Monday, June 29, 2009

New Novel, 'He Flew Too High,' Explores Religious Extremism and Betrayal Within Mennonite Community

New Novel, 'He Flew Too High,' Explores Religious Extremism and Betrayal Within Mennonite Community

ENUMCLAW, Wash., June 29 /Christian Newswire/ -- Ken Yoder Reed's grandparents drove a horse and buggy--not because they lived during "the olden days," but because they were Amish and Old Order Mennonite.

And, although Reed has long since moved from his childhood home on a southeastern Pennsylvania farm to California's Silicon Valley, he calls himself a "refugee Mennonite."

A former journalist, Reed describes his boyhood life in Pennsylvania: "I read voraciously--when I was supposed to be tending the cows--but I never found a book that described life as I saw it all around me on the farm, in the church, at the family gatherings."

His first book, "Mennonite Soldier" (Masthof Press) retold the famous Prodigal Son story with two brothers in World War I. With his new novel, "He Flew Too High," Reed says: "This is my boyhood world--post- World War II Kittochtinny, a fictitious Mennonite community in Pennsylvania. It's the story I was born to tell."

The novel's protagonist, Saul MacNamara, is an Army nuclear bombing planner who falls in love with the daughter of a Mennonite bishop. Tormented by his belief that his work is morally evil, Saul abandons his career, marries the young woman and fully embraces her pacifist Mennonite lifestyle.

But as Saul grows convicted that a revival is needed to stop the tidal wave of Fifties American culture--and that he's the one to lead it--he alienates himself from those he cares for most: his own dear wife, her father, and the community's tradition-bound bishops.

The novel follows Saul as he makes a series of devastating decisions that threaten to destroy the lives not only of his own family, but of the entire community.

"The novel helps readers understand that zealous crusaders for God can inadvertently destroy others," says Reed. "But amid the devastation, forgiveness may come sweetly, like an unexpected vision."

To purchase a copy, visit or call 877-421-7323. To see a video book trailer, visit To schedule an interview, or request a review copy contact Abigail Davidson at 360-802-9758 or

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