The poignant, yet uplifting tale of a na´ve
Amish woman's banishment from her community and her passage into the real
world. The story of her struggle to come to terms with life-altering
decisions. A novel about religious conflict and hard choices.
Heaven is rolling hills clothed in the
first flush of spring, bright summer skies, and black buggies silhouetted
against a winter moon. Heaven is the scent of sun-splashed laundry, lilac
bushes, and homemade apple butter. Heaven is the lowing of cows waiting to
be milked, sparrows chittering in a hayloft, and hooves clattering on hot,
shimmering asphalt. Heaven is the touch of a kitten's nose, the feel of
grass between the toes, and a mother's gentle hand.
But there is a dark side of Heaven, one that child prodigy, Anna
Hostetler, knows all to well. Born into a traditional Amish family in
Heaven, Pennsylvania, the girl begins to inadvertently buck tradition at
the tender age of six when she sketches an uncanny likeness of her mother
for a tourist. The Amish forbid representational art on the grounds it
could lead to idolatry, so Anna's mother is horrified.
The gift Anna possesses cannot be suppressed. The tourist who discovers
Anna's exceptional ability is Bridgett Monroe, a gallery owner from
Pittsburgh. She encourages Anna to draw, supplying her with the necessary
materials, and soon young Anna begins to defy her mother by secretly
sketching in the hayloft. By the time Anna turns eighteen she has
progressed to painting, and has sold a number of pieces through Bridgett's
Now that she has reached the age of baptism, Anna must choose between her
obedience to her church and self-fulfillment. It is a painful decision,
one shared by more than ten percent of the Amish community upon coming of
age. Anna chooses her God-given given talent and is subsequently
banned-shunned, as the Amish call it-until she repents of her sin.
Put on a bus to Pittsburgh by her bishop, Anna must make her way alone in
a world for which she is ill-prepared. She soon learns that not everyone
can be trusted, and in fact, there are those who are more than happy to
take advantage of a na´ve country girl. But there is a bright side to
Pittsburgh as well, and Anna discovers that love can come from unexpected
places, and that staying the course is ultimately the only way to win.
Read the first chapter