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No Strange Fire: A Novel about the Amish Barn Fires in Big Valley [Paperback]

By Ted Wojtasik (Author)
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Item description for No Strange Fire: A Novel about the Amish Barn Fires in Big Valley by Ted Wojtasik...

Six Amish barns burn to the ground one night in the Big Valley of central Pennsylvania. A ten year old Amish boy is critically injured in one of the fires. Jocab Hostetler, a young Amish man who left months ago, is the prime suspect. But Jacob is missing. What happens to a youth who leaves his Amish community, tempted by the outside world? Why would someone attack the Amish?

Publishers Description
Six Amish barns burn to the ground one night in the Big Valley of central Pennsylvania. Jacob Hostetler, a young Amish man who left home months ago, is the prime suspect. But Jacob is missing. What happens to a youth who leaves his Amish community, tempted by the outside world? This novel probes the heart and soul of Amish families who suffered the loss of barns, animals, family, and privacy in a series of mysterious fires. 404 Pages.

Citations And Professional Reviews
No Strange Fire: A Novel about the Amish Barn Fires in Big Valley by Ted Wojtasik has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Library Journal - 04/01/1997 page 80
  • Booklist Ed Choice Adu Bk YA's - 01/01/1997 page 764

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Herald Press
Pages   400
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   1.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 1996
Publisher   Herald Press
ISBN  0836190416  
ISBN13  9780836190410  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ted Wojtasik

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ted Wojtasik is the chairman of the Creative Writing Department at St. Andrews College in Laurinburg, NC. His first novel, No Strange Fire, was based upon the Amish barn fires in Big Valley of Pennsylvania. Collage is his second novel. He has published book reviews and short stories in various literary journals. He holds an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Twentieth-century American literature from the University of South Carolina.

Ted Wojtasik was born in 1955 and has an academic affiliation as follows - St. Andrews College (NC).

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Fiction > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Fiction
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction > Suspense

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > Historical

Reviews - What do customers think about No Strange Fire?

A Page-Turner that happens to have Amish Characters  Mar 8, 2003
I won't deny that the list of noted Amish and Mennonite reviewers listed on the back cover did give me pause when I first picked up this novel, but after the Chapter 1, I was hooked. Wojtasik's elaborate, post-modern rendering of an Amish youth venturing out into the "englische world," exploring his identity, values, and faith, captivated my imagination. I found his use of a young Amish boy to carry what is clearly a traditional American tale as masterful. Rather than turning to what have become the stock characters of the "other" in the final decades of the twentieth century, Wojtasik turns to a well established community of the past, if you will, to reinvent and retell the American mythical experience or journey. The motifs suggesting Dante, Scripture, and a host of American literary texts (such Melville's _Moby Dick_ or Poe's _Arthur Gordon Pym_) aid the author in creating a multi-leveled tapestry, forcing the reader to experience this simple tale in a most sophisticated manner. And beneath all of this is the tale of the American--Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" or Potok's Danny of _The Chosen_--trying desperately to break the chains of the past, reinvent himself, and find his own personal paradise. What is perhaps the most fulfilling part of this text is the fact that unlike so many American protagonists, Jacob finds redemption, learns to balance both his individual desires (his suggested future friendship with Paul V.) and is able to return home.
Finally I would argue that although this novel can be instructive in elucidating the ways of the Amish, it is mainly an excellent read that happens to have characters from the Amish community.
NO STRANGE FIRE is an incredible novel.  Oct 14, 1999
Mr. Wojtasik has managed to create an incredibly evocative work interweaving biblical narrative, Dante's INFERNO, and literary allusions as well as present the Amish culture all within the framework of a mystery novel--that is the true achievement. NO STRANGE FIRE is an accomplished and powerful first work of fiction. Everyone should buy it and read it. This is money NOT WASTED.
A great way to learn about the Amish lifestyle  May 11, 1999
OK... Let's start with what this book ISN'T... It ISN'T a first rate mystery. The ending is predictable, the surprises are nowhere to be seen, and the dialogue between the characters is wooden and highly unrealistic. BUT... what this book IS is an interesting format to learn about the Amish. It's all presented here in a tale-like (if pedestrian paced) story. So, if you've always wanted to learn about the Amish, but were unsure of a "fun" way to go about it, this may be for you, but if you want a spine-tingling, page turning tale, I'd suggest you spend your money elsewhere.
An excellent portrayal of Amish life.  Jan 7, 1999
A fine blend of the inside world of the Amish and an interesting mystery. Well written and I am looking forward to more books by Mr. Wojtasik.
Ehtnographic novel about the Amish barn fires in Big Valley  Dec 18, 1998
This books is an excellent ehtnography of Amish living in Big Valley, Pa. It is a story about the Amish barn fires with vivid descriptions and believable characterization. The author tells the story like a true "mystery". Having been to one of the bed and breakfasts up the road from much of the story line it was even more interesting to me. There are specific descriptions of Amish life interweaved with true mystery storytelling. If this novel were advertised and made commerical it would be a best seller.

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