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4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  897 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
When Hannah refuses to forgive a terrible sin she becomes anathema--shunned. But the real question is, can she forgive herself?

Visitors come to Parke County, Indiana to enjoy the lush farms, to buy the Amish quilts, and to experience the peaceful ways of the Amish families who live there. But when a double murder rocks this quiet community, the Amish residents resolve to f
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 13th 2008 by Thomas Nelson (first published May 1st 2008)
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Nora St Laurent
Sep 28, 2008 Nora St Laurent rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Yes
This is definitely not your typical Amish Story. I didn't think I would make it though the first chapter. The decisions that Hannah Schwartz had made when she was younger, made things turn from bad to worse for her. Hannah soon discovers that it's better to look before you leap into a big decision like marriage. Things are definitely not what they seemed to be at first.

She is thrown into a world so unlike her own, it's disturbing at best. She thought she knew what she was doing. She had entered
Tamara Tilley
May 01, 2011 Tamara Tilley rated it really liked it
Shelves: colleen-coble, own
The twists and turns in ANATHEMA by Colleen Coble will keep you guessing in this suspense novel set in the quaint lifestyle of the Amish.

Hannah Schwartz has been raised in the Amish community of Parke County, Indiana. And though she knows the ways of the Amish, she has done the unpardonable– fallen in love with an Englisch. While on a rendezvous with Reece, her parents are murdered in their home. Devastated and confused, Hannah leaves her childhood behind in Parke County and runs away with Reece
Victor Gentile
Jul 19, 2013 Victor Gentile rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Colleen Coble in her new book “Anathema book coverAnathema” published by Thomas Nelson takes us into the life of Hannah Schwartz.

From the back cover: When Hannah refuses to forgive a terrible sin she becomes “anathema”–shunned. But the real question is, can she forgive herself?

Visitors come to Parke County, Indiana to enjoy the lush farms, to buy the Amish quilts, and to experience the peaceful ways of the Amish families who live there. But when a double murder rocks this quiet community, the Am
May 03, 2008 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Ohh this is a great book. Hannah has alot to struggle with the loss of her parents, then abuse, and feelings of doubt and anger as well as bitterness. When she leaves her abusive husband after 5yrs and an event that almost destroyed her, she makes herself a life. Then after 5yrs of wondering when her husband would find her, she receives a letter one that makes her wonder if her daughter died, as her husband said. She returns to the Amish community she left, only be shunned, and to find another m ...more
Nov 12, 2016 Kav rated it it was amazing
Such an enthralling story! I love how Coble gets into the grit of real relationships while hurling evil at her characters along the way! Emotions run high on both the Amish and Englisch sides as tragedy and danger create chaos in the usually peaceful town.

Hannah is a conflicted heroine -- living in the world while trying to hold onto the core of her Amish roots. But she's a survivor. Scrappy. Determined. Intent on discovering the truth. And that isn't easy -- especially when you don't know who
May 26, 2011 Aimee rated it it was ok
First book I read by this author. Saw her in the Christian bookstore mailer I get. I write down titles that sound good and then head to the library. The book started out good and capturing my attention, but then really bogged down in the middle - too much detail and not enough story line movement.
Shannah Mauney
Jul 09, 2013 Shannah Mauney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewd-on-blog
I loved this book. Colleen Coble is an excellent writer and this book doesn't disappoint! You can see my full review here.
Feb 15, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Wow, lots of twists and and turns. At one point I had to just stop and think about each character and think things through.
Nov 01, 2015 Colleen rated it it was amazing
Excellent book, a true page turner with a little about the Amish life, but mostly the mystery of a little girl and how God's makes everything right again. I recommend it
Dec 21, 2013 Ruth rated it really liked it
Overall I really liked this book. I enjoyed the last Colleen Coble book I read (Lightkeeper's Ball), so I'm not surprised to find myself enjoying the mystery in this one as well. Technically you could call it an Amish romantic mystery, but at the same time it's really not. There's a good deal more to the story than that, and most of the relevant action occurs out in the "Englisch" world.

