Summary of Scruples on the Line:
Authentic voices shape this fresh look at a familiar story, the American Civil War. While warfare provides the chronological framework for this trilogy, the narrative grip comes through the eyes of civilians, those who are usually unnamed and unaccounted for.
Beginning with the rapid buildup of tension between North and South in 1859 and continuing through May of 1865, this three-book series of historical fiction (Shadows, Loyalties, and Passages) follows developments among Anabaptist groups of people. From the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to Chicago and Iowa, five narrators tell the experiences of Amish, Mennonite, and German Baptist communities of conscience.
Trapped in the conflicts of obedience to government and historic refusal to participate in warfare, many of these characters with their families and churches in agrarian settings face demands from hungry soldiers for grain and animals. Add to this the unpredictability of military drafts and local pressure, and men must choose among enlisting, hiding, fleeing, buying a substitute, or paying a fee. The trauma becomes personal also to the women and children who are left to fend for themselves, as desperation seizes armies of the Union and Confederacy.
By the series finale of Book III the spotlight shines brightest on the Mennonite and German Baptist folks in the ravaged Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. But no one can escape the reach of wartime. Not a young Amish girl in West Virginia, not an elderly bishop in Iowa, not even an increasingly successful young businessman in Chicago can stay immune. In spite of their human limitations, though, all five narrators show courage, faith, adaptation, and survival.
These books will challenge, dismay, and shine the bright light of resilience for readers determined to align today with peaceful actions instead of violence.
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