Saturday, May 12, 2012
A World Away
Author: Nancy Grossman
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release Date: July 17, 2012
A summer of firsts
Sixteen-year-old Eliza Miller has never made a phone call, never tried on a pair of jeans, never sat in a darkened theater waiting for a movie to start. She's never even talked to someone her age who isn't Amish, like her.
A summer of good-byes
When she leaves her close-knit family to spend the summer as a nanny in suburban Chicago, a part of her can't wait to leave behind everything she knows. She can't imagine the secrets she will uncover, the friends she will make, the surprises and temptations of a way of life so different from her own.
A summer of impossible choice
Every minute Eliza spends with her new friend Josh feels as good as listening to music for the first time, and she wonders whether there might be a place for her in his world. But as summer wanes, she misses the people she has left behind, and the plain life she once took for granted. Eliza will have to decide for herself where she belongs. Whichever choice she makes, she knows she will lose someone she loves.
A World Away is unlike any other novel I've read because it introduced me to a culture I didn't know existed. Before I got this book, I had heard the word "Amish" floating around, but never really knew what it meant, and definitely didn't know that it described an entire culture. Now that I have read this eye-opening novel about an Amish girl learning what life is like as an "English" girl (The Amish refer to people who live a modern lifestyle and aren't Amish as English), I seem to stumble across information and and references of the Amish lifestyle, everywhere.
A World Away inspired me to watch the National Geographic series Amish: Out Of Order. After finishing A World Away, and watching bits and pieces of this National Geographic series, I am surprised that there aren't that many YA books about the Amish, because the Amish culture is so different than the modern-day "English" way of living.
When the main character in this novel , Eliza, decides to temporarily move in with an "English" family (a modern-lifestyle family that isn't Amish) she is introduced to an extraordinary amount of technology. In the scenes where Eliza is learning about using basic technology, like a lamp (powered by electricity--Amish don't use electricity), I realized how many little things I am so incredibly accustomed to in my life. Things like: Electricity (VERY basic), all the way to google and the internet.
This novel had a great pace. Slowly, but surely Eliza started to learn more about the "English" world, and it's way. Nancy Grossman did a great job of gradually showing how Eliza changed as her experience in the "English" world progressed, instead of dumping everything that was new to Eliza on her at once. Nancy Grossman also did a beautiful job of showing the benefits of life as an Amish person, and as an English person, when (being an "English" person) it is easier to lean towards thinking the "English" way of living has all the benefits.
A World Away is authentic, inspiring, and will intrigue you from page one until the end. This novel is an incredible debut by Nancy Grossman, and I recommend it to anyone searching for a compelling read!
at 5:59 PM