Jolina Petersheim

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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 bestselling author of The Alliance, The Divide, 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. Jolina’s nonfiction writing has been featured in Reader’s Digest, Writer’s Digest, Proverbs 31 Ministries, and Today’s Christian Woman. She an ...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: 3.91 · 3,195 ratings · 632 reviews · 8 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Outcast: a modern retel...

3.93 avg rating — 1,597 ratings — published 2013 — 8 editions
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The Midwife

3.88 avg rating — 919 ratings — published 2014 — 8 editions
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The Alliance (The Alliance #1)

3.73 avg rating — 493 ratings — published 2016 — 10 editions
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The Divide (The Alliance #2)

4.35 avg rating — 170 ratings — published 2017 — 8 editions
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A Jolina Petersheim 2-in-1 ...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating2 editions
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How the Light Gets in

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How the Light Gets in

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When You Pass Through Water...

4.44 avg rating — 18 ratings3 editions
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More books by Jolina Petersheim…
“I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you.” John 14:18 NIV

I should’ve known it wasn’t a good idea to give God an ultimatum, but I wanted clarity regarding my husband’s medical journey, so I asked for an answer by midnight. I didn’t know what form that answer would take: a phone call, an email, a dream, a talking donkey, but I believed it would happen.

No answer came.

By the next ni...

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Published on July 15, 2018 12:50
The Alliance The Divide
(2 books)
3.89 avg rating — 662 ratings

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How the Light Gets in by Jolina Petersheim
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A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
“He went through life with his hands firmly shoved into his pockets. She danced.”
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A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
“To love someone is like moving into a house," Sonja used to say. "At first you fall in love in everything new, you wonder every morning that this is one's own, as if they are afraid that someone will suddenly come tumbling through the door and say that there has been a serious mistake and that it simply was not meant to would live so fine. But as the years go by, the facade worn, the wood cracks here and there, and you start to love this house not so much for all the ways it is perfect in that for all the ways it is not. You become familiar with all its nooks and crannies. How to avoid that the key gets stuck in the lock if it is cold outside. Which floorboards have some give when you step on them, and exactly how to open the doors for them not to creak. That's it, all the little secrets that make it your home.”
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“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


What book would you most like to read for the January additional group read?

The Outcast a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter by Jolina Petersheim - The outcast by Jolina Petersheim
  8 votes 32.0%

The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson
  5 votes 20.0%

A Talent for Trouble (Ladies of Distinction #3) by Jen Turano A talent for trouble by Jen Turano
  4 votes 16.0%

Unspoken by Dee Henderson Unspoken by Dee Henderson
  3 votes 12.0%

Dear Mr. Knightley A Novel by Katherine Reay Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
  3 votes 12.0%

Forever Friday A Novel by Timothy Lewis Forever Friday by Timothy Lewis
  2 votes 8.0%

Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury
  0 votes 0.0%

Doon (Doon, #1) by Carey Corp Doon by Carey Corp
  0 votes 0.0%

25 total votes

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Gene Stratton-Porter, A Girl of the Limberlost

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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”
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“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.”
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Ugbomeh Thanks for the adds

Jillian Peery Thanks for the add, Jolina!

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