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January 2011

Genre City: The Narrow Path by Gail Sattler

Title: The Narrow Path
Author: Gail Sattler
Publisher: Abingdon Press
ISBN: 978-1426702372
Date: May 2010
Genre: Romance
Reviewed by: Lisa Lickel

Adapting to cultural changes in order to meet the ever-changing needs of modern America, Miranda Klassen, the daughter of a pastor in a fully integrated Mennonite church takes a year-long position with an Old Order Mennonite congregation to help spruce up their worship and music and spread the ministry.

For whatever reason, Miranda seems not to understand what the old order branch is all about or even bother to check out the community. The Minnesota winter is only her first shock. Meeting a woman in red heels with a telephone glued to her head is the biggest shock for Ted Wiebe, the man who escorts the new Christmas worship coordinator back to the nineteenth century.

I had to stop in the middle of Gail Sattler’s The Narrow Path and make some potato oven-fries just to remind myself I could still cook. I ate them all (with ketchup) while I finished reading this sweet romance, which feels a little like the musical Grease.

In eye-opening fashion, Sattler, a Canadian author and member of the Mennonite Brethren, reveals the unsubtle philosophical distance between some branches of the Mennonite church. These differences between Miranda and Ted can’t be melded through compromise; one will have to change in order for them to stay together, but I won’t tell you who does what. The ending feels somewhat rushed, but I’ve learned that’s mostly because I don’t want it to end.

Readers who like contemporary Amish and Mennonite romances will be pleased with Sattler’s story about two members of the same church who learn to appreciate their differences through the love of the same God who keeps them tied in faith. The Narrow Path will make a great Christmas gift.

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