Title: Eye of the Storm
Author: Janice Dick
Series: The Storm series, book 2
Major Themes: Russian Revolution, Russian Mennonites, Christian Fiction
Synopsis: As the Red Army fights to gain control of Russia, the Mennonites debate whether they should continue their old tradition of returning good for evil, or fight to protect their own.
Sometimes I get a real gem of a book for review. Those times make it worthwhile to continue requesting titles and slogging through some books that don’t live up to the descriptions. Eye of the Storm is one of those gems. By the time I was halfway through it, I was raving about it to my daughter and even telling my husband, a non-reader, about it. This is a book I wish I had in print!
Johann and Katya still live with Katya’s family on their estate in the Crimea. Succoth feels like an oasis of peace as the Revolution sweeps through the rest of Russia—but will it always be peaceful there? The Mennonites are discussing what to do as the bandits and the Red Army are coming toward them. Should they keep their old tradition of not resisting evil, or is it time to defend themselves and their families? Johann, and Katya’s father, both believe that those “who take the sword will perish with the sword,” but they have friends and family members who take the opposite view. Even Katya’s 13-year-old brother Kolya is swept up in the controversy, and desperately wants to do something, anything, to counter the evil that is taking over the land. Does he have the correct opinion, or is Johann right, believing that doing good for people is the right way?
Meanwhile, Paul, Johann’s childhood friend, is involved with Lenin and the Bolsheviks in St. Petersburg, far to the north. His dear friend Vera is gone, killed accidentally by his own hand, but Grisha is still in his life. They keep writing for the underground newspaper Pravda, and spread Marxist ideas whereever they can. As rioting breaks out and anarchy reigns, the Soviet gains control of the country and the Tsar resigns. Prisoners are released from jail, and one of them, Machno, surrounds himself with thousands of bandits as evil as himself, bent on killing and destroying as much as possible all over Russia.
Eye of the Storm, like the first book in the series, Calm Before the Storm, tells the story of the Russian Revolution and the Mennonites’ experiences during this time, very accurately. I really liked the way the controversy over self-defense was presented. As far as I could see, the discussion was presented in a very Biblically-sound way. This is a powerful story about loving and forgiving your enemies, and about what happens when law and order are overthrown. This is a book I would like everyone in my family to read. I am really looking forward to reading the final book in the trilogy!
I received a free copy of this book from the author, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: In Chapter 24, a general swears several times.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults