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When I started reading The Covenant, I was immediately drawn into the Amish county of Gobbler's Knobb, and the people that lived within. The story of 16 year old Leah and her family was very interesting and even more thought provoking. Leah enters her courting age and quickly falls in love with her childhood sweet heart while Sadie enters the normal world, enjoying her rumpringe perhaps a little too much. Disaster befalls both the sister's when Leah's father secretly sends her lover away in hopes that the man he wants her to marry will have his chance, and Sadie roots herself deeper and deeper into sin until she commits the worst of sins and loses her virginity. It was heartbreaking to watch both the sister's going through such hard circumstances, though Leah was much easier to pity. She had to bear her sister's sin and keep it a secret, lest her sister exposes who she loves and ruin her dreams in life, or even worst; be shunned for her immoral act. Sadie doesn't help Leah's situation at all and is being defiant and difficult. As the story continues, you learn just how much love a sister can have, and how much that love can cost.
The Covenant was a pleasure to read and I enjoyed every moment of it. I was continually wishing that I had the quick forgiveness that Leah did. She loved her sister so much, and though she was scared and hurt that she was losing her best friend she still showed kindness and attempted to put her sister back on the right path. Leah had such genuine love for her family; it set a great example for how we should love ours. I encourage you to enter Leah's story and learn for yourself the power of family, and the miracle of hope.
BOOK DISCUSSION:So, here are the questions, and I'll answer them below with my own thoughts. If you're wondering about the rules to these book discussion, there are just two, if you would be so kind as to follow them!
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1) In the story, Leah had feelings for Jonas, someone other than the man that her father would like her to marry. The struggle between choosing the one she loves and loves her and honoring her father and his wishes is fierce. Both of the men are godly; one just happens to be the one she loves and the other the one her father wishes she loved.
How do you think you would respond to having to choose between doing what your father wants and following your heart?
Knowing me, I would attempt to have a serious conversation with my father, explaining how I loved someone other than the man he wished me to. I have a feeling that, from what I could tell of Abram's character throughout the books, if Leah had made such a proclamation more than once her father would have relented, or at least thought about how he would act more. But, because of the secrecy of the courtship in the Amish community, it may be harder than it seems because you can't say who it is you love.
As long as my father did not have a set rule that I was to marry someone, I would most assuredly follow my heart.
2) Throughout the book, Leah is able to do nothing but to simply watch as her sister sins without repentance repeatedly. She is forced to keep silent under the threat of exposing her loved one, but when Sadie informs her that she is expecting a child in result of an immoral sin, Leah can barely keep silent. It comes to the point where Leah is falling apart because of the many dreadful secrets she hides within her, and none of them are hers to bare.
If you were Leah, who has grown up in a tight-knit community her whole life, where there is a definite line that one dared not cross lest you be shunned from your church and family, what do you think your first reaction would be upon hearing and witnessing your sister step far over that line? How would you handle the news that your elder sister who has been your closest friend and companion your whole life was pregnant before marriage, and not only that, but refusing to repent of her sins? And how would you show her love after realizing that this shame will infect her whole family if exposed and possibly ruin your chance at happiness with the man you love?
Oh my, well this is a hard one since I have no sister. But, I will take one of my closest friends(practically sisters) and try to imagine it as them.
Honestly, my heart would be so broken that I doubt I could keep the secret from exposing itself on my face. It would be such a burden to carry around, and trying to keep her sister's trust and her beau while doing what's right in God's eyes would be terribly trying. If I felt even the tiniest tinge of guilt for keeping the secret a secret, it would be nearly impossible, as I do not do well with the feeling of guilt. As for showing her love, I was befuddled at the way Leah still cared so deeply for her sister and rarely lost her temper with her. regardless of her sinful ways.
3) Ida Ebersol, the girls' mother, notices that something is terribly wrong with her eldest daughter when she becomes snappy and unapproachable, but fears that if she asks her daughter will only shove her away...or perhaps even worse, tell her the truth.
If you had to sit and watch your daughter or other close relative seem so miserable and out of character, would you immediately approach them, or wait for them to come to you? Regardless of what one might do, what do you suppose is the right thing to do?
Never having been in a situation like this, it is hard to answer this question. I assume I would attempt to confront the girl and then get upset when she refused to answer my questions. What is the right thing to do? I'd say to ask her, and then if she didn't answer you treat her with kindness and love, and let her come to you when she's ready. Pressuring very rarely gets you closer to the answer, and all to often pushes your further from the person.
Make sure to return Wednesday for the second set of questions!