If you have read any Amish fiction, then you know based on the Amish lifestyle and principles that most Amish that stay within their church communities, marry other Amish people. However when one Amish family decides to move to Montana, they find themselves working side by side with Englisch neighbors. It is here that the readers of Tricia Goyer's latest novel, Along Wooded Paths, find themselves at the beginning of this story.
This is the second book in the Amish Big Sky series with the first being, Beside Still Waters, where the Sommer family has moved to Montana to start a new lifestyle yet in the process separates Marianna from Aaron Zook who was hoping to being a courtship with her before she left. Now their relationship survives on what letters they write to one another and just when Marianna was going to move back to Indiana, she changed her mind and stayed with her family, who needed her help.
During the time apart, Aaron has tried to forget Marianna and tried seeing another local girl Naomi, but deep down inside, Aaron has his heart set on Marianna. He has been writing her since she has gone, but has never sent the letters. He hopes that he can win her heart again if he heads to Montana to see her and give her all his letters face to face.
Marianna has a confusing lifestyle, she lives in the Amish community but works with Annie, an Englisch woman at the store/bakery where she has been enjoying seeing both worlds mix together. In the process she has grown to see her heart fall in love with Ben, an Englischer who walks with the Lord in all he says and does, more so than most of the Amish around her. But Marianna's family does not want her to give up her Amish ways, but does God only love the Amish or can God have other plans for her with Ben?
I received Along Wooded Paths by Tricia Goyer compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and since reading Beside Still Waters I wondered how the next book would play out with the Englischers. I was not disappointed and even though I had read the prior book, anyone can read this one as a stand alone. The question about where the religious beliefs of the English play into how the Amish view them is up for grabs in this book. Does God see a difference between the two who place God first in their lives and try to live according to His word. To find out, you'll have to pick up this latest Amish book and see who wins Marianna's heart after all? Will she stay true to her Amish ways or will a God-loving English man show win her heart? I rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the next one!
This was a great book! I enjoyed it so much and it helped me understand book one more. Marianna is back in Montana helping her family out after her younger brother's accident. What she has found is that she is loving being back with her family and growing closer to God and to her family. She and Ben are getting very close, which is worrying her, she knows that he can never be Amish and she knows she can never leave. And what of Aaron Zook back in Indiana?
Well Aaron isn't in Indiana after all he is in Montana, in fact he is at her home. With a broken leg sustained from an accident on the icy roads. Now Mari feels cornered, how will she handle all this pressure that she is feeling with Aaron in her home.
A great story that will leave you looking for book three with great anticipation. I look forward to finding where Mari's future will be? While this book is following an Amish book tradition, with an ongoing story book to book, it differs very much from other Amish stories, in the way that the Amish in Montana are not as 'separate' as other Amish stories portray. Which at first confused me, but later as I read this book it became more clear to me, that it was setting the story. I have to say a great book!! Loved it! 4.5 stars, 294 pages US $14.99
This book was provided by B & H Publishing for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
Along Wooded Paths, book 2 in the Big Sky Series picks up where Beside Still Waters, book 1 left off. Marianna Sommer left the Amish home and childhood love, Aaron Zook to move with her family to start a new life in a new Amish community in Montana. The new Amish community shares their daily lives with the Englisch that also live and work there. She is pulled between her Amish beliefs a new relationship with God that is unlike any she had ever thought possible. She have also become friends with an Englischer, Ben as they share their love for God. She be begins to have feelings that she know are not a possiblility if she is to remain Amish.
We often close our minds to new things especially if it involves religion and our roots. The author reveals that Marianna and her family had become prejudice to the outside world other than the Amish. Then they begin to wander could the Englisch actually have a relationship to God that would allow then to enter Heaven's Gates.
Tricia has done it again. Another beautiful Amish novel. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
I recommend you read this book. If you have not read an Amish novel before this series would be an excellent place to start.
I gladly give this book a rating of 5 out of 5.
I received a free print copy of this book from Litfuse. This review is my honest opinion.
This is the second in the A Big Sky series and is equally as good as the first. Though it could be read alone I would greatly encourage the reader to read the first book: Beside Still Waters, in order to get a full understanding of the characters and their histories and struggles.
At the end of the last book I was sure that Marianna would be entering a relationship with Ben Stone. However, this book is the continuing struggle of her heart. With the unexpected arrival of Aaron Zook to her home Marianna is faced with having to decide what she should do. She feels as if she is being torn between two worlds - The Englisch and and the Amish.
As she discovers more about the God that she loves she begins to question the beliefs of the Amish - in that their way is the best and only way. As she struggles to reconcile this she is also dealing with the matters of the heart that seem to pull her in two different directions. One is the safe and expected way - to marry Aaron Zook a good Amish man. Aaron is the one she had planned on marrying while living in Indiana. The other is a path she has never traveled, one that will mean leaving the Amish way behind - this is allowing herself to fall in love with Ben Stone. A man who loves God and serves God with all his heart. This is the man her uncle Ike likes best because he is good christian man - who lives his life according to God not the traditions of man.
I found myself almost crying at the heartbreak Marianna was feeling and at the same time wishing she would follow her heart towards Ben. The ultimate question that must be answered is Will Marianna do what everyone expects her to do in order to maintain peace and happiness or will she ultimately follow God's will.
Though the book ends with an answer to this question I am hoping that this is not what she actually chooses in the next book. This book ends with some unanswered questions that I can not wait to see answered in the next book.
I have to say that Tricia Goyer has done a superb job of leading up to the next book, leaving the reader hungry to know the rest of the story. I can not wait till the next one comes out!!
Thank you B&H Publishing for this review copy.
Release Date Oct 2011! Pick up your copy at your local store!