Saturday, October 29, 2011
Review: Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series # 1 by Tricia Goyer
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 three children in Montana.
Published April 1st 2011 by B&H Books (first published March 4th 2011)
ISBN 1433668688 (ISBN13: 9781433668685)
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.
This story begins when the Sommer family are on there way home from a church meeting. They are an Amish family traveling by way of horse and buggy. They cross a busy road and are in a terrible accident that will change their lives forever. Two of their little girls are killed in this accident and a baby girl is forced to come into this world under harsh circumstance. Their young son also survives.
Marianne was that baby and she has been trying walk in the shoes of her two sister ever since day of that tragic accident. She thought if she worked hard and played the dutiful daughter it would ease the loss of that day. Her brother feels as if he should not have survived that day and has left the Amish to live among the Englisch.
The family is reminded of the accident everyday by the stares and whispers of the Amish Community. So they decide to relocate to a new Amish community forming in Colorado where they are not labeled by tragic day. Marianne agrees to go with her family leaving behind a fiance and the hope of a new life. She only plans to stay until her family is settled in their new home.
She starts to fall in love with Colorado and God's amazing hand at such beauty. Then she reaches a relationship with God she had never imagined possible. She begins to question whether to stay or go back to her fiance and the life she left behind. Wanting to make sure she does whatever is God's will.
There are so many beautiful other characters in this story that I will let you discover on your own. I feel as if I have said too much already.
I read this book before I read book two, Along Wooded Paths in the series. I am glad I did. I highly recommend them both.
I give this book a rating of 5 out of 5.
I got a copy of this book from the author on NetGalley. I was in no way compensated for this review. This is my own opinion.
Click image to purchase book at Amazon.