The Roll of the Drums {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own.




Ruby Weaver's curly red hair isn't the only thing that sets her apart from her Amish community in 1863. Twenty-eight and single, Ruby doesn't believe a woman needs to be married in order to be happy. Her ailing friend Lovinia Fischer, however, has other ideas and wants Ruby to promise to marry her husband after she dies. Never imagining she'd have to fulfill that vow, Ruby agrees. And she's not the only one. Lovinia has extracted a similar promise from her husband, Gideon.

With both Ruby and Gideon reluctant to keep their promises, a compromise must be reached. Ruby will spend her days with Gideon's family--helping to raise the children and keep the house--but her nights will be spent at her sister's neighboring house. But this arrangement raises eyebrows in their conservative Amish community, and it soon becomes clear that Ruby must make a decision--marry Gideon or turn her back on her friend, the children she's grown to love . . . and their father.


Jan Drexler brings a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs to her writing. Her ancestors were among the first Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. Jan lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband, where she enjoys hiking and spending time with her expanding family. She is the author The Sound of Distant ThunderHannah's ChoiceMattie's Pledge (a 2017 Holt Medallion finalist), and Naomi's Hope, as well as several Love Inspired historical novels.


I must admit when it comes to the Civil War, my knowledge is fairly limited. I have a pretty good understanding of the aspects that are written about in the history books, of course, but I've not really given much thought to how the war impacted the life of the typical American-- the lives of the soldiers fighting, sure... but not about the innocent families near the fighting. Certainly it did not occur to me to think about how it could even touch the Amish families in those areas. This book really was quite eye opening in that way, and truly had me wanting to read more from the perspective of other families too. I believe this book is going to appeal very much not just to those who enjoy Amish fiction, but those who enjoy history as well. Don't worry though, if you're not a history buff it still has a great story to hold your attention-- it did for me anyway.

To be honest, I was both intrigued and apprehensive about this book before I started reading. Though it sounded interesting, I'm always a little iffy about stories in which a widower falls in love with someone new. I always worry that it will feel too rushed, in the way the romance novels tend to have the characters fall in love rather quickly. I loved the way this book handled that situation though. It felt like both characters were being very mindful of that previous relationship and not taking away from that. It was a sweet romance, and one that I genuinely enjoyed seeing progress slowly but surely.

Overall, this was a really interesting book that I believe fans of Amish fiction are really going to enjoy! I know I did!



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