Reviewed by Dale Lewis
Josiah for President by Martha Bolton
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"You’ll ride the emotional roller coaster of uncontrollable laughter, poignant moments of reflection and extreme disappointment. Bolton is a natural storyteller gifted by God excelling brilliantly in her first fictional novel."
Former Congressman Mark Stedman
has reluctantly pulled out of the presidential campaign. Still suffering
the sting of defeat and extracurricular criticism
from his peers, he heads home to Wisconsin to reconnect with his family.
Somewhere down the line he’ll need to readjust and decide how to
spend the rest of his nonpolitical life.
That is until he meets Josiah, an Amish farmer from Pennsylvania. Could it be simply coincidence or divine intervention? Due to Stedman’s impatience with his GPS unit, he ends up in the ditch with no cell phone coverage and spends a few relaxing days with the Stolzfus family.
While at home, Stedman comes to the ludicrous conclusion that someone besides a career politician should be leading the United States of America. Someone with old-fashioned common sense—someone like Josiah Stoltzfus. He wants to introduce this fresh and unorthodox candidate to the people but hasn’t asked his permission yet. And once the ball gets rolling, it cannot be stopped.
Can a plain man of faith really reshape America’s perspective on politics? Yet the bigger question would become what will Josiah lose to pursue this wild dream?
Who better than, Martha Bolton, to flesh out a fictional tale of an Amish farmer running for President amidst the cantankerous “free-for-all” we call the presidential election! I’d say nobody but the Emmy and Dove-nominated author and former staff writer for Bob Hope could pull this off. She perfectly blends and balances light-hearted comedy and downright seriousness within these pages.
The good, bad and ugly of politics is covered to a “T.” The seductive secrets of power and biting truth of DC life will be uncomfortably revealed – all in a way that makes us smile and hope for a positive change.
You’ll ride the emotional roller coaster of uncontrollable laughter, poignant moments of reflection and extreme disappointment. Bolton is a natural storyteller gifted by God excelling brilliantly in her first fictional novel. She is careful with details important to both the Amish world and American culture.
The fact that Amish wisdom is sprinkled throughout is an added bonus but also foundational to understanding and admiring Josiah and Elizabeth’s lifestyle choices. Throughout the storyline, Martha intersperses US history tidbits that are not as well-known. As an amateur history buff, I enjoyed this aspect of Josiah for President. An appreciation and deeper respect for the plain life will certainly be one of the sweetest benefits you’ll receive from reading Bolton’s first attempt at fiction.
Some of her transitions lean towards the quick side -- often jumping abruptly between the different scenes and the lead and supporting characters. Yet there is also ample time to digest all the action and smile with satisfaction.
Having directed several of Bolton’s drama sketches in our church, I knew she would deliver a delightful, engaging story in Josiah for President. She did -- I was completely enthralled!