Like in The Shunned, the Amish community is not as pure as they pretend to be, and avarice and selfish motives drive the one who should be all for the community, the elder. Samuel, the young naïve 18 years old guy actually had a little role in The Shunned, he was the young Amish with whom James shares loneliness and desires in a barn. But as Samuel says of himself, he has not the same strength, or courage, or recklessness of James, and so when his father decides that the “liberal” community where they were living was not strict enough for his family, they moved to an even more traditionalist one. Problem is that, in the new community, there are only 2 young women in marriage age, and one possible candidate.
Now Daniel is not exactly a good match, he has a widow mother and three spinster sisters, but a man is alwas a man… problem is that Daniel has no interest in women, and as soon as he lays his eyes on Samuel, he recognizes a soul mate. From the glance to the same situation as above in a barn (only a different barn) the step is short. But there is a big difference from The Shunned and The Forbidden: where James, even if an unlikely hero, had at least a strong core that allowed him to leave the community after his Rumspringa, and he was literally forced to come back in the community, nor Daniel or Samuel are stong characters, they are even less heroic than James. I think they found in each other not only a soul mate since they are both gay, but also a similar attitude, same fears and same hopes. One without the other would have probably remained in the hide, and unhappy, for all his life, together they have a small chance of happiness.
There is again, as before, a sub-plot involving, this time, drugs and mob-dealers. Again the evil insinuated in the Community and the less liable to suspicion is the culprit. But on the contrary of The Shunned, where, if I remember well, James’ mother tried at least to help her son, here almost al the female characters are negative, spineless or plainly selfish. There is also few family feeling, that probably a conseguence of the above situation, and so sincerely, I did find quite difficult to understand why Daniel stands so long (he is 28 years old), if not for what I said above, without someone to support him in his decision, he would have never been able to be free.
Amazon: The Forbidden
Amazon Kindle: The Forbidden
1) The Shunned: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/997269.html
2) The Forbidden