A Bond Never Broken
When the US enters the Great War in 1917, anti-German sentiment runs high. The Amana colonies in Iowa, with their set-apart nature, antiwar religious stance, and German background fall under particular suspicion. Although they left the colonies to enter the “world” and start their own bakery nearby, Jutta Schmitt and her family are not spared. Men from the Iowa Council of National Defense threaten them with jail and worse if Jutta does not agree to go back to the colonies and to spy out un-American activities. She finds work and then friendship among the family of Ilsa Redlich, who run the colonies’ hotel. Will she betray her new family to save that of her origins?
“Bonnet books” branch out into places other than Pennsylvania, to serious topics such as prejudice and the conflict conservative religion should have with patriotism. In none of this is the necessary attraction of the faithful for retreat, the safety of the like-minded and pious elders to obey without question disturbed. This book presents, therefore, a good retreat for the like-minded trapped in modernity, a tale cushioned by the safety of belief in an undisturbing style.