The Outcast: A Modern Retelling of The Scarlet Letter

The Outcast A Modern Retelling of The Scarlet Letter Raised in an Old Order Mennonite community Rachel Stoltzfus is a strong willed single woman content living apart from mainstream society until whispers stir the moment her belly swells with new life

  • Title: The Outcast: A Modern Retelling of The Scarlet Letter
  • Author: Jolina Petersheim
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 273
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Raised in an Old Order Mennonite community, Rachel Stoltzfus is a strong willed single woman, content living apart from mainstream society until whispers stir the moment her belly swells with new life Refusing to repent and name the partner in her sin, Rachel feels the wrath of the religious sect as she is shunned by those she loves most She is eventually coerced into leRaised in an Old Order Mennonite community, Rachel Stoltzfus is a strong willed single woman, content living apart from mainstream society until whispers stir the moment her belly swells with new life Refusing to repent and name the partner in her sin, Rachel feels the wrath of the religious sect as she is shunned by those she loves most She is eventually coerced into leaving by her brother in law, the bishop.But secrets run deep in this cloistered community, and the bishop is hiding some of his own, threatening his conscience and his very soul When the life of Rachel s baby is at stake, however, choices must be made that will bring the darkness to light, forever changing the lives of those who call Copper Creek home.

    One thought on “The Outcast: A Modern Retelling of The Scarlet Letter”

    1. Let me start by sayingI don't pick Amish fiction to read for pleasure. It's not my style and I usually avoid it. Don't ask me why--I really don't even know. I just don't. LOL! BUT this book called to me. It said "give me a try" and I admit I was curious about the Nathaniel Hawthorne link.So I gave The Outcast a tryThe Amish/Mennonite community setting for this book works perfectly. Especially since it is set in modern times! It would have been impossible to pull off a strict old order society an [...]

    2. Jolina Petersheim’s debut novel, The Outcast, truly transcends genre, telling a story of betrayal, legalism and jealousy, but, more importantly, of hope, healing and forgiveness. The layered plot & multi-faceted characters combined with a poetic, lyrical writing style give this novel an unexpected edgy and realistic quality that is not often found in novels of this setting. Set in an Old Order Mennonite community, this story touches on themes of legalistic religion versus tolerant forgiven [...]

    3. THE OUTCAST is one of those rare novels that shines in every way. I was immediately drawn in because “The Scarlet Letter” is such a favorite, and I was not disappointed. Every character, every sub-story, every generation, every relationship in the book, is layered and intricate and nuanced. I could not stop reading—everything about the book took hold and wouldn’t let go—until I finished. It is both intriguing and engrossing. The Mennonite community is completely foreign to me, but Pete [...]

    4. Wow! Not since reading Cantrell's "Into the Free," have I been so emotionally moved by a story. There were so many things that this author did well. Her writing style is emotionally evocative, and her words are expressed with such beauty that I became fully immersed in the book. Her use of characters to bring out different truths was sheer perfection. I especially loved how she used Amos's point of view from the "great cloud of witnesses" as a way of showing omniscience, but in a much more compe [...]

    5. I think I ate most of the left over Halloween candy while reading this. I am so glad its over. (I meant the book and not the fact that my Halloween basket is now empty of all candy.) I think that if a book is touting itself as a modern telling of an old classic, the writing would have to be similar. It wasn't. This book was all over the place when it came to the narrative. The main narrator was a dead Mennonite bishop, who told you what the characters were feeling, thinking and why. Then the cha [...]

    6. The story and narration were excellent. This book was written in a unique manner. It's written in the point of view of Amos and Rebecca. As we learn at the beginning of the story Amos has passed on to glory. He peers down from heaven. I really enjoyed this. The author provides a rich depthness to this story. The narration adds an extra dimension as well. My favorite character that the narrator voices is Ida Mae. As we learn in the story, so many life altering secrets have been kept, which come t [...]

    7. I loved. loved, love every second I spent reading this book. Five pages that I hoped wouldn't be what they were became what they are. Nevertheless, I can't recommend this book highly enough. I read this book every time I had a few minutes to spare and for long as I could without outside interruptions. What a story and character weaver this author is - She captured me on page one and held me hostage for the rest of the journey. Lucky me.I will be looking for any and all other books written or as [...]

