Banished, the first installment in “The Long Road Home” trilogy, is set in the early twentieth century. Life for orphans, Obadiah “Oba” and Merriweather “May” Miller, is anything but easy. After losing their parents, they are sent to Arkansas to live with distant relations, Uncle Melvin and Aunt Gertrude “Gertie” Amstutz, on their cotton farm. From the moment Oba and May arrive, they realize just how cruel Melvin and Gertie really are.
Sophie Deiner, an ex-Amish woman and daughter of a prominent bishop, returns to Nappanee, Indiana, when she is ill. She isn’t particularly enthused to be back in her old neighborhood, and many Amish seem to ignore her, including her mother. Her parents request that she wear her old Amish dresses while staying there, even if it is a temporary arrangement.
Amy Clipston’s Naomi’s Gift is the story of a spirited young Naomi King, an Amish woman who has been jilted in love a few times. Having had a few bachelors, neighbors begin to whisper that she is shameless. Everything changes when she meets widower Caleb Schmucker who lost his wife two years prior and lives with his endearing daughter Susie. Susie immediately takes a liking to Naomi and, in time, Caleb does as well.
The year is 1903. Anna Plank lives a charmed life in the small rural hamlet of Berlin, Ohio. Residing with her mother, Mrs. Plank and two sisters, Leah and Beth, she works devotedly at Grace’s Dry Goods Shop. For years she has been courted by none other than the handsome, fair-haired Noah Schwartz, a man possibly considers the love of her life. Unfortunately, Noah has different ideas from Anna and, when he constantly wants to change the way things are done, it unsettles her. He announces that he will be leaving Berlin to travel to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and that he wants her to accompany him. Not wanting to leave her beloved family behind, she is torn between the man she loves and those who need her.
Rosanna Zook is a survivor. For years she has been married to a horrid and abusive husband, Timothy Zook. It seems like Rosanna cannot do anything right and, to make matters worse, Timothy is indolent and he is far from being what a proper Amish man is expected to be. They have two children, Aaron and Cate. Cate, who is their younger child, has always been Timothy’s least favorite child and he has gone out of his way to ignore her.
The motherly and domestically minded Meg Hobart has it all: the big house, the BMW, a strapping but handsome husband with a high-powered job, three beautiful children, and time to dedicate to whatever pleases her. While her husband James is the breadwinner, Meg is the homemaker who keeps both the home and the family’s schedule running on a consistent basis. Meg has three children who she dotes on constantly, pandering to their every need. While she has three children, Lizzie and Will, the two eldest are exceedingly spoiled and selfish. Her youngest son, Sam is the only one in the family treating her with great affection and respect.