Overview An Amish Romantic Suspense Novel from Million-selling Award-winning Novelist Colleen Coble. Hannah Schwartz slipped away from her Amish family to meet with her beau, Reece Ericson. When she returned, she discovered her parents murdered and their handmade quilts stolen. Years later, a shunned Hannah returns to the scene of the crime in hopes of restoring her family and her faith. But while much has changed in Hannah's life, the danger at home now threatens with a vengeance.
Community Description Anathema (Pronounced "uh-nath-uh-muh") By Colleen Coble
Dimensions: 6.20 x 9.30 x 1.20
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Studio: Thomas Nelson
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.4" Width: 6.2" Height: 1.3" Weight: 1.24 lbs.
Release Date May 31, 2008
Publisher Thomas Nelson
ISBN 1595542477 ISBN13 9781595542472 UPC 020049131886
Availability 0 units.
More About Colleen Coble
Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.
She was born January 19, 1952, in Wabash, Indiana. She was raised on a farm in Wabash County, Indiana, the eldest of four children. Her father, George Rhoads, was a farmer who also worked as a guard at General Motors. Her mother, Peggy Rhoads, was a housewife. She has three brothers: Randy (who died in 1990), Rick, and David. She graduated from Southwood High School, in Wabash County.
Coble’s early books were short historical romances published by Barbour Publishing under its Heartsong Presents imprint. The first four novels were set in Wyoming. Coble says she was inspired to write them when her brother Randy was killed by lightning on August 28, 1990. After a visit to Wyoming, where he had lived, she was inspired to do what she’d longed to do for several years: actually write a book. Wyoming became the setting for her first four romance novels, set in the wild West of the 1860s: Where Leads the Heart, Plains of Promise, The Heart Answers and To Love a Stranger . It took her a year to write the first one because she continued to work at her full-time job as a receptionist at Wabash Electric Supply, where she answered about 1000 phone calls a day.
Coble says, “Born and raised in the Midwest (Indiana), I grew up on a farm with horses, pigs and chickens. I had plenty of adventure–from being dragged by my pony to running my brother Randy’s motorcycle through a fence. Maybe that’s why all my stories have action and adventure in them.”
Colleen Coble has published or released items in the following series...
This is definitely not your typical Amish Story. I didn't think I would make it though the first chapter. The decisions that Hannah Schwartz had made when she was younger, made things turn from bad to worse for her. Hannah soon discovers that it's better to look before you leap into a big decision like marriage. Things are definitely not what they seemed to be at first.
She is thrown into a world so unlike her own, it's disturbing at best. She thought she knew what she was doing. She had entered a nightmare she never dreamed possible. God would understand her wanting out. She had tried her best to get out for many years. She was trapped and just can't live like this anymore. She gets a chance to escape this nightmare and she takes it.
After Hannah escapes she discovers that life could be so freeing, so full of hope. With a successful book completed and another one in the works, Hannah seems to have it all. But in order to complete her book, she has to go home - that's where this second book is leading her. "Home" -- a word that brought to mind dread of her past but yet a desire to belong again, all at the same time. She knew that she could never go home and be accepted; too much has happened in her life. She left after she was baptized into the faith, so she knew what she was doing when she walked away from the church and the Amish way of life.
She is home in the Amish community for such a short time and a murder occurs. She goes to the police and says "We are Amish. We abhor violence. If you look through your files, I doubt you'll find a single case of one of us breaking the law. No one is our community kills.." This can't be happening again she thinks after saying this to the officer. She thought the worst was behind her, and now she is back and trouble is starting again!!
The theme of forgiveness runs through this book for Hannah and the other people in her village. Hannah and the others soon discover, in a huge way, that forgiveness truly sets you free. When you forgive someone, you are not bound to that person anymore; the pain is drained from your heart, mind and emotions, and you can truly begin to live life free of the pain that bound you.
This story was full of mystery, suspense, murder and betrayal. On the flip side it was full of love, intrigue, forgiveness and redemption. This book has it all! Not what I expected in an Amish story. I was delighted!!
I LOVED how Colleen wrapped this story up in quilts. I LOVE quilts. Each chapter starts with a quote from Hannah Schwartz's book called "The Amish Faith Through Their Quilts". By the end of this book, I really wanted to look in Hannah's 'fictional' book she wrote. I wanted to see this book that was filled with the amazing quilts mentioned at the top of each chapter. Hannah is also in search of a special quilt that will lead to her family's killer. I haven't read a story like this ever. I know the quilts and a love that Hannah discovers, helped me to keep reading through the abusive husband parts.
This book will also inspire you to make some of the quilts and perhaps do a Google search on Amish quilts. The characters in this story will stay with you for quite some time after finishing the story. So treat yourself to a very different and amazing story by Colleen Coble. You won't be disappointed!
Anathema by Colleen Cble Sep 19, 2008
ANATHEMA By Collen Coble
Review by Carlo Gabbi Author of "An Amazing Story"
Reading "Anathema" the novel written by Colleen Coble, you find that the suspense is intense right through this novel. The writer introduce the reader into the Amish, a religious community in Indiana, and tells of their life, love and believes, but more important, and interesting, we come to know the way they knot mysterious symbols in the pattern of their homemade quilts and what the meanings of those symbols represent to them.
The story begins in a wet chilly night in Indiana when Hannah, against the rules imposed to her by her faith, went to meet Reece, an English policeman, and under the protection of a covered bridge, they spend their time in sinful love effusions.
Hannah, at her return home from that forbidden encounter with love, find that her parents had been poisoned and their bodies are covered with one of her mother's valuable quilts; all the other quilts that her mother made, and having a high market value, have been stolen. The only clue left behind by the killer is a blood mark on the wall symbolizing peace, but could that mean something else as well?
