The Search, Lancaster County Secrets Series #3The Search, Lancaster County Secrets Series #3
Suzanne Woods Fisher
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Excerpt


Fifteen years ago, Lainey O'Toole made a split-second decision. She couldn't have known that her choice would impact so many. Now in her mid-twenties, she is poised to go to culinary school when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge, the very Amish town in which her long-reaching decision was made, forcing her to face the shadowed past.

Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm with her large and intimidating grandmother, Bertha. It quickly becomes clear that she is there to work the farm--and work hard. The labor is made slightly more tolerable by the time it affords Bess to spend with the handsome hired hand, Billy Lapp. But he only has eyes for a flirty and curvaceous older girl. Lainey's and Bess's worlds are about to collide and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.
     

 

 The Search Discussion Questions: Suzanne Woods Fisher


 

1.     Conflict and reconciliation are central themes in The Search. Discuss the ways in which the characters come to peace with their past.

 

 


2.     What kind of a woman was Bertha Riehl? As you were reading, what was your reaction to her? Did your opinion change over time?

 

 


3.     As Jonah puts Bess on the bus to go to Stoney Ridge, he tells her, “Be careful because—” Bess teased him that each time he said goodbye to her, even as she hopped on the school bus, he would add the caution, “Be careful, because . . .” Because . . . I won’t be there to protect you. Because . . . accidents happen. What is Jonah really afraid of? How does he finally come to terms with that fear?

 

 


4. In one scene with her two visiting friends, Lainey defends her decision not to go to culinary school, as she had planned. “I’ve learned more about cooking in the last few months here than I ever could in a formal school. Here, food means more than nourishing a body. Sharing a meal nourishes a community.” What did she mean by that? In what ways is the Amish relationship to food and meals different from mainstream society’s?

 

 


5. Simon spent a lifetime trying to be “significant.” What finally spoke to his heart? Do you think his change was permanent?

 

 


6. What kind of future do you see for Bess and Billy? Do you think they will end up together? Or do you think Bess has outgrown Billy?

 

 


7. Do you think Bess will ever tell Simon that he is her biological father? Do you want her to tell him? Why or why not?

 

 


8. What did you learn about Amish life in reading this novel?

 

 

 

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