Book Review: The Stranger by Linda Maran
by Linda Maran
White Rose Publishing
After Kristen Esh’s mother dies in an accident, seventeen-year-old Kristen, on direction of her mother’s arrangements, must leave her home on the Jersey shore and go live with her mother’s Amish family. A family that her mother left years earlier and whom Kristen didn’t know existed until now. Kristen arrives in Stone Arabia in upper New York, a remote place where she soon finds the Amish there have no electricity, no indoor toilets, no cell phone privileges, and she must wear Amish clothing.
Kristen plans to stay until her boyfriend, Derick, can come and snatch her away from all this. That is, until she finds out that Derick back in Jersey is dating her best friend. Kristen feels rejected and all alone in a strange new world. Now, she must live with her Aunt Elizabeth and her husband and his son, John, from his first marriage. John reads Kristen’s plight on her sad face and helps her adjust. John is courting Sadie but shows Kristen around to get her acquainted with the area. As time goes on, John finds himself thinking less about Sadie and more about Kristen and he begins to wonder if he's courting the right girl.
Kristen finds a certain attraction to John, but she still plans to return to the Jersey Shore when she turns eighteen and her mother’s estate is settled. Until then, she must adjust and settle in. But a car keeps driving by the farm and someone keeps leaving notes in the mailbox that say the outsider needs to return to where she has come from. But why? Again, Kristen feels rejected. She never knew her father, only his rejection. All this weighs heavy on Kristen.
MY THOUGHTS: The Stranger is a lovely, heartwarming story about a girl who must live in a strange place with people she has never met before, but Kristen soon discovers that she is on a journey to find out about the mystery with her parents and to uncover the stranger within her.
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