Friday, January 21, 2011

Book Review: The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher

About the book:

Fifteen years ago, Lainey O'Toole made a split-second decision. She couldn't have known that her choice would impact so many. Now in her mid-twenties, she is poised to go to culinary school when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge, the very Amish town in which her long-reaching decision was made, forcing her to face the shadowed past.

Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm with her large and intimidating grandmother, Bertha. It quickly becomes clear that she is there to work the farm--and work hard. The labor is made slightly more tolerable by the time it affords Bess to spend with the handsome hired hand, Billy Lapp. But he only has eyes for a flirty and curvaceous older girl.

Lainey's and Bess's worlds are about to collide and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.

Beautifully written, The Search is a skillfully woven story that takes readers through unexpected twists and turns on the long country road toward truth. Fans both old and new will find themselves immersed in this heartwarming--and surprising--tale of young love, forgiveness, and coming to grips with the past.

My thoughts:

I do believe that this is Suzanne's best novel so far! The Lancaster County Secrets Series has always had a good dose of drama, and of course, secrets, but without a doubt, this book was my favorite of all three. 

Whenever I see a character with the name Bertha, I always picture a large, perhaps bulky, woman that speaks her mind and someone that won't stand for any backtalk.  Well, that was Bertha to a T in this book!  There were time when she had me howling with laughter with her funny way of talking, and especially, when she tried to sound smart by using big words that she didn't remotely know what they meant.  So, be're in for a treat with this book if only just for Bertha.

Bertha didn't steal the whole show, though.  Lainey was another character that really stood out in the story.  Without making things too complicated, Lainey was a relation of Bertha, and because of a car breakdown, she found herself in Stoney Ridge.  At first for Lainey, it was a temporary situation that over time, became a permanent one.  Throughout her life, she's held on to her own batch of secrets, and little does she or Bertha know, these secrets are about to change their lives.

Before Lainey could move forward in her life, though, she had to do a little housekeeping...namely in the form of forgiveness to a stepfather that was quite cruel to her.  This forgiveness didn't come easily since Simon, her stepfather, had not changed much from the man she knew him to be when she was a child.  One comment that her character made in the book stuck with me right through to the end--

"...a few years ago, I went to a church service and the pastor happened to be preaching on the difference between divine forgiveness and human forgiveness.  I knew I couldn't forgive others without God's help.  He said that we fail in the work of grace and love when there is too much of us and not enough of God.  One I understood that and asked for God's help, I was able to forgive Simon and stop condemning him."

Wow...'nuff said.

In case you're still wondering whether or not you should give this book a chance, let me end the guessing game for you--YES!!!  Go get a copy!!  You will be so glad that you did, I can promise you that.  :o)

5 Stars

Southern?  No
Sass?  Yes - Bertha in all her glory!

**Many thanks to Revell Books for providing a copy for review.

**Click here to read my review of The Choice and here for The Waiting.


  1. Hi Christy! Loved, loved, loved your review of "The Search!" I'm so glad you enjoyed described her perfectly! And thanks for bringing out Lainey's sincere faith, too. Could I ask you to post your review on Amazon/CBD? I'd love it included! Warmly, Suzanne

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Suzanne!! Sure, I would be happy to post it on CBD (it's already up at Amazon). :o)

    Thanks for writing such a wonderful series, too. I hope there will be at least one more. :o)

  3. I loved this one too. I think I liked it best of the three.

  4. This one is next on my list, so you've got me excited to get started on it. :)

  5. Holly,

    I'd be surprised if most folks don't like this one the most out of all three. :o)


    I hope you really enjoy it!! It's a great book!


I love your comments!! They make me happier than cold sweet tea on a hot summer day! :o)