Somewhere to Belong

Written by Judith Miller
Review by Cecelia Holland

In 1877 Berta Schumacher, a spoiled society girl from Chicago, comes with her parents to live in the Christian community of Amana, where her rebellion against the rules tests the patience and the faith of those around her. Her willful struggles expose other people’s secrets, long kept hidden, but in the end Berta has grown into a devout and compassionate woman.

Judith Miller—not to be confused with the controversial one-time New York Times reporter—writes in a placid style that never breaks out of a walk. Nonetheless the story of Berta, her influences and her eventual redemption, is expertly crafted and ultimately satisfying. Miller details life in the self-contained Amana colonies of Iowa very well, although at times I could understand why a spirited girl would kick up her heels; and it might have done to show life on the outside more realistically, as a contrast. Nevertheless, this novel, one of Miller’s Daughters of Amana series, will please fans of what’s now called “Bonnet Fiction” as well as a wider audience looking for an affirmative read.