2017 Christy Award finalist (Visionary category)
When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it’s a foreshadowing of things to come. When the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instruments were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won’t start.
Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.
In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring them to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far they’re willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.
In Petersheim's dystopian religious tale, set in the near-future U.S., two very different people an Old Order Mennonite and a hardened military pilot are unexpectedly brought together. When Moses Hughes's plane crashes in Leora Ebersole's field in Mt. Hebron, Mont., her pacifist Mennonite community takes the injured pilot in, showing their usual hospitality as stories of widespread power outages trickle in from the neighboring Englischers. Moses's theory about the reason for the outages leads to an uneasy alliance between the Mennonites and the Englischers stranded by the power outages in their area. Leora, forced to lead her family after her father's desertion two years before, holds tightly to her faith and traditions. But the deteriorating culture around them brings danger to their doorstep, and Leora must wrestle with long-held convictions and fears. She and Moses walk an emotional tightrope as they develop romantic feelings for each other. This unusual dystopian work mixes hope and faith with fear and cynicism as Leora must determine whether her pacifism is merely adherence to her community's collective belief or a personal, faith-based conviction as well. How valid is violence in defense of loved ones? Will her community stay true to their convictions and faith? Petersheim (The Outcast) focuses less on the outcome of the destroyed society and more on the internal conflict within the characters in this astute meditation on the intersection between belief systems and the politics of aggression.
I am disappointed that this is part 1 of a 2 part series. Would have appreciated knowing that from the beginning.
Could not put "The Alliance" down
I have read other fiction about an EMP, up they were more about the event. I quickly realized this book was more about our faith and if we are who we 'say' we are. I identified with Leora and her need to control things. Highly recommend this read!!!