Bethany reviews ‘A Forbidden Rumspringa’ by Keira Andrews. Published by KA Books September 3, 2014, 224 pgs.
Why I read this book: This week is LGBTQAI week, and I picked Q because I thought it would be easy. Oh how I was wrong, but I get into that in my review.
NOTE: We were provided a copy in exchange for an honest review.
In a world where every detail of life—down to the width of a hat brim—is dictated by God and the all-powerful rules of the community, two men dare to imagine a different way. At 18, Isaac Byler knows little outside the strict Amish settlement of Zebulon, Minnesota, where there is no rumspringa for exploration beyond the boundaries of their insular world. Isaac knows he’ll have to officially join the church and find a wife before too long, but he yearns for something else—something he can’t name.
Dark tragedy has left carpenter David Lantz alone to support his mother and sisters, and he can’t put off joining the church any longer. But when he takes on Isaac as an apprentice, their attraction grows amid the sweat and sawdust. David shares his sinful secrets, and he and Isaac struggle to reconcile their shocking desires with their commitment to faith, family and community.
Now that they’ve found each other, are they willing to lose it all?
Note: Contains explicit sexual situations and graphic language. This is not an inspirational/Christian romance.
OK so when I said I would take the Q in the LGBTQAI I thought it would be easy, I mean it could mean queer (not a fan of this word, I’ll explain more later) or questioning. My first thought was “perfect, I can totally find a book where one or both of the mcs is questioning his sexuality” right? But then I starting looking online about the Q standing for queer and questioning and here is what I found, or at least the meaning that was easiest for me to understand:
Queer: 1) An umbrella term sometimes used by LGBTQA people to refer to the entire LGBT community. 2) An alternative that some people use to “queer” the idea of the labels and categories such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, etc. Similar to the concept of genderqueer. It is important to note that the word queer is an in-group term, and a word that can be considered offensive to some people, depending on their generation, geographic location, and relationship with the word.
Questioning: For some, the process of exploring and discovering one’s own sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Found here: LGBTQAI
And it made me think, will I be able to do this letter justice? It seems so broad and means something different to many different people. When I found this book in our vault it seemed like the perfect questioning book, so I decided to go in that direction because I am not a fan of the word queer. To me the words queer and fag are derogatory terms in my book. These are words that meant to hurt, meant to be cruel to the LGBT community. So I felt it was best I focused on questioning. But again I asked myself could I possibly do justice to this review, because really? A gay AMISH love story…..lets let that sink in for a bit. Gay AMISH. I don’t know if my review will live up to this brilliant book but I am going to do my best.
I have seen this book for a while now, but put it off because I just couldn’t wrap my head around a love story about 2 Amish men. I just didn’t see how it would work, but I got a slight push from friends saying it was amazing and as soon as I finished book one I would be reaching for book two right away. And you know what? They were so very right, I finished late last night and immediately bought book two.
I will admit I had a hard time getting into it, but that was just because my mind wouldn’t let go of the concept. Then…..I let it go……and magic happened as I read, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I hurt so much for Issac and David, I just can’t wrap my mind around a religion that is strict, so ingrained in what they believe, that they can make them feel like those feelings will send them straight to hell. The research the author must have done to make this book so authentic must have been extensive. Because let me tell you that I feel like I was right there with them, at the beginning of their relationship feeling like it was so very wrong. And it made me hurt, as a christian and as a mother.
I am christian and my church tells me that God made everyone and he doesn’t make mistakes so at times the Amish faith made me want to yell and rant and shake someone. But I had to remind myself that just like my church tells me its ok, the Amish faith truly believes such things are wrong. Let me tell you reading this was somewhat of a culture shock for me. Very eye opening to say the least.
Now as a mother. I just don’t think I can articulate how I feel. You have kids and you love them. Unconditionally. Period, end of story, do not pass go. So the fear of what their parents and family would say if they ever found out left me shaking angrily. And sad, because I knew what would happen if they ever found out, what would happen if they turned their backs on the church.
But get past that to just Issac and David, no church, no family, well it was the epitome of beautiful. Their love was unconditional, perfection. I can’t tell you the last time two characters grabbed me the way these two did. There was no push pull, wondering if one is putting in more than the other. No these two were so in sync with each other, I couldn’t help but swoon a little. Their chemistry when the were together was through the roof hot, scorching.
Their journey was not an easy one, nor is it over. The end will leave you screaming for more. You will finish this one and immediately get book two and book three. You won’t be able to get anything done around the house because you will not be able to put this one down. I am so glad I took a chance on this book, its been a while since I have read a solid 10, but this is definitely that, a solid 10. One that I HIGHLY recommend you read if you haven’t yet. Beautiful.
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and–although she loves delicious angst along the way–Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.” Find out more about Keira and her books at http://www.keiraandrews.com.