Eyes at the Window
Set on the Pennsylvania-Ohio frontiers and spanning 1810-1861 within the Amish world, the story’s igniting event is the killing of a baby. It remains unsolved for fifty years. The event’s impact on the communities is told from eight viewpoints down through the years. The judgment of the sect falls hard upon the life of the baby’s uncle, a natural healer already despised by a brother now torn with grief and responsibility.
Through diverse viewpoints, the worlds of both settled and frontier communities are an almost unrelenting plod of death, righteousness, misunderstanding and suspicion, sprinkled with smatterings of hope and second chances. Women watch for the vein to get fat under their men’s beards as a signal to stop even questioning patriarchal decisions. The America outside rarely intrudes, even as pewter and wood bowls give way to clay, then to glass dishes. Well researched and told, although sagging middle problems might have been helped by additional editing.