    8. "Let men tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart. "- The Scarlet Letter3.5 out of 5 starsSetting:Copper Creek, Tennessee and Pennsylvania; 2013Coverly Love?:It's evocative and haunting to the story, but it's rather plain.Plot:Rachel Stoltzfus is a fallen woman. Being an unmarried, pregnant woman in an Old Order Mennonite community is never a good combination, especially when she refuses to repent her sin AND name the father of her son, Eli. [...]

    9. "He shakes his head and smiles, swallows his small mouthful of food. For a country-raised Mennonite, he has impeccable manners, which only emphasizes my belief that you can look the part of the honored bishop but still be a barbarian inside."Written in an engaging combination of voices, Jolina Petersheim’s stunning debut novel, The Outcast, tells the story of a young Mennonite woman battling a secret foe, one whose position in their community offers him the perfect opportunity to hurt her, and [...]

    10. The OutcastBy Jolina PetersheimCompleted 12-27-135 starsI really don’t know where to begin in reviewing this book. I feel that I cannot accurately put my thoughts into words on a page. I will start off by saying that I have not read any Amish/Mennonite fiction before. I never thought any of it looked interesting. I have not even read the Scarlet Letter, though I do know the story line of that book. I am not even sure what caused me to pick up The Outcast. It was a new book at the library (I ha [...]

    11. anovelreview/2013The story begins midpoint. Rachel has already given birth to her child, and is already feeling the scorn of her Mennonite community. Her parents are not there with her, she had come to TN to help her twin sister while she was on bedrest. From the their beginning you realize the scorn her brother-in-law, Tobias King feels for her--how desperately he wants her out of his home. The first chance he gets he sends her on her way, separating her from her twin. Rachel begins to make a n [...]

    12. According to the cover on this book, this story is a modern day retelling of The Scarlet Letter. I know a little bit of what that story is about, but I have never read it, so I can't really say how this book compares. I can say though, that I thoroughly enjoyed this well written story, and you do not even have to be familiar with The Scarlet Letter before reading The Outcast; this story stands alone well.Rachel Stoltzfus was raised in an Old Order Mennonite community. While she is living with he [...]

    13. Rachel Stoltzfus has been shunned and removed from her old order Mennonite community. She has born a child out of wedlock and refuses to reveal who the father is. She had left her home in Pennsylvania to care for her twin sister Leah, ill after the birth of her child. Much tension exists between Rachel and Leah's husband Tobias. Unable to return to her home in Pennsylvania due to being shunned by her father, Rachel finds refuge with Ida Mae. Ida Mae has her own secrets and a past filled with pai [...]

    14. What a wonderful story!! This one actually gets 6 or 7 stars; it is a "must read." I am eagerly looking forward to the release of Jolina Petersheim's next book, "The Midwife," scheduled for release in the summer of 2014.

    15. Compelling and a bit sexy and mysterious. But at the core you carry a marvelous message about the soul-eating cancer that jealousy can be and the incredible resilience of family. You are a masterfully crafted tale that stands tall above the rest. I will recommend you again and again.

    16. This book caught my eye with its subtitle naming it as a modern retelling of the Scarlet Letter. I reluctantly loved the required reading in High School and reveled over the symbolism throughout. When I picked up this book I was immediately drawn in by my previous love, but quickly won over to this new telling of the familiar story. Rachel is a young Mennonite girl with a secret. She is with child and not about to reveal the father's name. So as a result, she carries the burden of the guilt of h [...]

    17. About the Book:Raised in an Old Order Mennonite community, Rachel Stoltzfus is a strong-willed single woman, content living apart from mainstream society until whispers stir the moment her belly swells with new life. Refusing to repent and name the partner in her sin, Rachel feels the wrath of the religious sect as she is shunned by those she loves most. She is eventually coerced into leaving by her brother-in-law, the bishop.But secrets run deep in this cloistered community, and the bishop is h [...]

    18. I’ve been a fan of Jolina Petersheim’s exquisitely written blog for years, and we’ve become good friends with shared writing interests – and, as it turns out, some Pennsylvania similarities. To say I was excited about her debut is an understatement.It’s uncanny that when I began reading The Outcast, I was actually in my native Pennsylvania, an area that – over the past few years – has grown to be the home of many Amish from the Lancaster, PA area (from which Jolina’s family hails [...]

