Separate from the World: Book summary and reviews of Separate from the World by P. L. Gaus

Separate from the World

An Ohio Amish Mystery

By P. L. Gaus

Separate from the World
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2008,
    184 pages.

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Book Summary

As another college year draws to an end, Professor Michael Branden is weary after nearly thirty years of teaching. Sitting in his office on a warm spring day, he receives an unexpected visit from an Amish man who claims his brother, a dwarf like himself, has been murdered. Their discussion of the odd details of the case is interrupted by a commotion on campus, which turns out to be the apparent suicide of a young woman, who, it seems, has leapt to her death from the college bell tower.

The investigations of these two deaths become intertwined as Professor Branden again teams up with his colleagues Pastor Cal Troyer and Sheriff Bruce Robertson to seek explanations for these bizarre events.

Separate from the World is a story of a rift between two Amish factions, one that favors the use of medicine and that participates in a college study of genetic traits particular to the Amish community, and the other that rejects any outside influence.

Once more, P. L. Gaus takes us inside a separate culture and, in a manner both gentle and grim, highlights the complex relationship of the Amish and the "English" as they live inside or outside each other's orbits.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. While Gaus may not be an elegant stylist, a convincing plot and credible, sympathetic characters make another winner in this fine regional series." - Publishers Weekly

"A perceptive look at problems that have no easy solutions." - Kirkus Reviews

"The latest in this too-little-known series again combines a fascinating, realistic look at an Amish community in Ohio with a gently satiric take on academic life." - Booklist

"Although Gaus's characterizations of the outsiders the Amish call 'English' are stiff and simplistic, he has great admiration for the Amish themselves, writing with quiet gravity about aspects of their lives rarely shown to strangers." - The New York Times

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Author Information

P. L. Gaus Author Biography

Paul L. Gaus was born in Athens, Ohio, in 1949, and he has lived in Ohio for most of his life.  He has lived in Wooster, Ohio, for the past 33 years with his wife Madonna.  Paul's extensive knowledge of the culture and lifestyle of the Ohio Amish comes from over thirty years of travel throughout Holmes and surrounding counties in Ohio, where the world's largest Amish and Mennonite population sprawls out over the countryside near Millersburg, Wooster, and Sugarcreek. 

Paul took an interest in writing fiction in 1993, and with the advice and encouragement of author Tony Hillerman, he began writing mystery novels set among the Amish in Holmes County, Ohio. The first of Gaus's mysteries, Blood of the Prodigal, An Ohio Amish Mystery, was published by ...

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