Mary Stoltzfus is alone teaching and doing what she wants when she gets a letter that she was not expecting. It is a letter asking her to come to Montana and teach. But, she loves where she is, doesn't she. After all, Pennsylvania is a great place, isn't it? As time goes on though she starts to realize that Montana might be a great idea after all. She decides to go just to see what it is like there.
Arthur Bontrager meets her at the station and he is to show her around. It is nothing at all like she is used to. She decides to stay for a while and then starts to believe that she will always be alone. She gets attacked by dogs while coming home one day and is once again not sure what to do. There are so many questions. Should she go back to Pennsylvania or is Montana where she is probably supposed to be?
Overall this was a good book that will have you questioning what Mary should do. If you enjoy Amish stories make sure to add this read to your list. Get swept up in Mary’s life.
Mary Stoltzfus is thirty years old, splashed with freckles, and unmarried. In her Amish world, that qualifies her to be called an old maid. She is living her quiet schoolteacher life in the Lancaster County Amish community when she gets a surprising invitation in the mail one day. Would she come to Montana to teach?
Of course not, she decides, fully at home in eastern Pennsylvania, where she can go out to eat in dozens of restaurants, do her laundry in a newfangled washer that’s powered by compressed air, and hire a driver if she wants to go farther than her horse and buggy can comfortably take her. What is there to do in Montana, she sniffs.
But soon she becomes annoyed by the cracks in the floor of her one-room schoolhouse, the noise of the nearby road, and the two eighth-grade boys who try to make toilet paper cigarettes and nearly burn down the privy.
Before long, Mary is on Amtrak, “just to take care of her curiosity,” she explains to her mother. She arrives at a desolate station and meets Arthur Bontrager, who had signed the invitation and has come to introduce her to Beaver Creek School, dirt roads, and the fancy shed where she would live. When she settles into this world of mountain ranges and pine-tree majesty, her old buried questions—about why no man had ever been her match—have come along to live with her. After she’s injured by wild dogs on her walk home from school, Mary faces new questions. Is she weak if she accepts a Bouvier des Flandres dog from Arthur’s friend? Who is the young woman in the photo at Arthur’s house? And why does she suddenly care? Does she really belong back in Lancaster?