Escaping his father’s secret beatings, Joshua, an eleven year old Amish boy, runs away after a catastrophic fire. He faces starvation, the elements, and two legged predators as he heads for California. At home, he is presumed dead. “He’s crawled off to die,” his father says, but his mother struggles to maintain hope as she gets to the truth of his disappearance and the part her husband played.
Review: E.B. Moore says Stones in the Road is loosely based on her grandfather’s travels across the country. Moore grew up in Pennsylvania and has Amish roots. Her first Amish book is The Unseemly Wife.
In Stones in the Road, the story is told from the viewpoints of Joshua and his mother Miriam. Joshua has fled from his secretly abusive father and home in Pennsylvania Amish country. Over a span of a decade he comes of age as he makes his way to California and returns home. He encounters many people who are interesting mixes of good, bad, and somewhere in between. Back home Miriam is dealing with the loss of her son and the responsibilities of the family farm.
Moore has such an interesting way of writing. The best way I would describe it is dark and earthy. This book shows the difficulties of life in the 19th century. There is much physical, spiritual, and heartbreaking loss with some joy added. I could feel it all as I read. I enjoyed getting to know Joshua and Miriam. The Amish way of life and the time period are well depicted. This is not a story that I would recommend as a family friendly read; it has profanity and references to sex. I do not see the need for either in this well written historical novel.