“Would I defend my siblings and my grandmother, regardless of whether that required me to go against everything I’ve been taught to be right?” —Leora Ebersole
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A jaw-dropping scene welcomes readers who have waited an entire year for Leora’s decision. As you may remember, The Alliance ended with Petersheim pressing an imaginary pause button—effectively creating a cliffhanger to top all cliffhangers. The Divide opens in that September moment, and quickly fast forwards six months. Having established a new settlement in the mountains, the Mennonite community is buckling under the merciless weight of Montana’s winter. Amidst food shortages and illness, hope is waning.
Whereas the first book was an emergency response to the electromagnetic pulse (EMP), the second book details society’s steps towards recovery. For everyone involved, the desire to return to a state of normalcy is paramount. At the same time, a war between self-preservation and faith is being waged in their hearts. It’s against this tumultuous backdrop that Leora’s lopsided love triangle persists.
The depth Petersheim has given these characters over the course of her duology is remarkable. In addition to developing Moses, Leora, and Jabil, she doesn’t neglect those in lesser roles. This is particularly true with Seth and Sal, who desperately long for acceptance, as well as Josh–whose fatherlike devotion to Moses has a major impact on the outcome of the story. The Divide is just as unpredictable as it’s predecessor, but delivers with satisfaction the answer we’ve longed to know—who does she choose?
I received a copy of this book for free, a favorable review was not required of me. All opinions expressed are my own.