Temptation happens to all of us, in large and small ways.
The heroine of THE HALLOWED ONES is Katie, a young woman who has grown up in a peaceful Amish settlement. She lives with her parents and sister in the house where she was born. Church services take place in members’ backyards. She knows every other person in the settlement and expects to marry the boy next door. Crime is unheard-of. Her home has been a safe nest, familiar and comforting.
Maybe just a bit too safe.
Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the Amish church. Katie is looking forward to testing the rules – going to the city to see movies, perhaps wearing jeans, experimenting with makeup.
Katie has every intention of being baptized in the Amish church and assuming her responsibilities as an adult Amish woman. She simply wants to see a bit of the world Outside before she makes her choice and commits to the Amish lifestyle forever. Someday, she’ll give up her small vices – like collecting comic books and paging through glossy magazines at the local convenience store - but not yet.
Before she can explore in earnest, Katie’s safe world starts to disintegrate. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields near her house, followed by rumors of violence and the disappearance of large numbers of people Outside. Unsure why they haven’t been attacked and fearing contamination, the Amish Elders make a rule: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in.
When Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of Amish land, she refuses to leave him to die. She defies the Elders’ decree, secretly bringing the stranger in to her community and hiding him.
The stranger, Alex, challenges Katie. He’s an anthropology student in the outside world. As he recovers, he both infuriates Katie and makes her consider ideas that she might not otherwise have encountered. His presence forces her to take risks, and she learns a great deal about herself and her own ethics in attempting to protect him.
As all teens do, Katie will come to terms with the cost of her rebellions. Her decisions will ripple out, risking her community and bringing the darkness Outside in…and she may find herself cast Outside with no safe place left to return to.
Read the first chapter here