It's been exactly a year (almost to the day!) since I reviewed the first book in Jolina Petersheim's new series, The Alliance. Finally, after a year, the conclusion to the series is here! It's called The Divide, and it picks up four months after we left Leora's story in The Alliance. I had mixed feelings about The Alliance, mainly because the weird, quirky characters. However, Jolina has definitely dialed down the quirkiness in the second book. Not a single mention is made of Leora's extremely poor vision and thick glasses (kind of strange, really, come to think of it), her sister Anna isn't much of a big presence and neither is her grandmother. This book's focus is mostly on Leora, Moses, and Jabil. The back cover says:
"In this gripping conclusion to The Alliance, nearly six months have passed since Leora Ebersole's Old Order Mennonite community fled to the mountains for refuge after an attack destroyed the power grid and altered life as they knew it. Since then, Leora has watched and waited for news of Moses Hughes, the young Englischer pilot who held off invading looters long enough for everyone to escape. Unsure Moses even survived, Leora has begun to warm to the affections of Jabil Snyder, who has courted her patiently. But she struggles to see herself as the bishop's wife, especially when she learns that Moses is alive and has now joined a local militia.
An unexpected encounter in the woods deepens Leora's crisis, as does a terrifying new threat that brings Moses' militia into the community's shaky alliance with the few Englischers left among them. When long-held beliefs are once again put to the test, Leora wrestles with the divide between having faith and taking action. Just how much will her shifting landscape change her?"
Although I didn't like this series as a whole as much as I absolutely loved Jolina's first two books (The Outcast and The Midwife), I did like The Divide better than I liked The Alliance. It was a bit faster paced and not as quirky. It started off a little slow, but after the first several chapters I was able to get into it and it kept me turning the pages. The love story between Moses and Leora was well developed and the plot was layered. However, it felt like there was a little something missing. About 3/4 of the way through the book, I realized what it was. The plot was very narrow in scope and focus - it solely told us about the small Mennonite community and a tiny bit about their antagonist, the ARC. However, we never find out how widespread the EMP was, why or how it happened, or anything going on in the "outside world", outside of this tiny Mennonite community. It really made the plot feel lacking at times. We also never find out who was really running the ARC, who commissioned them, if they were a part of the government, etc. I think it would've made the plot and story much more interesting, engaging, and rich if there had been more background story about the EMP. I did, however, enjoy this book and am definitely looking forward to Jolina's next one!
I received a copy of this book from Tyndale in order to provide an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.