Jacob Hochstetler is a peace-loving Amish settler on the Pennsylvania frontier when Native American warriors, goaded on by the hostilities of the French and Indian War, attack his family one September night in 1757. Taken captive by the warriors and grieving for the family members just killed, Jacob finds his beliefs about love and nonresistance severely tested.
Jacob endures a hard winter as a prisoner in an Indian longhouse. Meanwhile, some members of his congregation—the first Amish settlement in America—move away for fear of further attacks.
Based on actual events, Jacob's Choice describes how one man's commitment to pacifism leads to a season of captivity, a complicated romance, an unrelenting search for missing family members, and an astounding act of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Free downloadable study guide available here.
<p>“In this evocative and gripping story, Ervin Stutzman details the love, the loss, and restoration of Jacob as fervently as Jacob pursued his own rebirth from the ashes of a terrible past. All of this occurs within the stunningly depicted confines of Amish life and history.”</p>Sherry Gore, Reviews
<p>“Ervin Stutzman’s intimately imaginative entrée into the most famous Amish experience in colonial America is woven around documented historical and geographical data. <i>Jacob’s Choice</i> will confront readers with equally inescapable choices of our own.”</p>John Ruth, Reviews
<p>“The story transports the reader to a time in Pennsylvania history when the area was beyond the edge of the frontier, a place steeped with great danger. The account is accurate and uncomfortable.You can almost smell the smoke and feel the pain.”</p>C. Rusty Sherrick, Reviews
<p>“Using historical facts and a vivid imagination, Ervin Stutzman does a beautiful narration of nonresistant Amish life.”</p>Sam Stoltzfus, Reviews
<p>“This novel of Amish life in eighteenth-century Pennsylvania allows us to imagine the joys, tears, doubts, and religious devotion of the earliest Amish immigrants. In retelling the story of the Hochstetler massacre, Stutzman reminds us that the family was real and that their sacrifice was both a human tragedy and a triumph of faith.”</p>Karen Johnson-Weiner, Reviews
<p>“Ervin Stutzman’s recounting of this tragic event demands soul-searching. Written with honesty and grace, <i>Jacob’s Choice</i> draws the reader into the story to feel the angst of the Hochstetler family. A must-read for all of us who strive to live out our faith.”</p>Becky Gochnauer, Reviews
<p>“Ervin Stutzman understands that a good story is the most powerful rhetorical form to bind communities together, pass on traditions, and ultimately to understand the triumph and the tragedy of the human condition. In this dramatic and accessible tale of how one Amish family faced a horrific crucible of their nonresistant faith during the French and Indian War, Stutzman puts &lquo;flesh on the bones’ of known facts. He also creates a searing virtual experience that challenges us to seehow extraordinarily difficult it is to follow Jesus Christ and love our enemies.”</p>Susan Schultz Huxman, Reviews
<p>“Ervin Stutzman has composed an incisive historical novel dealing with Amish courage and forgiveness during the turbulent period of the French and Indian War. His narrative on how Jacob Hochstetler dealt with an Indian attack on his family, related indignities, and his own tribal captivity and escape—coupled with a tender romance and other matters of the heart—provide for a truly edifying and rewarding read.”</p>William Unrau, Reviews
<p>“Ervin Stutzman has written a fictionalized yet historically accurate story of an eighteenth-century Amish family’s nonresistance in the face of attack, murder, and captivity. Jacob’s subsequent sojourn with Native Americans in a Seneca village is authentically portrayed. Stutzman brings characters from the past to life!”</p>Beth Hostetler Mark, Reviews
<p>“Stutzman’s keen knowledge of time and place brings to life the Hochstetler family’s testing through the Indian attack and captivity and their commitment to Anabaptist values. Nonresistance, forgiveness—and romance—are just some of the choices this most widely known family in the original pioneer Amish settlement must make.”</p>Daniel Hochstetler, Reviews