And yep, there was definitely a mystery here! So many threads to the mystery (and lots of red herrings, natura
Apr 10, 2015 Brandi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amish-fiction
This novel kept me in suspense from start to finished. I never once suspected the one that turned out to be the murderer. If you enjoy mysteries that will keep you guessing the whole way, read this one. You'll love it.
The characters were well-portrayed and realistic. The good and the evil.
There was an amazing amount of suspense in there. Being a murder mystery, there wasn't really any humor. I do wish there was a bit more romance.
I thought that was neat how she incorporated the truth about t
Beth Gibson
Aug 14, 2013 Beth Gibson rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2017 Kw rated it really liked it
Outstanding. I really enjoyed it. As usual, I was left with a few minor questions and some misgivings about a theology in which there is no assurance of salvation and everything is
accepted as God's will - so don't bother to fight evil.
But as I said, minor. A really good story, and I'm already into another Coble novel.
Oct 05, 2013 Jennah rated it really liked it
This book had a pretty good story, it was filled with a mystery from the beginning to the end.

Hannah falls in love with Reece who isn't Amish, but a murder suddenly happens in her family.
The Amish community insists that she forgives her family's murderer, however, Hannah refuses and runs away with Reece. She marries Reece and soon, finds out that he isn't the person she fell in love with. A tragic thing happens and she has only one choice but to run away from Reece. Years later, she journeys b
If you are expecting the typical Amish story when you open Anathema, you will be very surprised. Although this story involves the Amish and their way of life, it is almost in the background of a more prominent theme of mystery, suspense, and intrigue. The storyline is very interesting, and, for the most part, well written. The issues of domestic abuse, revenge, and forgiveness are dealt with very well. I did feel like the action was very uneven; sometimes it felt like nothing happened for quite ...more
When Hannah's parents are brutally murdered she runs away from her Amish family and marries Reece. Reece, however, turns out to be an abusive husband and after a fall down the stairs kills her unborn baby Hannah finds herself on the run once again. Five years later, Reece sends her a message and tells her that their daughter survived, and thus begins a cat and mouse game in Amish country.

This novel is a bit slow at the beginning, and the time hops and point of view changes can be
Rebecca Waters
Nov 16, 2016 Rebecca Waters rated it it was amazing
This was not at all what I expected...and I loved it! Was it Amish? No, but it took place in an Amish community and had some Amish Characters. Was is it romance? Yes, though that part of the book seemed to be a natural outgrowth of the situation. Was it a mystery or suspense? Yes to both. And I love that it had so many twists and turns to keep me guessing. The small community made for some convoluted relationships and interactions, but having been a part of a small farm community when I was youn ...more
Jul 20, 2013 Fireflyphia rated it liked it
When my sister handed me an Amish murder mystery, I was skeptical. I didn't know those were a thing. But despite my initial hesitations, the mystery turned out to be very thrilling and the culprit surprising (I had no idea until the very end and suspected all the wrong people). The romance in the story was a little cliche, and while the author had talent in her style overall, the action scenes could have used some shoring up. The book's many themes, such as the importance of community and God's ...more
May 09, 2011 Laurel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I rarely think a book is 5-star amazing, but Anathema has it all. It was written so well. At page 63 I stopped to breathe.... there'd already been more quality story telling at that point than most books in their entirety. Sort of exhausting! Very suspenseful, great lead characters with backbones and strong moral values, and just the right touch of romance. There's also a beautiful message about forgiveness that intensifies at the very end... Wow is all I can say. Nicely done, Colleen Coble.
Janet Crandell
Aug 18, 2012 Janet Crandell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amish-fiction
Really enjoyed this book. What happens when you do not forgive..... Story takes place in Indiana. Story of a younf Amish girl that is secretly dating an Englisher. She returns home one night to find both of her parents have been murdered. Grief stricken, Hannah refuses to forgive and this sets off a series of choices for her. Years later she returns to her home and community to find peace. This was a very unusual Amish fiction. The story was weaved masterfully and I couldn't put it down. Highly ...more
Oct 28, 2008 Kristi rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Kristi by: Women of Faith newsletter
I really enjoyed this book. It was refreshing not to have to cringe at nasty language, or obscene sexual encounters. Once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down. I stayed up way too late. There were a few instances where certain revelations were rather anti-climactic. That left me scratching my head or asking the character if they just heard what was said. Other than those few instances, though, the book was really great. It is a fun read and not one of incredible depth. Pick it up and ...more
Jan 01, 2015 Lynda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amish
An Amish girl who just can't bind herself to the Old Order Amish life style. She is always questioning either silently or asking why? what? who said? ... And she doesn't always make wise choices. Does she have to pay a price? Yes -- don't we all when we don't make wise choices.

