Monday, December 19, 2011

Change is Good, Especially When It Comes to the Amish - Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer

I love being able to have a new experience every time I read a book, and when it comes to reading Amish fiction...well, that's a tad bit of a rarity.  Most of the time, their culture is seen as difficult, closed off, and rigorous.  But in Tricia Goyer's first Amish novel, those cultural boundaries are pushed to the edge, and makes for an incredibly entertaining, yet beautiful, story that I won't soon forget.

What surprised me most about this story was the increased interaction between the Amish and the Englisch.  Normally, the Amish are not known for this, but frankly, when you live in the wide open spaces of Montana, you don't have much choice about who your neighbors are.  For Marianna and her father, this unusual arrangement with outsiders took some getting used to at first, but slowly, those self-imposed walls began to drop, and new relationships started to form.  Not only were these new relationships with common people, but also, with God Himself.

Prior to reading Beside Still Waters, I had read only a handful of Tricia's novels, but truly, she has a gift with the Amish genre.  Not that her other books aren't great in their own rights, but she has a different voice here that kept pulling on my heartstrings, and it just would...not...let...go.  If you're like me and love a great Amish read, yet you long for something different, Beside Still Waters is one of the best.  Period.

5 Stars

Southern?  No
Sass?  No

Summary of Beside Still Waters:

Raised among the Amish of Indiana, 18-year-old Marianna Sommer plans to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and set up life in the only community she has ever known. But when her older brother chooses the world’s path following his rumschpringe, and a younger sibling begins showing interest in Englisch ways, Marianna’s parents move the family to Montana.

Although she is also in her rumschpringe years and not obligated to move, Marianna makes the journey to dutifully help her mother who is expecting another child. Surprisingly, from strangers on the cross-country train ride to the less rigid stance of the new Montana community, many English influences awaken within Marianna—and even her father—the desire to pursue a deeper kind of joy and love for God.

After an accident, Marianna tells her friend, Ben, a defining story about the Sommer family, and his response further illumines the active relationship God seeks with His followers. In due time, she learns the move from Indiana was not about losing anything, but finding out who God really is. Despite all the shake-ups, Marianna feels a sweet peace, like still waters, in her soul.

**Many thanks to B&H Fiction through NetGalley for providing a copy for review.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a truly wonderful book which I will just have to read.


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