Hannah, in her simplicity, believes that her parents' killing was the will of God in punishment for her sinful love affair with Rees, and she feels guilty. In the sin she has committed, she saw God rejection and think that her only solution is to go away from her community and marry Reeds. She is now an Anathema, an outcast by God and neglected by her own people.
Over the next years Hannah is constantly abused by Rees. In the same time she desperately tries to find who have taken her mother's unique quilts. She can easily recognize them by the unmistakable bold and unique hummingbird designs that her mother sewn magnificently in the patchworks. She knows also that finding them she will come to know who her parents' killer is.
Hannah has a final altercation with Rees, and suffers a tragic fall. She wakes in hospital and she come to know to have lost her unborn baby daughter. She suspiciously considers that the fall wasn't accidental but it was purposely caused by Rees. She is scared and with this thought she runs away from the abusive husband, and decide to restart a new life in a different place. In time she becomes successful in life and work, but she is tormented by loneliness and the need of her family.
She receives a letter from Rees. He plays with the only tool which could take her back to him; it's the photo of a young girl. Rees claims that the child in the photo is their daughter. Could that be possible? Doubts are in her and she wants to find the true. She returns. From this point the reading becomes intense, reveling deceit, love, and mysterious plots. Hannah, one by one goes through the riddles and comes to know those mysteries that had surrounded her for so long, and discover also that she never been an Anathema.
While Hannah learns of the many complexities and secrets which would only destroy her relationship; we see Rees taken by doubts dictated by his today duties and the consideration of the past. Twist and turns rapidly follows. The suspense keep increasing, page after page. The readers try to guess who the killer is and why he killed, and frenetically, keep on, reading till turn the last page.
I found this is an interesting book where we can learn of the Amish peaceful life and of the many meaning that the pattern of their quilts have. The description of the location where this people lives, become soon familiar and part of our close world, and we learn to share their joy and the devotion to God in a pure simplistic way.
This is quite a remarkable novel that should please any reader.
Reviewed by Carlo Gabbi, author of "An Amazing Story"
one of the best Aug 28, 2008
I have read many books about the Amish and this it top of the line. Couldn't wait to get home from a stressful day and get back in the book. I hope there is a #2 with the characters. There was an element of suspense and I would recommend it to anyone.
A Story With Take-Away Value Jul 27, 2008
Colleen Coble is another author I met last September at the ACFW Conference in Texas. She is a lovely, loud, outgoing woman and that kind of woman brings me right out of my shell. After meeting her, I knew I wanted to read her books.
I pre-ordered her first Amish story Anathema. I enjoyed the book very much. I look for relationship issues in the stories I read and the pull of family ties is very strong and compelling throughout the story. It's a story that shows how terrible domestic violence is, and how really important forgiveness is to our spiritual lives.
A spellbinding story with interesting facts about Amish quilts and what their patterns mean to those who create them Jul 14, 2008
A damp, chilly wind blows through Park County, Indiana, the night Hannah Schwartz sneaks away to meet Reece by the covered bridge. She knows her love for this Englisch police detective is taboo in her Amish world, but she can't resist just a few clandestine moments with the man who makes her feel safe while sending her heart racing. Their encounter is brief and painful as Hannah is once again torn between her family, her Amish fiancé and the love she harbors for her secret Englisch suitor. She flees his arms for the safe harbor of her home, only to encounter a gruesome scene.
Both parents have been poisoned, their stiff, constricted bodies covered by one of her mother's handmade quilts. When their lives are taken away, so too are thousands of dollars worth of Mamms' quilts. Two strange blood red symbols mar the wall of the living room. Reece knows that one is the symbol of peace, but does it have another meaning as well? Something far more sinister? Nearby, a neighbor's poisoned body is discovered half submerged in a pond.
Shattered beyond consolation, Hannah wonders if the deaths are her punishment for partaking in a forbidden love. Her heart heavy, laden with pain and guilt, she decides that she has been rejected by God and will leave her Amish community to marry Reece. She is now Anathema, an outcast to God and her people. It isn't long before Reece's true colors show through and the bullying begins. As she endures years of abuse at Reece's hands, Hannah desperately searches for the exquisite stolen quilts, a tangible link to her murdered parents. She knows exactly how to spot her mother's work, so bold and beautiful that the hummingbird designs nearly fly off the expertly sewn patchwork.
During a heated argument with Reece, Hannah suffers a tragic fall and awakens in the hospital, where Reece tells her that their unborn baby girl did not survive. Hannah is convinced the fall was no accident and leaves Reece to reinvent herself in the Englisch world, where her knowledge of quilts and Amish life leads her to success as an author. On the surface, all is well, but Hannah misses the love of her family and friends, and aches even more for the faith she left behind.
Although the book moves at a quick pace from the start, the real page-turning action begins when Hannah receives a letter from Reece containing a photo of a little girl. The child's almond eyes and unruly auburn hair, so like her own, leads Hannah to wonder if Reece's claim is true --- that the child is their daughter. She heads back to her homeland on a journey wrought with heartache, mystery, deceit and love in a plot that continues to twist and turn until the very end. A decade after she fled Park County, Hannah realizes she was never Anathema to the God who loves her unconditionally. I highly recommend a box of tissues for the last couple of chapters.
Colleen Coble's extensive research and Amish friendships come shining through the characters and imagery of this action-filled story. The devotion to God, peaceful lifestyle and tranquil farms beckon readers to indulge in the experience of visiting an Amish community. Descriptions of warm, damp greenhouses, simple furnishings and the sweet, creamy taste of coffee soup are woven through the pages of this novel like the patterns of a quilt. In addition to a spellbinding story, readers will come away from this book with interesting facts about Amish quilts and what their patterns mean to those who create them.