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 English 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.
Tricia Goyer is an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines including Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family while authoring more than twenty fiction and nonfiction books combined. Among those are 3:16 Teen Edition with Max Lucado and the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Award winners Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights. She has also written books on marriage and parenting and contributed notes to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia lives with her husband and children in Little Rock, Arkansas.
To celebrate the release of the first book in the Big Sky Amish series Tricia is giving away 10 copies of Beside Still Waters and a pair of super cute antique Amish salt & pepper shakers. (photo attached)
Details at Tricia’s blog, It’s Real Life: http://triciagoyer.blogspot.com/2011/04/beside-still-waters-giveaway.html
BONUS! Each person who enters the giveaway will receive a FABULOUS Montana Amish Calendar. Hurry, it’s only available while supplies last!
This review is from an advanced proof copy of this book.
I enjoyed the characters of Marianna and her family. While this family has endured much tragedy and Marianna has grown up thinking she was a replacement child, they still seemed real and likeable to me. Tricia Goyer always has well-rounded characters; it is a hallmark of her fiction.
However, there were a few rough spots in the book that I am sure Tricia and her editor likely fixed before publication. By this I mean there are a few places where details seemed out of place or out of order. Also, because this is the first in a series, it's obvious that there are several story threads that are left hanging (to borrow a quilting metaphor), which I'm sure will be tied together by the end of the series.
In conclusion, if you're a fan of contemporary Christian Amish fiction, you will enjoy this novel.
Thanks to Lit Fuse and Broadman & Holman for the opportunity to review this book.
(Personal aside: I've decided I don't like reviewing books from an advanced proof copy, because the editor in me wants to take a red pen to it, mark it up, and send it in with my resume and a letter requesting a telecommuting job with the publishing house! The errors and rough spots and notes get in the way of my enjoyment of the novel.)
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