Joseph’s Dilemma

Joseph's Dilemma cover snip


Amish teen Joseph Hochstetler is taken into captivity by Native Americans during the French and Indian War. Joseph finds himself pressed between his unfolding romance with a young Indian woman and the tug of his heritage. Based on actual events, Joseph’s Dilemma traces the wrenching dilemma of a young man caught between his Amish past, his love for a woman, and an unknown future. When no decision seems like the right one, can the providence of God open up a new way?


“Joseph’s Dilemma is an intriguing exploration of a little-known true story of the French and Indian War. The author’s careful use of historical details gives the reader an interesting perspective, seeing events through the eyes of a young Amish teen captured by the Delaware Indians who becomes an adopted son.”
——Marta Perry, author of Keepers of the Promise series

“Beneath Stutzman’s spare prose runs a river of loyalty, faith, and emotion. A tour de force of research that serves to make these characters as real as memory.”
——Adina Senft, author of the Healing Grace trilogy of Amish novels

“Spun with persistent narrative daring, Joseph’s Dilemma takes readers well beyond the familiar theme of ‘nonresistance’ to attacking ‘Indians’ into a deeper response to what the situation felt like from the other side.”
——John L. Ruth, author of The Earth Is the Lord’s

“A great story about an Indian mother and her adopted Amish son who became an Indian: a young white man who crossed the cultural barrier that separated two very different peoples. His eyes were opened and would never see the same again.”——C. Rusty Sherrick, interpreter of Delaware Indian history

“Joseph’s Dilemma is a rich and authentic recounting of the perils faced by the Lenape nation and white settlers. Sensitive to the plight of both Native Americans and immigrants, this powerful narrative unfolds through the eyes of an Amish captive struggling to maintain his faith and humanity amid overwhelming loss. A must-read.”
——Emma Miller, author of A Match for Addie and Plain Killing

“Ervin Stutzman takes us on a journey to explore, with honesty and openness, the tensions between the Amish and Indian cultures. The dilemmas Joseph faces seem impossible, yet Stutzman draws the reader in to feel and experience the joys and sorrows firsthand.”——Becky Gochnauer, director, 1719 Hans Herr House & Museum and the Lancaster Longhouse

“Stutzman gives a masterful and extraordinarily insightful picture of an Amish captive’s life in a Lenape village during the colonial period. Tracing the soul struggles of both Native mother and her adopted son, Stutzman explores intimate experiences of family, faith, and tragedy. A gripping, provocative read.”
——Richard Showalter, church planter and missionary