    19. I was provided a copy of Jolina Petersheim ‘s book entitled The outcast by Tyndale publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I will start out as I loved every aspect of this book. The cover grabbed my eye and promised to me that I would find a very interesting story within its pages. I was not disappointed!The narration of the story goes back and forth between two characters. We have Rachel, whom the story is basically about (ahem – the modern adulteress) and Amos who is [...]

    20. Rachel Stoltzfus finds herself single and pregnant making her the talk of her Old Order Mennonite community. She is living with her twin sister Leah and her husband Tobias King, she was helping when Leah had a problem pregnancy and continues to live there as her dad won't let her come home to live since she is an outcast.She refuses to disclose the father of the baby and soon finds herself leaving her sisters house and living with Ida Mae Speck who has left her Old Order Mennonite community a fe [...]

    21. You don't want to miss out on reading this book!!We all know how powerful SECRETS can be and how damaging they can be when they are set free from our souls. It's how we move forward from the secret that is important. This book The Outcast: a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter is so much better than the original The Scarlet Letter. Jolina Petersheim did an excellent job bring The Scarlet Letter up to modern times with her own twist on the story. Yes, it was written with the setting in an Old [...]

    22. There have been so many glowing reviews of Jolina Petersheim’s debut novel, The Outcast, that I was intrigued by this book. Add the fact that it was inspired by The Scarlet Letter, I knew I had to read it sooner than later. I purchased the audiobook and took off on my morning walks becoming immersed in Rachel’s life, her struggles and heartbreak. The Outcast was a book I just could not put down, er, turn off! Great writing, characters and plot — this novel has it all and gets a very highly [...]

    23. SUMMARY: Raised in an Old Order Mennonite community, Rachel Stoltzfus is a strong-willed single woman, content living apart from mainstream society until whispers stir the moment her belly swells with new life. Refusing to repent and name the partner in her sin, Rachel feels the wrath of the religious sect as she is shunned by those she loves most. She is eventually coerced into leaving by her brother-in-law, the bishop.But secrets run deep in this cloistered community, and the bishop is hiding [...]

    24. This is a very entertaining book!The front cover of the book calls it “a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter.” This is a very apt description of the story that Jolina has written. She has crafted a very intricate tale of a young woman, Rachel Stoltzfus, whose sin is visible for all to see. The deep complexities come about through the secrets that are kept hidden. How far should someone go in keeping secrets to protect another person that they love?The characters are so well developed that [...]

    25. From the moment I heard the premise of this book I wanted to read it (the retelling of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter). Although it has an Amish-looking cover, there was something intriguing about it that set it apart. I gave the sample a try and found it breathtaking. Jolina's writing shines bright in this gripping story of twin sisters, one married, the other with an infant born out of wedlock and adamant about not revealing who the father is. I enjoyed the alternate points of view as Amos obs [...]

    26. My mother did not like this novel at all, I however did, as you can tell by my rating. However, the cover is deceiving because the child is not that old at all during the novel.Everyone sins, but some sins are more public than others. If you become pregnant when you are not married everyone knows what you did, but the father of the baby is not always as obvious, especially when denial and judgment is displayed first. This novel has many strings and is weaved into a story in that you root for the [...]

    27. A really good inspirational read, about twin Old Order Mennonite girls, their families secrets, forgiveness, cancer, and so much more. I will read more from Jolina PetersheimFrom sample synopsis of this book: Raised in an Old Order Mennonite community, Rachel Stoltzfus is a strong-willed single woman, content living apart from mainstream society until whispers stir the moment her belly swells with new life. Refusing to repent and name the partner in her sin, Rachel feels the wrath of the religi [...]

    28. Wonderfully captivating and extremely touching. It drew me in from the very start and kept me intrigued throughout. I felt as though I wasn't looking in from the outside but apart of it myself. Beautifully written and articulated. Strikingly authentic. I recommend this to anyone regardless of age. -Rachel Williams

    29. I read this on the KindleThis was a real change in the way the story was told it done by two people Amos who has passed away & RachelIt a story of Rachel who is with child outside marriage & then her story after she has the childShe is a twin & her brother in law is not nice as you read I did guess who the father was & it don't come to light to near the end

    30. This is the first book I've read by Jolina Petersheim. I was drawn into the world she created and the characters tugged my emotional strings. As a new grandmother to a grandson, well, I won't give any spoilers, but just know my heart was totally involved in this book. Excellent writing as well. Have recommended this book many times since finishing.

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