Jolina Petersheim

Goodreads Author

in Lancaster, PA, The United States



(or favorite authors) Donna Tartt, Elizabeth Strout, Marilynne Robinso ...more

Member Since
August 2012


Jolina Petersheim is the highly acclaimed author of The Divide, The Alliance, The Midwife, and The Outcast, which Library Journal called "outstanding . . . fresh and inspirational" in a starred review and named one of the best books of 2013. That book also became an ECPA, CBA, and Amazon bestseller and was featured in Huffington Post's Fall Picks, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and the Tennessean. CBA Retailers + Resources called her second book, The Midwife, "an excellent read [that] will be hard to put down," and Booklist selected The Alliance as one of their Top 10 Inspirational Fiction Titles for 2016. The Alliance was also a finalist for the 2017 Christy Award in the Visionary category. The sequel to The Alliance, The Divide, won the 20 ...more

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Jolina Petersheim I guess you could say I had a slightly different childhood. When I was six and my brother ten, our family stood in a field on the camp where my…moreI guess you could say I had a slightly different childhood. When I was six and my brother ten, our family stood in a field on the camp where my parents were caretakers, and my parents told us that this was where we would meet if we were separated when the world “blew up.” From this field, our family would travel by foot to our friends’ elaborate, fairytale home and live in the blue room hidden behind their bookshelves.

My parents in no way meant to instill fear in us. Now that I’m a parent, I see that they were trying to assuage their own fears by coming up with a plan. But I was born with an overactive imagination, and therefore this plan planted in me the seed of fear—and, subsequently, a driving need to control my environment.

I wish I could say I uprooted this fear once I became an adult, but after I had my firstborn daughter, my fear grew worse, for not only did I have to control my environment; I also had to control hers.

When my eldest was six months old, an unnerving exchange with a logger caused my fear to deepen its roots and for me to ask myself whether I would ever use lethal force to protect myself and my family. I believed I would, even though, growing up, I sensed that my own father would adhere to his pacifist heritage if placed in such a situation.

The final puzzle piece for my book, The Alliance, slid into place when my father told us that we needed heirloom seeds to last us until the next harvest season. I remember standing in my darkened kitchen and repeating that phrase to myself—The Harvest Season.

Initially, I believed this would be the title of the book, but over time, I knew a community having enough food to last until the next harvest season was only a small element of the story. The larger element came from the protagonist, Leora Ebersole’s driving need to control her environment, even after society crumbles around her, because if she controls her environment, she believes she will be able to keep her orphaned family safe.

With every one of my books, God’s been faithful to allow me to experience some portion of whatever topic I’m addressing. The Alliance is no exception. My family and I moved from Tennessee to Wisconsin shortly before I finished the rough draft. Eight weeks later, my husband went in for a CAT scan, which revealed a tumor near his brain stem. He had surgery the next morning, and all through that night next to his hospital bed, I feared for my family.

I feared for our two young daughters—two-and-a-half and four months at the time. I feared that I would be a widow, living on a grid-tie solar-powered farm six-hundred miles away from our immediate families. In a matter of hours, one of my worst fears had come true, and I didn’t know how to handle it.

However, all through my Garden of Gethsemane night, during the hours my husband was in surgery, and the critical weeks that followed the craniotomy, I felt God’s presence as if he was sitting beside me. I then understood that God had allowed me to face one of my greatest fears so that I would learn that inner peace can never be acquired through my futile attempts to control my environment—and therefore keep my family safe. Moreover, I can only achieve inner peace if I continually surrender my life and the lives of my family to the One who called us into being.

So I pray, dear reader, that you will discover the author of the peace that passes all understanding and daily surrender your life—and the lives of your family—to him.

“Finally, an apocalyptic novel ablaze with hope. Just the kind of story I champion. A must-read.” ~ Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker’s Children and The Baker’s Daughter

Jolina Petersheim Hi, Beth Ann!

So good to hear from you. I also loved getting to chat with your wonderful book club, and I hope we can repeat that conversation after…more
Hi, Beth Ann!

So good to hear from you. I also loved getting to chat with your wonderful book club, and I hope we can repeat that conversation after The Alliance's June release! I have recently really enjoyed The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, and I feel it would make for a great book club discussion, as it revolves around two sisters who are struggling to survive during WWII in Nazi-occupied France. I also recommend Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. It's a little bit of a slower read, but the imagery is beautiful! Hope this helps. Thanks for connecting.

Average rating: 3.98 · 3,916 ratings · 952 reviews · 9 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Outcast: a modern retel...

3.93 avg rating — 1,679 ratings — published 2013 — 8 editions
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The Midwife

3.90 avg rating — 1,012 ratings — published 2014 — 9 editions
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The Alliance (The Alliance #1)

3.71 avg rating — 594 ratings — published 2016 — 11 editions
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How the Light Gets in

4.59 avg rating — 377 ratings — published 2019 — 6 editions
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The Divide (The Alliance #2)

4.32 avg rating — 221 ratings — published 2017 — 9 editions
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How the Light Gets In PREVI...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 10 ratings
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A Jolina Petersheim 2-in-1 ...

