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The Bargain: A Novel (Plain City Peace) Paperback – September 19, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Plain City Peace Series

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Editorial Reviews


"This was an interesting read that left me wanting to know more about the Amish, and each character's search for Go inspired me to strengthen my own relationship with Him." (Jennifer Fleming CBA Retailers and Resources 2013-10-01)

“An exciting, involving novel, sensitively rendered. . . . This is clearly the first novel in a series and not all the plot strings are tied up at the end. Readers are left wanting to know more about these people we’ve come to care about.” (E. E. Kennedy, author of Irregardless of Murder and Death Dangles a Participle 2013-07-01)

"Stephanie Reed does a superb job of sprinkling humor throughout a story with a serious theme. Best of all? This is Book 1, with more to follow. Hurray! " (Susan Marlow, author of Circle C. Adventures 2013-07-01)

“The Bargain examines a troubled time in American history―the year following the Kent State massacre―through the eyes of a young Amish girl. With deep character portrayals and a masterful plot, this life-affirming book raises as many questions as it answers. Well done!” (Janalyn Voigt, literary judge and author of Tales of Faeraven series 2013-07-01)

About the Author

Stephanie Reed lives on the outskirts of Plain City, Ohio, site of a once-thriving Amish community. She gleans ideas for her novels from signs glimpsed along the byways of Ohio.
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Product Details

  • Series: Plain City Peace (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (September 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082544215X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825442155
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,294,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Stephanie Reed has begun a winning new series, Plain City Peace, with The Bargain. It is not the typical Amish novel, for sure! I was surprised with many things not previously read about - it was a very worthwhile read.

As the 70's brought many changes to the US, it also rocked some of the Amish world. A few were drafted and served in non-combat positions, such as Betsie Troyer's cousin. The bargain included that Betsie would learn to work in and care for her cousin's harness shop until he returned from his tour of duty. She was taught the trade by the English man whose family had originally served the Amish for many years through this shop. His son, Michael, a troubled young man struggling to find his place in the brave new world of 1970's America. His sister Sheila also struggled as a young adult trying to find her way as a teen after here mother left the family to "find herself".

Betsie always knew that she would return home - home where her parents had left to seek - well, that will be a pleasant surprise for you! And she was probably going to return to the comfortable friendship with Charlie, who always looked out for her, she believed.

Characters are fully-developed, likable people who were each trying to find their way in an era where values changed dramatically through the hippie culture, Woodstock ideals, various peace and civil rights movements, and murders on college campuses horrified the first generation that would have such things brought into their homes on TV's nightly news. I truly enjoyed Betsie, Michael, and Sheila. I am probably most like Betsie, for whom any kind of change is difficult at best and try to continue to live in a yesterday that doesn't accept today's changes, good or not-so-good.
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Format: Kindle Edition
So this is yet again another Amish novel. They are like my guilty little pleasure. They are normally so cheesy and predictable but I love them just the same. This one, however, was a bit different than the others. I really enjoyed the contrast between English life and Amish life as Betsie had to be in both of them. It was interesting to see her struggle and thoughts. I also really appreciated the fact that the issues with their theology and the fact that they don't have any assurance of heaven was brought out. I think sometimes we think of them as just like us except off the grid but they aren't and they need the Savoir. All in all this book was very enjoyable and I look forward to the others in the series.

I received a free copy of this product from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Bargain was my first book that I read that was written by Stephanie Reed. I truly loved it. Stephanie Reed had me on the edge of my seat with her page turning book, that you want to read it straight through to the end.

Can Betsie Troyer stay faithful to her Amish roots as she is to learn the trade of the harness shop that is own by an Englisher?

I am not going to say no more, for you have to read the book, and find out for yourself.

I plan to read the second book in the series once it is released
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This story is about broken families, hearts and lives that are going in different directions as one of the families is English and the other is an Amish family. The time frame is during the Vietnam War where words like PEACE were spoken repeatedly and clashes between law enforcement and people from the English occurred frequently. Betsie Troyer was brought up in an Amish home that now is falling apart as older siblings have married and moved away. The bigger problem in Betsie’s eyes is her parents leaving the Amish faith, moving to a new town and learning to live by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, discarding anything resembling being identified as people from the Amish community. However, to Betsie and her youngest sister Sadie, nothing but heartache follows them each moment of everyday.
Betsie works to learn a job in the leather store until her cousin Nathan returns from his time in the service while during the week Betsie is allowed to live with the family. There she learns a trade she doesn’t really embrace and sees firsthand how an English family is torn apart due to seeking satisfaction of self. When the mother leaves to fulfill her dreams, it rips apart the very heart of the family. Betsie feels compelled to stay if only for the benefit of the young daughter, Sadie, who is broken hearted. Matthew, her older brother, has some deep heart issues and while he tries to push away all attempts of friendship by Betsie, a letter comes in the mail for Matthew that further tears up the hearts of the father, Shelia and Betsie.
This is a very compelling story of various characters with broken hearts and lives, seeking to find peace in the midst of deep pain. Sadie’s character draws very close to Betsie and in time becomes a Christian, which bothers Betsie something fierce.
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