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Winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Book from a new press (Skywriter Books) and based on a true story of forgiveness, Kingdom of Simplicity invites readers into the life of Eli Yoder, a misguided Amish youth in rumspringa faced with forgiving the person who killed his sisters. Kingdom of Simplicity was also named the grand prize winner for the 19th Annual Writers Digest Self-Published Book Awards in 2011, listed as mandatory high school reading in Ghent, and nominated for a national book award in Belgium. It has also been published in the Netherlands, Taiwan and China.

Kingdom of Simplicity tells a story about scars, literal and metaphoric. Like the culture of the Amish she has chosen to explore, Holly Payne tells a gripping story with quiet grace, economy and contained (but never absent) emotion. It’s a gem.”
Joyce Maynard

“Holly Payne has graced us with a guide to forgiveness through the mechanism of an enjoyable and well-written story. Rich characters and compelling insights allow us to understand and hopefully use the peace her protagonist struggles to find…”
Frederic Luskin, Ph.D, director of Stanford Forgiveness Projects

“An unforgettable tale of loss, hope, and redemption that establishes Holly Payne as one of our finest literary fiction writers . . . Eli’s journey resonates with our human need to find meaning in an often incomprehensible world.”
Christopher Gortner, author of The Last Queen (Random House)

“I marveled at the depth of research and felt completely immersed in the culture and customs of the Pennsylvania Amish. With persistently graceful prose, Holly Payne builds a world that we are heartbroken to leave when the story ends. A beautiful, literary treasure box.”
Erika Mailman, author of The Witch’s Trinity (Random House)

“Payne takes us into the exotic, strange world of the Amish to explore the universal nature of forgiveness. Eli Yoder is a young man born with a disfigurement common to his community ­– webbed hands – but who carries a deeper disfigurement in his heart – an inability to come to terms with a tragic accident and the unknown man who caused it. I found myself rooting for Eli, and I was taken to the place where the best books take us –  into my own heart, wondering what on earth I would do if I was in his shoes.”
Caroline Paul, author of East, Wind Rain and Fighting Fire                             

“Holly Payne’s Kingdom of Simplicity is a classic tale of the redemptive power of forgiveness. Eli Yoder will capture both the readers heart and their compassion as he struggles to come to terms with the trauma of his past. Payne’s skill as writer makes KINGDOM OF SIMPLICITY irresistible and Eli’s story will remain with her readers for years to come.”
Kathleen Caldwell, owner of A Great Good Place for Books

“I loved this story. I sat in the middle of the Philadelphia airport reading the end of the book in tears. My heart just broke for Eli Yoder page after page. How misguided we are in our youth, or even as adults, when we make assumptions about our identities and the way others perceive us. Kingdom of Simplicity is a gift to share with abundance.”
Rosanne Selfon, President of Women of Reform Judaism