THEE I LOVE
Four years after leaving the Amish community to become English, Jacob Saunder has brought his two motherless children home to be raised in the strict but loving community. Upon his return, Jacob learns that his seemingly pious brother Simon has been abusing his wife Rachel. He steps in and dares to shake up the tight-knit religious community.
When Jacob sees Rachel again, he knows that their love has not diminished. Childless, Rachel treats his children as her own, while silently braving the abuse of a husband who blames her for being barren. Jacob, with his knowledge of the outside world, has no tolerance for what the community thinks is not his business.
When he learns that Rachel was coerced into believing Jacob did not love her, he confronts his brother. Although the devious Simon seems to have begun to mend his ways, accidents keep occurring. And when Rachel begins to gain strength from Jacobs support, the danger grows closer.
Ms. Blair cleverly takes the reader inside a community typically painted as peace-loving and contented and breaks open that myth with strong characters and believable human failings. Rachel does not react passively, but strives to become self-sufficient and strong. THEE I LOVE is certainly an enlightening reading experience. SWEET (Oct., 348 pp., $5.99)