THE PATH TO PINEY MEADOWS by Gail Sattler was such a heart-warming book that I truly hated for it to end. The characters were so honest and true to God and their hearts. I became so absorbed in the story that I could feel my heart soften and I longed to immerse myself in the Mennonite community. It was that comforting a book.

Chad’s disillusion with the way the world has become – so fast, so uncaring, so dog-eat-dog, as the saying goes – causes him to throw the towel in and quit his job on Christmas Eve. And, as he hops in his car and begins to drive, he comes across a small town just as he runs out of gas. When you run out of gas, on a Christmas Eve, you just know that is where God has planned for you to end up.

As I opened the book to read, I was in a hurry because I needed to catch up on my reading and review this book. Once I began reading, there was no way I was going to finish it in a rush. As I turned page after page, and as I entered into the Mennonite world, I found that I no longer had the urge to fly through the book. I wanted to stay in the moment.

 It was a wonderful book and one I could see myself reading again.

I absolutely loved the characters! I don’t think there was one I didn’t like. Their simpleness and easygoingness was contagious. I do want to go into a little more detail about Chad because the book also had heart-warming humor. He is presented with two baby chicks and proceeds to make them his family. They fall asleep in his lap at night and sleep in a box at the end of his bed, and even wear chicken nappies! We follow along as Chad makes a lot of discoveries about the Mennonite ways and what a different world he has stumbled upon, and eventually earns the nickname, “City Boy”.

“For the most part, a woman’s place was to be a housewife; this was a community of Mrs. Cleavers. Only Mrs. Cleaver didn’t cook like these Mennonite women. He’d never experienced such great food in his life.”

“They (chickens) started getting tired not long after supper. So on the evenings when he didn’t go out, he’d been taking them and putting a towel in his lap to keep them warm, while he curled up with a good book…He’d also noticed that since they could now hop out of their box in the kitchen, Waddles came to him whenever he sat down in the chair he used when he was reading, almost like she was expecting him to pick her up…Blinkie wasn’t so fast when he sat in his favorite chair, but when Waddles made it into his lap, Blinkie wasn’t far behind. While Waddles always waited to let Chad pick her up, Blinkie liked to jump up on his leg. “

“…I would also like to have a dog, because a dog would be good to help protect the chicken hotel (you will have to read the book to find out about that one!) Also, I do not think I would mind the chickens in their box on the floor by the bed.” He flinched at her words, and when he started to speak…”you are not fooling me. Do not think I do not know you allow your chickens to sleep in the box in your bedroom. I have seen it…I followed Blinkie to see where she was going, and she went to have a nap. I have seen you taking them into the house at night after I go to bed”…”Many people know that you have put diapers on your chickens…”

German was dispersed throughout the book, but the author incorporated the English translation very smoothly so the reader doesn’t miss a beat.

I am giving THE PATH TO PINEY MEADOWS five stars. It was a wonderful book and one I could see myself reading again. I was so taken with the descriptions of the Mennonite community that I told my husband I found the perfect place for us to move – and he agreed. In a world where people live too fast, live too selfishly, the little community would be a wonderful place to escape to.

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About the Reviewer

Donna McBroom-Theriot
Writer. Book Reviewer. Southern Lady. Connoisseur of Chocolate. My Life is like an episode of "I love Lucy!" I'm a writer, book reviewer, and a Southern Lady who loves her Sweet Tea. My blog, My Life. One Story at a Time. is where I've been writing short stories since 2009. As luck would have it, the very first short story I wrote was published within months of my writing it. This quote pretty much sums me up: "Deep in my heart, I know there’s no promise I’ll be free from trouble in this life. In fact, I’m usually either getting out of trouble, currently in trouble, or about to meet trouble around the next corner." Well, you know that old saying, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions" - that road is usually the one I'm on! And, as much I used to mock (we all grow up eventually) the Cajun dialect, 15 years ago, I found myself marrying the sweetest Cajun boy - complete with the requisite white trawl boots and a trawl boat. I love writing stories about the South and life with our two German Shepherds, and the four kids who meander in and out of our lives as they live their own journeys. Most days you'll find me out on the front porch swing, with the dogs at my feet, a tall glass of sweet iced tea close by, and a good book. It's what life in the South is all about. - See more at: