In a continuation of The Covenant, Sadie Ebersol's sinfulness, rebellion, and refusal to repent tears apart her entire family, hurting her loving sister Leah most of all.
Celery is said to "get couples off to a good start" and bring about "fruitfulness." This is considered a "birds and bees talk." A teenage girl thinks about how she could ask another teenage girl for more details since she has been sexually active. She decides not to ask the other teen.
Teenage girl needs to confess wild past that she was never caught in (sexuality implied.)
A young man is said to be "sweet on" a teenage girl.
A teenage girl is said to have been seeing a young man.
A shack in the woods is thought to be good for one thing: "kindling," which is sexual intercourse.
It is said that it is proper for a young man to do the wooing.
An engaged couple sends letters three times a week.
It is said that a man has chosen a certain young man to marry his daughter.
It is said that a "fancy English man" stole a young woman's virtue.
A young man wants to spend time with a teen girl alone. (She is his fiance.)
A teen girl dreams of her fiance and "drinks in" his letters.
A teenage boy makes eyes at a teenage girl.
A teenage girl thinks a teenage boy is handsome and wonders about how many children he wants.
A girl is told she can do whatever she pleases to a beau.
A teenage girl dreams of being in love with her baby's father.
It is said that a teenage girl is punished by God for youthful lust.
A teenage girl starts to like a teenage boy because she sees and talks to him more often. She wonders about "giving in to her attraction." She decides to "nip her romantic interest in the bud."
A teenage boy is said to have feelings and a look of hopeless longing for a teenage girl.
A teenage boy is said to have been a stain on a teenage girl.
Two teenage boys look at two teenage girls. Their older sister is amused and wonders what their children will look like.
A teenage girl and boy get a moment alone. The girl is eager to talk and gets tongue-tied and nervous.
A teenage boy stares at a teenage girl and his eyes drew her in like a magnet. A teenage girl wonders if she is falling in love.
A teenage boy is uncomfortable in the presence of a teenage girl he loves.
A teenage boy talks about holding his fiance in his arms.
A teenage boy says his heart longs for a teenage girl's smile and face.
A teenage girl is deeply in love with her fiance.
A teenage girl is said to have been "awakened to fleshly desires" like for a husband.
Non-Amish women are said to be "bent on too much skin."
A teenage girl is said to have been "defiled."
A man rubs his thigh. (No sexual intent.)
A woman mentions she had a relationship out of wedlock that produced a baby.
A teenage girl wonders if a boy longed for a girlfriend. She sees the light in his eyes for another girl.
A teenage girl thinks no boy would ever look twice at her even though she is pretty.
A teenage boy boldly asks to drive a teenage girl to her job. She wonders what her dad would think, but doesn't tell him and accepts.
A teenage boy slips his arm around a teenage girl.
A teenage boy holds his fiance's hand.
Engaged teenagers embrace. The teenage boys thinks about wanting to just hold her.
A teenage girl is said to have been the outcome of someone's "lust."
A teenage girl feels the sweet warmth of her fiance's smile. He kisses her wrist.
A teenage boy gathers his fiance into his arms.
A teenage boy kisses his fiance on the lips. She "longs for more." Her mother said, "Save lip kissing for after marriage." He longs for more. They kiss two more times until the teenage girl feels breathless and woozy. They "snuggle" and touch noses. Then the teenage girl leans over and kisses her fiance "square on the lips." After kissing her fiance, a teenage girl understands how her older sister had succumbed to sexual temptation. She regrets kissing him.
A woman gives her husband a peck on the forehead.
A woman is said to have a "slight chest."
A woman tells a teenage girl that there are good-looking boys around.
A woman says that "the best thing in heaven is a match well made."
A teenage boy pulls his fiance into his arms. She can feel his breath on her neck.
A teenage girl wonders multiple times about what another teenage girl and boy were doing in the woods. She sees them holding hands.
A teenage boy's touch of his hand is said to be strong.
An engaged couple embrace.
A woman is said to have an ample bosom.
A teenage girl enjoys the smiles of young men.
A man says that back in his daughter's day there were lots of boys interested in her.
A girl's pretty and unique heart-shaped prayer cap is said to attract attention of young men.
A teenage girl can't wait to see a teenage boy. When he shows up promptly, she thinks, "He likes me!"
A teenage boy tells his fiance he wants her to show up in his dreams because of his longing for her and because of the memory of their kisses.
A teenage boy stays far away from his fiance because of being tempted after kissing her.
A teenage boy thinks his fiance's sister is beautiful. (No sexual intent.)
A man makes a teenage boy asks his fiance to see a doctor to determine how pure she has been.
A woman tries to matchmake.
A teenage girl goes on dates in young men's buggies.
A teenage boy asks if his fiance spent any time with another young man. He is worried she has "been unfaithful." (No sexual intent.)
A teenage girl thinks that her sister's fiance is the "most desirable young man" and "enticing."
Intermarrying is said to occur in some districts where children have physical deformities.
A teenage girl worries that her beautiful sister caught her fiance's eye. She is said to have "beguiled" him. (It is untrue.)
