About the book: Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. Those plans started to crumble when her father moved the family to Stoney Ridge, then completely collapsed when John decided to marry someone else. Katrina is devastated. How could she have felt so loved, yet been so deceived?
As she struggles to face a future without him, a widow asks for her help to start a new business and Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose. What she doesn’t need is attention from Andy Miller, a farm hand who arrives at the widow’s farm just when help is most needed–and who always seems to say the right thing, and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy
for real, or too good to be true? Deceived once before, Katrina is determined to keep her feelings in check.
When a cascade of events is set in motion by some surprising information, the little Amish church is turned upside down. Soon, everyone has a stake in the outcome, and the community struggles to find the best response to an imposter in their midst. Can they forgive even the most deceitful deeds?
Published September 29, 2015 by Revell
My review: This was my first read by Suzanne Woods Fisher and it definitely won’t be my last. Suzanne has a way of telling a story that completely absorbs the reader and makes them feel like they are part of the story. I was hooked from the prologue.
This book begins with David Stolzfus moving his family to Stoney Ridge. He makes a comment to Bishop Elmo that the town seems like The Garden of Eden to which Elmo responds, “There is no such thing, David.” On the next page, Elmo whispers, “Beware, David. A snake is in the garden.” I shivered when I read these lines and couldn’t wait to find out what (or who) the snake was.
This book is full of characters. One of the first we meet is a character himself. Hank is quite the cantankerous fellow and brings some laughter to the pages. Birdy is referred to nicely as a “bull in a china shop” because of her clumsiness and the mishaps that occur when she is around. Jesse, David’s only son, is a bit on the wild side but means no harm. Katrina, one of David’s daughters, is heartbroken over the boyfriend she left behind, John, and the state of their relationship. There is also Andy, the somewhat mysterious handyman hired by Thelma, Elmo’s widow, who is wise and kind and grandmotherly. And who can forget Bishop Freeman and Levi? I found myself wanting to smack them upside their heads many times because they frustrated me so.
There are so many twists and turns and jaw-dropping surprises in this story. About halfway through, when I thought I couldn’t be any more interested, there was another surprise that took my interest up another notch or two. This book kept me on my toes as to what was going to happen next.
The residents of Stoney Ridge have their issues for sure and certain. They aren’t like your typical Amish characters with barn raisings and quilting bees. Nope. These characters are faced with all sorts of issues that made them seem real. I found this book to be a fresh take on the Amish fiction genre and I can’t wait to see what is in store next for these people. I definitely recommend this book!
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.
About the author: Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling, award winning author of fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books, host of the radio-show-turned-blog Amish Wisdom, a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine.
Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain. A theme in her books (her life!) is that you don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate the principles of simple living.
Suzanne lives in California with her family and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To her way of thinking, you just can’t life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth.