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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
Set Free is an Amish Christian fiction by George Michael Loughmueller. Allan Howarth is discontented with his job, the bills, and feels like a stranger with his wife, Tina, and their teenage kids. After receiving a letter from a former teacher, Allan travels to the Amish town of Karsten Fields. He meets Ben Abrim, caretaker for a house that Allan inherited. Allan’s plans don’t include living without electricity and other necessities, but he hears a voice urging him to stay. He uproots his family, and they are naturally upset by their sudden lifestyle changes. Although not welcomed by everyone, the family attempts to adjust to their restricted situation. Their patience is fully tested by Allan’s illness, strict Amish rules, the lack of Internet and entertainment. Being isolated from the modern world lets each family member evaluate their lives and make drastic decisions they never thought possible.
Sometimes we need a retreat like Karsten Fields to get away from our stressful schedules and dependence on modern gadgets. The Howarth family had a culture shock when they moved into the deeply religious Amish town, where things are done the old-fashioned way. I have a deeper appreciation for the Amish religion. Some of their laws and teachings promote strong family values, non-violence and learning to respect others’ beliefs. The author was very thorough and detailed in his writing, which was never dull. He brought out every natural emotion and thought that the main characters had, thus enabling me to understand their actions and choices. Set Free is a touching spiritual story by George Michael Loughmueller.