A woman goes into labor.
A woman thumbs a ride with a young man, gets drunk, and goes into the forest and "gives up her virginity."
A woman thinks about how she conceived a baby on New Years Eve.
A "love child" is said to have been conceived in the forest.
Children are said to have made a love covenant with each other.
A young woman wants her friend to attend weddings to meet boys.
A teenage boy is said to not be able to take his eyes off of a teenage girl.
A young woman aches up and down forearms.
Teenagers are said to have lost their lives doing wild things.
There is discussion about a premature baby who was born and died. It is said God killed him.
The book Martyr's Mirror is referred to - a book about Christian martyrs, blood, and abuse. One woman is said to be firebranded on her cheek. Her feet were bound, she was carried off to prison, and only given bread and water for weeks. Daily she was beaten until she died.
A mule has an injured leg.
A man is in severe pain in his hip.
A baby is said to be colicky. Whenever she cries, a teenage girl says she weeps inside.
A man gets an injection on the thigh.
Hay is said to poke the spine.
A teenage girl wonders if a man secretly buried a stillborn baby on his piece of land.
A boy is said to suffer with severe asthma.
Brothers and sisters are said to be sentenced to death.
Children are said to have physical infirmities due to so much intermarrying.
A woman goes into labor.
A young woman's brother is said to have threatened to force her to have an abortion.
"For goodness' sake"
A boy belches.
Christian Principles: Minimum
While there is much to be said of Leah Ebersol's message of waiting for sex and discovering all about it after marriage, feeling sorry for allowing her fiance to kiss her, and her desire to have the Amish's carefree and wild years before baptism stopped, unfortunately, there is much about beliefs and religious practices in this book that are legalistic and against Scripture. Nothing is Biblically explained or corrected, therefore this thinking might lead a younger and more immature believer astray, as well as paint God in a way not true to His character. The main reason for this works-based religion is said to be that they are trying to work their way into heaven. This is clearly against salvation by grace, as stated all over the Bible, but especially in Ephesians 2:8-9.
The critic has to give the book a "Minimum" in Christian Principles based on the sheer amount of legalistic teaching.
The unbiblical, and often even heretical, doctrines taught in this book are as follows:
Join church before someone catches you in the sin you committed as a teen.
You cannot confess to the Lord on your own. You have to do it in front of the church.
Follow your heart.
Rubber tires are sinful.
Obey or be shunned.
You must pray using "thee" and "thou."
Girls are not allowed to study Scripture by themselves. A deacon may only reluctantly agree that a girl's father can read out loud to her, but no one can have a Bible study or anything as scandalous as that. You have to obtain permission before you can even think about discussing Scripture.
Fictional books and magazines of any kind are sinful. The library is an evil place.
High school and higher education are what the verse is talking about when it says "the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God." Therefore, attending high school and college is sinful.
Don't get your father's advice for who you marry. Even if your dad wants you to marry someone else, ignore what he has to say.
Lying to your fiance is okay if it protects your sister.
Memorize prayers other people have written. How dare you come up with one on your own!
You are only saved if you are baptized.
If you have a child out of wedlock, you better hope it dies - or perhaps even get an abortion - because, if he or she lives, you and your whole family will suffer immense disgrace.
A church's job is to humiliate a teenager they think has done anything wrong - even if it's just being a little rowdy.
If you don't show up for church, it's cause to ground you for a week. The entire family is shamed.
Women are to be managed under the men's thumb.
Any career other than farming is against the bishop's wishes.
You must tattle on your friends so they can be handled by the church.
Photos are evil and prohibited.
The bishop can give away someone's child.
Serious courting is to be done in secret, without the wisdom or protection of parents.
God may punish you for kissing someone before marriage, more so if it's on a holy day.
The preacher is a scary person with little to no mercy. He has the right to confront a father over the personal details of his daughter. The daughter then has to face him and the bishop.
Getting a haircut is a sin.
Moving away from the town you're in, and out from under your preacher, means you'll be shunned and your own family can't talk to you.
If a girl is the daughter of an immoral woman, she must be immoral herself.
A bishop can force a girl to see a doctor to test her purity.
The Apocrypha is also the Word of God.
Other topics discussed:
Jesus is the mender of broken souls. It appears that Leah may actually become a Christian at the very end of the book, but it is simply not clear.
A teenage girl never repents of her sin, choosing to continue to lie and be in rebellion. She goes as far as to covet her sister's fiance, and to steal letters and eventually the heart of the young man, mostly be defaming her sister's reputation.
The Scripture where Jesus is baptized by John is read.
Martrydom is talked about. A girl wonders, am I willing to die for the Lord God?
A girl gets so nervous in front of teenage boy she says it's as if "the Lord God descended to talk to her."
Do our lives reflect God's goodness and grace?"Be a light to the world"?
God is all seeing and knowing.
A teenage girl wants to be example to younger sisters in her courtship.
They read about slavery.
A teenage girl says she bought cigarettes and drank moonshine. She later gets pregnant.