4.67 avg rating — 3 ratings2 editions
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The Alliance #1-2

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When You Pass Through Water...

4.29 avg rating — 21 ratings3 editions
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More books by Jolina Petersheim…

It’s About Pursuit, Not About Perfection

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:12

A novel typically has a sixty-day launch window. Knowing How the Light Gets In’s window was closing fast, combined with the restlessness of being at home with a sick toddler on a rainy day, made me try to cont...

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Published on April 21, 2019 17:01
The Alliance The Divide
(2 books)
3.87 avg rating — 815 ratings

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How the Light Gets in by Jolina Petersheim
"If I was part of a book club, I'd suggest How the Light Gets In without hesitation. The writing is gorgeous, the story compelling, and the ending . . . spellbinding! I'd say more, but this is a book that needs to be read in order to be fully exper..." Read more of this review »
How the Light Gets in by Jolina Petersheim
"This book has left me speechless! All I can say is wow. It brought me to tears. The ending blew me away! It was not until I was near the end that I realized I was reading the story of Ruth. For anyone that is not a fan of Christian fiction I think..." Read more of this review »
How the Light Gets in by Jolina Petersheim
"I'd never read Jolina Petersheim before, so I really didn't know what to expect from this novel. In the first section of the book, I thought, "Oh, this is a pretty standard romance novel." But when the second section of the book began, I realized..." Read more of this review »
How the Light Gets in by Jolina Petersheim
"I received this fabulous book from Goodreads. The characters were so so real, so believable, so relate-able that I had to check to make sure I was reading a novel. Do the paths we choose have consequences both for good and for sorrow? Absolutely!"
Jolina Petersheim wants to read
Glory Road by Lauren K. Denton
Glory Road
by Lauren K. Denton (Goodreads Author)
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Brave Love by Lisa Leonard
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" Thank you! He is healing beautifully and back to working on our house. We are so grateful! "
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How the Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim
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More of Jolina's books…
“I encourage anyone who has gone through hardships to look back through their life’s chapters and see what can be turned into a book. For you never know what heartache God, one day, can turn into a redemptive story.”
Jolina Petersheim

“Sometimes it is necessary to celebrate life, despite being faced with defeat and death.”
Jolina Petersheim, The Alliance


This is the poll for September's Book of the Month - the book with the most votes will be the Group Read, and the book with the second most votes will be the Group Buddy Read.

Engaged in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones Engaged in Trouble (Enchanted Events #1) by Jenny B. Jones
  7 votes 30.4%

The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White The Lost Heiress (Ladies of the Manor, #1) by Roseanna M. White
  6 votes 26.1%

Blue Moon Bay by Lisa Wingate Blue Moon Bay (Moses Lake, #2) by Lisa Wingate
  3 votes 13.0%

Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish
  3 votes 13.0%

Ready or Not by Chautona Havig Ready or Not (Aggie's Inheritance, #1) by Chautona Havig
  2 votes 8.7%

The Midwife by Jolina Petersheim The Midwife by Jolina Petersheim
  1 vote 4.3%

The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry
The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry
  1 vote 4.3%

Sweet Tea and Southern Grace by Glenda C. Manus Sweet Tea and Southern Grace by Glenda C. Manus
  0 votes 0.0%

23 total votes

Topics Mentioning This Author

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Ladies & Literature: * October 2013 Chat ** 500 82 Nov 01, 2013 04:06AM  
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Crazy Challenge C...: 2014 Winter Olympics 193 138 Jul 30, 2014 08:26PM  
“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”
Madeleine L'Engle

“If you are lazy, and accept your lot, you may live in it. If you are willing to work, you can write your name anywhere you choose.”
Gene Stratton-Porter, A Girl of the Limberlost

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“Sometiimes when you look at a person all you see is the tangle and you miss the weave”
Jonathan Odell, The Healing

“A Robin said: The Spring will never come,
And I shall never care to build again.
A Rosebush said: These frosts are wearisome,
My sap will never stir for sun or rain.
The half Moon said: These nights are fogged and slow,
I neither care to wax nor care to wane.
The Ocean said: I thirst from long ago,
Because earth's rivers cannot fill the main. —
When Springtime came, red Robin built a nest,
And trilled a lover's song in sheer delight.
Grey hoarfrost vanished, and the Rose with might
Clothed her in leaves and buds of crimson core.
The dim Moon brightened. Ocean sunned his crest,
Dimpled his blue, yet thirsted evermore.”
Christina Rossetti

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Ugbomeh Thanks for the adds

Jillian Peery Thanks for the add, Jolina!

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