Movie Review

Wow. “The Shunning”, a great movie based on the books of New York Times Bestselling author, Beverly Lewis.  Beautiful scenery, compelling story line, this Hallmark Channel movie  hit me in the gut and the heart!  Directed by Michael Landon, Jr. and starring Danielle Panabaker, “The Shunning” tells the story of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman who begins to question her faith just as she begins to learn the secrets of her birth.

As a friend of adoptive parents, I’ve always been intrigued by stories of children who are contacted by their birth parents, and their feelings surrounding their adoption.  In this story, Katie’s adoption was kept a secret until just before her marriage to a leader of their Amish community.  It turns her world upside down and when she breaks the rules of her faith, she is shunned by the people she has loved her whole life.

 I found my judgmental thoughts fly to the fore front of my mind as I watched this “shunning” take place.  As an “outsider” it was hard to watch a young girl suffer in the face of rules.  As the movie unfolds, so did my heart.  Love, when pressed, truly does rise above it all.  Danielle Panabaker plays the role of Katie with tenderness and feeling.  Watching the movie, you feel her pain of not knowing who she is, where she belongs, and who to trust.  Katie’s adoptive mom is played by Sandra Van Natta and strongly portrays a mother’s struggle between wanting the best for her daughter, while also desiring to respect her husband and her church.  Sherry Stringfield (ER) plays Katie’s birth mother and desperately wants to meet the daughter she gave up 20 years ago.


Some of my favorite interactions occurred between Katie and Ella Mae (Nancy Saunders), the “Baby Catcher” of the community.  Ella Mae was present for the birth of every baby in their Amish town, except for that of Katie Lapp.  When an “Englisher” comes searching for a mother and child, Ella Mae has a good idea of what is going on.  She helps Katie sort out the pieces of her life and tells her, “No matter where God puts us, it’s up to us how we choose to live.”  Such a great line…

For more information about the movie:

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, is The New York Times bestselling author of more than eighty books.  Her stories have been published in eleven languages worldwide.  A keen interest in her mother’s Plain heritage has inspired Lewis to write many Amish-related novels, beginning with “The Shunning,” which has sold more than one million copies.  In 2007, Lewis’ “The Brethren” was honored with a Christy Award.  Lewis has been interviewed by both national and international media, including Time magazine, the Associated Press, and the BBC.  Lewis lives with her husband, David, in Colorado.

I’m so happy to say that I can also giveaway a copy of the DVD, “The Shunning” to one lucky reader!

Simply leave a comment and tell me how adoption has impacted your life.  Please also include your address so that one may be shipped to you!  Have a great day!

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “guidelines concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


2 thoughts on “Movie Review

  1. I had no idea that this book was made into a movie. I grew up close to Lancaster, PA and have eaten Amish food, learned about their customs, bought their produce at many a farmer’s market customs and passed many horses and buggies in my hometown. When Beverly Lewis’ books first came out I devoured them like Chicken and Waffles (standard PA Dutch fare). I am not sure how many I read, but I loved them. I will have to look for this movie on TIVO or netflix. And thanks so much for commenting on my blog … so glad I got a chance to find you!

  2. Heather,

    Thank you for your kind words about The Shunning and Ella Mae’s line: “Wherever God puts us it’s up to us how we choose to live.” Another great one, I thought, is “Sometimes the human heart needs more than the old ways can give it.” There were several others, and I was most fortunate for the opportunity to deliver them.


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