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November 29, 2013

THE WANDERERS by Paul Stutzman



The Wanderers banner 7
The Wanderers 7
Book One
Paul Stutzman

An Amish Love Story About Hope and Finding Home

Title: The Wanderers
Author: Paul Stutzman
Genre: Amish Fiction
Publisher: Carlisle Printing
Pages: 374
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984644911
ISBN-13: 978-0984644919
Photo: Monarch butterfly on a flower

OVERVIEW: (from Amazon)
Everything in God’s nature, Johnny observed, did what it was created to do. Everything, that is, except the human race. Johnny was born into an Amish family, into a long line of farmers and good businessmen. He is expected to follow the traditions of family and church as he grows to adulthood. But even as a boy, he questions whether he can be satisfied with this lifestyle. He wants “more” — more education, more travel, more opportunity.
His restlessness leads him down a dangerous road where too much partying and drinking result in heartbreaking consequences. He’s adrift, and no one seems to be able to help him find his direction.
Then he meets spunky Annie, who seems pure and lovely and devoted to her God. Her past, though, holds sin and heartbreak. She was a worm, she explains, but God has transformed her into a butterfly. Johnny falls hopelessly in love; and eventually he, too, finds the power of God to transform lives.
Settling down on the family farm, he forgets about the questions and the restlessness, thinking that he is happy and at home, at last.
But in a few short hours, tragedy changes his life forever, and he is again wondering… and wandering on a very long journey.
Entwined with Johnny and Annie’s story is the allegory of two Monarch butterflies, worms who have been transformed into amazing creatures specially chosen to carry out the miracle of the fourth generation. They, too, must undertake a long journey before they finally find home.

Johnny, an unsettled Amish youth, who like others wonders if he is truly Amish. He wonders abut the Amish way of living and their customs. He knows from being born into an Amish family that he is expected to keep to the family and church traditions. Johnny's family has a long past of farmers and successful business men. He has always wondered if he was meant for this Amish way of living.  He was unsettled and felt unfulfilled. He is expected to follow in his family's traditions.  He wants and needs something else other than the Amish way.  He has dreams of journeys that the Amish don't agree with.  He wants more schooling, seeing things outside of his Amish community and he wants to be able to decide what is best for him.  He wants MORE! The path he has chosen is leading him down the dark side of life.  He finally decides to accept the Amish lifestyle and he settles down on the farm.  He meets and immediately falls in love.  Annie was a special girl.She has a background of sin, but she seems so devoted to God and innocent.  She tells Johnny that God had transformed her into a beautiful butterfly from the worm she had been. Johnny falls and falls hard for Annie.  But his life drastically changes in just a matter of hours.  His life is changed by tragedy and this time it is forever.  He once again has doubts and his has set out on a journey that may give him the answers he needs, or may not. Johnny met Leroy L. Jackson,Jr. and Leroy knew right off that Johnny wasn't Amish and he was running.  It was quite obvious but Johnny wouldn't admit it.  He was running, he just didn't know if he was running to or from home.  Wandering Willy tells Johnny that he has to quit fighting what is to be. If he doesn't, he could die.  Johnny doesn't know any other way than fighting for what he believes he wants. Wandering Willie tells him to just wait.  What is to be, will be.  As Johnny continues on his journey two Monarch butterflies start their own journey.  These two butterflies were born on the same farm as Johnny.  Their journeys become one.  The three of them, Johnny, Sabio and Mariposa realize that they never thought home could be so important. The author wrote a beautiful story of learning what is important and what isn't.  Do we go through life being a worm, no where to call home.?  Or do we allow the transformation of acceptance and sorting out what is important or not? We have a choice.  A worm or a butterfly? The author wrote a lovely book that may make you sit back and think.  The book was an inspirational read.  Easy to read, paced just right and heartwarming.  We all have a butterfly in us, just waiting to rid ourselves of the worm.

I would give this book 4 STARS.

I was given a complimentary copy of THE WANDERERS by Paul Stutzman from Pump Up Your Book for my unbiased opinion.

Paul Stutzman
Paul Stutzman was born in Holmes County, Ohio in an Amish family. His family left the Amish lifestyle soon after Paul was born. They joined a strict Conservative Mennonite Church where Paul was raised to fear God and obey all the rules the church demanded. Paul continued to live among and mingle with his Amish friends and relatives his entire life. Paul married a Mennonite girl and remained in the Amish community working and raising a family. After Paul lost his wife to cancer, he sensed a tug on his heart- the call to a challenge, the call to pursue a dream. With a mixture of dread and determination, Paul left his job, traveled to Georgia, and took his first steps on the 2,176 mile Appalachian Trail. What he learned during the next four and a half months changed his life-and can change yours too. After completing his trek Stutzman wrote Hiking Through—a book about this life changing journey.
In the summer of 2010 Stutzman again heeded the call for adventure and pedaled his bicycle 5,000 miles across America. He began his ride at the Northwest corner of Washington State and pedaled to Key West, Florida.  On his journey across America he encounters people in all circumstances, from homelessness to rich abundance. The people he meets touch his life profoundly. Stutzman writes about these encounters in his book Biking Across America. In addition to writing, he speaks to groups about his hiking and biking experiences and the lessons learned during these adventures. Stutzman resides in Berlin, Ohio.

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