Raised in an Old Order Mennonite community, Rachel Stoltzfus is a strong-willed single woman, content living apart from mainstream society until whispers stir the moment her belly swells with new life. Refusing to repent and name the partner in her sin, Rachel feels the wrath of the religious sect as she is shunned by those she loves most. She is eventually coerced into leaving by her brother-in-law, the bishop.
But secrets run deep in this cloistered community, and the bishop is hiding some of his own, threatening his conscience and his very soul. When the life of Rachel’s baby is at stake, however, choices must be made that will bring the darkness to light, forever changing the lives of those who call Copper Creek home.
I received a complimentary copy of Jolina Petersheim's The Outcast through the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.
The fine print of this title states "A Modern Retelling of The Scarlet Letter," which I did not notice when I requested this book from Tyndale. I read The Scarlet Letter in high school, but it's been too many years to remember the details and notice the parallels between the two books other than the main storyline. It took me a couple of chapters to really get into the book, but once I did I found myself entranced with the complexities of the situations within the book. Each character has a heartbreaking history to overcome in order to feel they are worthy of continuing with their lives. Secrets that lay buried under layers of lies must come to light despite the risk of loosing everything and at the bottom of it all lies a baby's life that is in danger. I really enjoyed Petersheim's retelling of this story, and it almost makes me want to re-read The Scarlet Letter.