BESIDE STILL WATERS
On the night Marianna Sommers was born, a freak accident shattered her family. Even as she came into the world, her two sisters left it for heaven. She's spent her life making up for that loss, being to her family and their Indiana Amish community all that her sisters would have been. Her only dream: a simple life married to Aaron Zook, the one she's loved since childhood. Then her father says they are moving -- to Montana of all places! Of course it's to keep her younger siblings far from their oldest brother Levi, who left the Amish way of life, but the move will destroy Marianna's dream. She pleads to stay, to no avail. As Marianna leaves her home -- and Aaron -- she's sure her heart will never heal.
But Montana holds surprises.
The mountains, trees, and still waters open Marianna's heart to God as never before. Still, it troubles her that the small, Amish community is so interwoven with their Englisch neighbours. Especially woodworker, Ben Stone. If only Ben didn't do everything right! He's there in times of need, and his love for God is so clear. But giving in to the feelings he stirs in her would carry a terrible cost...
Everything she believes in and loves.
This one has all the markings of a new epic Amish series. Goyer fills each page with emotion and does an amazing job of depicting Marianna's conflict. I could feel the angst! Actually woke up this morning at 3:15 contemplating her dilemma! (I know, I know, I have to get a real life!) This is the kind of book that would work wonderfully well in a book club because there are such rich issues that we all deal with.
I think part of my love of Amish fiction comes from being able to parallel their struggles to remain unique and apart from the world with my own Christian journey. In essence I am trying to do the same thing. Marianna's personal growth presses her to both question and defend aspects of her faith once she is removed from the close-knit Amish community she has grown up in. I think it's her struggle to find a balance and the wonder of opening herself up to God that resonated most with me.
Truly a remarkable book. I am eagerly looking forward to reading the book two of the Big Sky series which comes out in October 2011.
Reminder: If you would like a chance to win a copy of Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer, leave a comment below. A draw will be held on Sunday April 24 for all the books I read between April 11 - 23. For more information about the Giveaway check out April Showers Bring Reading Hours blog posted on March 31.