Item description for Eyes At The Window by Evie Yoder Miller...
Overview "Eyes at the Window" is a historical novel set in a close-knit community of Amish pioneers from 1810-1861, beset by the unsolved murder of an Amish baby (based on a true incident). The interior lives of these restrained people are captured by the 8 voices of those most intimately involved, showing their anger, guilt, judgment, grace, and attempts at forgiveness.
Publishers Description The brief but heartfelt prayers in this whimsically illustrated book are the perfect compliment to any meal. Full of thanksgiving for the food we enjoy each day the simple prayers remember those who are less fortunate while celebrating the delicious nourishment we receive from the earth. A treasure for anyone who is grateful for all that they receive on a daily basis.A wonderful gift for children or adults.
Citations And Professional Reviews Eyes At The Window by Evie Yoder Miller has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Booklist - 10/01/2004 page 303
CBA Retailers - 09/01/2003 page 60
Publishers Weekly - 09/08/2003 page 54
Booklist - 10/01/2003 page 282
Library Journal - 11/01/2003 page 66
Christian Retailing - 11/10/2003 page 24
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Studio: Good Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.4" Width: 6.32" Height: 1.61" Weight: 1.84 lbs.
Release Date Oct 13, 2003
Publisher STL/FAITHWORKS #617
ISBN 1561484059 ISBN13 9781561484058
Availability 0 units.
More About Evie Yoder Miller
Evie Yoder Miller grew up on a farm in rural Kalona, Iowa. Through the years she has had short stoires, essays, and poems publishe by a variety of small presses. Here Ph.D. is from Ohio University. Currently she teaches writing and fiction writing at the University of Wisconsin-Whitwater.
Reviews - What do customers think about Eyes At The Window?
A Way Of Life May 11, 2008
The horrendous murder of an infant in an Amish community is a true background for this book. Rueben is declared the murderer and he is to be shunned by the community. Each chapter has a different character telling the story. The author writes in very plain language fitting their way of life. She shows how hard the Amish way of life was at this time. It hurts to read about so many deaths in each family. This is a very interesting book, but there are many children to keep straight. It takes a little time to read. By Ruth Thompson author of "Natchez Above The River" and "The Bluegrass Dream"
Writing as a Small BusinessQualifying Laps: A Brewster County NovelSins of the Fathers: A Brewster County NovelTravelersNatchez Above The River: A Family's Survival In The Civil WarThe Bluegrass Dream: A Wilderness Adventure of Early Settlers
Eyes at the window, awesome work. Aug 1, 2007
This will keep you guessing to the end, I loved it, awesome insight to the Amish way of thinking and living. I am waiting and watching for E. Y. Miller to do it again.
Amazing that this is a first novel! Dec 22, 2006
On the Pennsylvania frontier in 1810, Amish pioneers Yost and Eliza Hershberger lose their 7-month-old daughter to murder. Who would slip into their cabin long after midnight, while the young couple and Eliza's visiting sister Polly are out tending the sugar maples, and smother an infant to death? While leaving the two older girls unharmed? The guessing begins when Polly remembers twice seeing eyes at the cabin's window. First before the three adults left the cabin, and again after their discovery of the murdered baby. Although the frightened young woman can tell her brother-in-law almost nothing that might put a name to the person behind those eyes, Yost takes what little she does say and quickly builds it into an assumption: the murderer must be his brother Reuben. A jury of 12 Amish men soon declares Reuben Hershberger guilty of causing little Marie Hershberger's death, and the local bishop pronounces sentence. Reuben must be shunned.
Over the next 50 years, Reuben Hershberger steadfastly insists on his innocence. Anna, his beloved wife, stands by him as best she can; but even she must obey the church, which for her means sharing his bed without allowing conjugal relations. That deprives them both of the large family that their culture requires - the two children they already have must be their last. They relocate to the Ohio frontier, but Reuben's supposed guilt follows them. Other Amish from their Pennsylvania county also move to Ohio, and that makes any real change in their social isolation impossible.
Evie Yoder Miller strutures her novel as a first-person narrative in the separate voices of eight different characters. Chapter by chapter, the narrator changes and so does the reader's perspective. The 50-year mystery that supplies the book's plot isn't its real point, although that's handled well enough. Where EYES AT THE WINDOW really shines is in its fascinatingly detailed portrait of Amish life in the 19th Century; and in its sobering, entirely believable portrayal of what the characters' unjust assumptions do, not only to falsely accused Reuben but also to his accusers and the entire community that administers his punishment. A rich and thought-provoking read!
Excellent Mystery, Based on a True Story from the 1800s Sep 3, 2006
This story covers over 50 years reviewing the lives of various people connected in someway to the murder of a 7 month old baby in 1810. Although at times it does seem a little drawn out (the books is over 500 pages long), it does an excellent job with character development and gives the reader a sense of how these people lived their lives. There is a family tree at the back of the book that helps with all the offspring names. I referred to this many times reading the book. There is also a glossary that defines the German words used.
The author does a wonderful job portraying Amish life in the 1800s. How difficult life must have been. There certainly was much premature death. The author explains how she did a lot of research into the families when preparing to write this book, which included reading grave stones.
I really enjoyed how Anna, the wife of Reuben (who was falsely accused), was portrayed. She was an example of one who trusted God, believed the best in people, and was someone who supported and cared for her husband at the expense of herself. This couple sacrificed so much as a result of this error.
Upon reading this book it makes one more reluctant to jump to conclusions and to judge others before knowing all the facts. This book highlighted the fact that the Amish religion has ones who are humble and ones who are proud (which is true of all Christian religions). There were some kindhearted, forgiving ones who loved people and wanted to serve, and others who were self-righteous, legalistic, and unforgiving. It was also interesting how some of the characters were unsure whether they "would make it to heaven". Clearly there was much legalism practiced. Thankfully there were some who knew that salvation is not based on works but in trusting what Jesus has done on the cross. No one is guaranteed salvation based on any church membership and definitely not on what you can offer God through your good deeds. It is by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus' dying on the cross for our sins.
My only disappointment with the book was that there wasn't complete closure at the end. We aren't sure whether Reuben ever meets with the true murderer or whether he meets up with any of Yost's offspring. Otherwise, it is a wonderful book. I highly recommend it.
Difficult Read Yet Ultimately Worthy Jun 18, 2005
Certainly this book benefitted from the first-hand experience of Evie Yoder Miller's Amish upbringing. It rings true from start to finish. Additionally, the book was intensely researched. The reader is treated to faultless historical accuracy and the unwinding of an intriguing true-life mystery. However, by no means was this an easy read. The voice and content of the first-person narratives became redundant after a while; the characters and their many offspring confusing.
There was little humor nor even marked pathos within these pages, perhaps purposefully so. The author used simple, plain language to recount the lives of the simple, "plain" people of her book. And plainly the daily round of rural life on the frontier was unrelenting and unrelieved, save for a few outstanding incidents. Nothing much changed except the seasons. Hard work, hardships, hard feelings, all were stoically borne.
Even the denoument of the baby's death was mundane ~ the reason it occurred, and why the blame was pinned on someone else while the true murderer continued on in the community undetected until his deathbed confession.
That the climax was almost an anticlimax was quite a satisfactory finish. Further proof that truth packs a greater power than any fiction.