The Roll of the Drums by Jan Drexler is book two in her The Amish of Weaver’s Creek series. The title, when contemplated, is inspirational as is the story.
28-yr-old Ruby Weaver moves in with her sister, Elizabeth, to help her while Elizabeth’s husband, Reuben, is off fighting with the Confederates. Ruby is trying to gain her independence and wants the same for her sister. Gideon Fischer, his wife, Lovinia, and their four young children are down on their luck and are taken in by Ruby’s parents. Lovinia is very ill and dies soon after the family is accepted by the Weavers. Prior to her death Lovinia gets both her husband, Gideon, and her new-found friend, Ruby, to promise they will marry and make a home for her children. The promise was not easily given and is even harder to put into action.
Jan Drexler started with a great premise and followed through on the execution. She’s seamlessly merged the traumas of civil war with the peaceful life of an Amish community. The characterization is excellent. She brings the varied cast of characters to life. The theme of the sound of drums as played by marching and marauding troops is carried throughout the novel: “We can hear the drums as they march.”; “But he still listened for the roll of drums.” I remarked that the same sound could elicit different responses based on the listener’s experiences. The plot is engrossing and held my attention, there were elements I never would have guessed. Ms. Drexler draws on her understanding of Amish life, as she is descended from Amish, Mennonite and Brethen ancestors, to bring an authenticity to her writing.
The Roll of the Drums settled in my spirit. I could hear those drums beating, heralding the arrival of an army ready to battle. I rate this novel 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to readers who enjoy religious themes paired with historical fiction.
My thanks to Revell and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
Publication Date: October 1, 2019