Note that this book deals with battered wives and a murder mystery as well as defining many Amish quilt designs and their meanings. Yes -- all of that DOES fit into one sentence. The writer could have had problems with mak
Jul 03, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing
Really like it so for. I tried another book of hers and did not. But so far so good with this one. Daughter read it and thought I would like it.

It was very good. I have read a few Amish Christian fiction that were pretty good and a few i did not like and usually stay away from Amish book, but this was exceptionally better than most. Maybe because it included a great mystery within the romantic part. Recommend greatly.
Sep 22, 2010 April added it
I don't normally read this genre (more a murder mystery type story) but because of the Amish back drop, I purchased it at a Christian book store. I've read other reviews that stated that this story was predictable, but I didn't think so at all. In fact, for at least the first half of the book, I was totally surprised by the turn of events. I loved the 'Amishness' of the story and the story line certainly made it difficult to put down. I'd recommend this one!
Feb 01, 2012 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book on several levels. First it takes place in Indiana not far from where I grew up, so her description of the area took me back home. I also liked learning about the Amish culture, it has some aspects that we could all use in our life, like forgiveness and simple life styles. On a literary level, at first I thought that the pacing of the storyline was off, but the more I got into the story I understood why she was writing it that way. Good Read!
J.E.B. Spredemann
Jan 07, 2013 J.E.B. Spredemann rated it really liked it
Shelves: amish-fiction
For me, besides being Amish fiction, the best part about this book is the history behind the so-called "peace" sign. I already knew that it was an anti-Christian symbol, but this book really brings it to light. Colleen Coble did an excellent job researching this seldom known fact. As Christians, we should be diligent to look into issues when we hear something that goes against what we've always thought to be true.
Aug 19, 2014 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, passed-on
I am not a fan of "Amish" themed books so usually avoid them. However, I do like Colleen Coble's writing style so thought I would try this. (Not sure why anyone would want their book classified as a "Romantic Amish Mystery"! )

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Even though the main character left the Amish church and it took place in Northern Indiana, it was more of an intriguing mystery than an Amish book.

I would pass this on to friends after a warning to just ignore the classification!
Jan 09, 2015 Casie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
It was good but there were too many things that just didn't add up right. The age of Trudy was mentioned as late 60s but Matt was thinking his mom was that age...but Trudy is his grandma? It doesn't work out right. I can't remember the other thing I noticed but it was enough to annoy me. Oh and no closure on the Reece/Trudy action was dumb too.
Jun 26, 2009 Stefanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
My mother in law loaned me this book, and it took me awhile to pick it up, but it was great when I finally read it. I must say it kept me guessing until the very end. I was however, a little upset over the slow pace of it all. I felt that there were some parts that could have been left out. It does, however, have a wonderful message of God's forgiveness and plan for our lives.
Aug 18, 2009 Janice rated it really liked it
This is a very good book, one that you will not want to put down.Sometimes we have to go back to a place in our lives to get free from the hold that life has had on us, to get free. In this book Hannah had to deal with the shunning from her family and the murder of her parents and deal with making some bad mistakes, but she sees love also even amongst those who stick to their Amish beliefs.
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USAToday bestselling author Colleen Coble lives with her husband, Dave, in Indiana. She is the author of dozens of novels including the Rock Harbor Series, the Aloha Reef Series, the Mercy Falls Series, the Hope Beach Series, the Lonestar Series and two Women of Faith fiction selections, Alaska Twilight and Midnight Sea. She has more than 2 million books in print.
More about Colleen Coble...

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