza appreciated the comforts and luxuries of our modern society, but I also marveled at the type of community the Amish have built for themselves.

A World Away was unique, extremely well written and engaging as it offered me an opportunity to read about the Amish, which was a first for me. Truly an enjoyable experience!
5 Snowflakes


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