Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1   -     By: Tricia Goyer
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Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1

B&H Books / 2011 / Paperback

$9.99 (CBD Price)
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Marianna Sommer believes she knows where her life is headed. Nineteen years old and Amish, her plan is to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and live in the only community she's ever known. When Marianna's family moves from Indiana to Montana she discovers life and faith will never be the same. As she builds an easy friendship with local guy, Ben Stone, Ben not only draws her heart, he also gets her thinking about what loving God and living in community is all about. As Marianna struggles to find "home", she also encounters God in intimate ways.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: B&H Books
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.40 X 5.50 X 0.78 (inches)
ISBN: 1433668688
ISBN-13: 9781433668685
Availability: In Stock
Series: Big Sky

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Publisher's Description

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 Englisch 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.

Endorsements:

"A wonderful story about the Amish and the way they live their lives by the writings of the Bible . . . Goyer is a talented author . . . Readers will delight in this."

--RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

"I was transported into the world of the Amish. Tricia's expressive storytelling and vivid descriptions drew me into the heartache and joy of the characters as if they were real people. So compelling."

Robin Jones Gunn, author of the Christy Miller series

"A sweet, tender tale that's sure to please readers. Amish fiction fans will be wanting more from Ms. Goyer!"

Kathleen Fuller, AmishHearts.com

"Only a gifted writer like Tricia Goyer could present such a captivating story about a group of Amish forging a new community in Montana. Tricia writes in such a way that the reader can't wait to turn the page and learn more about main character Marianna's experience. Tricia's talent for connecting our heart to Marianna's plight also connects us to our need for one another. Beside Still Waters draws you in with its genuine characters, and it holds you there with its enduring bonds of love and family."

Suzanne Woods Fisher, best-selling author of the Lancaster County Series

"A moving and gentle story that touched my heart and stirred my soul. I'm recommending Beside Still Waters to all my friends who enjoy Amish fiction."

Marlo Schalesky, author of Christy-award winning Beyond the Night and Shades of Morning

"Goyer's story is ultimately a journey toward faith . . . The described scenery is luscious, the enclosed recipes are fun, and the questions about faith and lifestyle choice are very real."

TitleTrakk.com
"A sweet, entertaining tale."

Home with Purpose

Author Bio

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-five 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 four children in Arkansas.

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  1. Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A different kind of Amish book
    September 30, 2014
    bookworm
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Beside Still Waters - eBook.
    I have read many of the Amish books and gotten rather tired of what seemed to be a repetitive theme of Amish vs Englisch or the Amish character leaving their family and community for a different lifestyle. After reading other reviews , I decided to get all 3 books I hate starting to read a series and having to wait for the next book! I just completed BESIDE STILL WATERS, and am eager to go on to the next one in the series. Tricia Goyer portrays a more accurate insight into the spiritual struggles among themselves as her Amish characters meet non-Amish who show Gods love in their lives. Marianna struggles with her perception that her life has to make up for the 2 sisters who died the same day that she was born. She also struggles with leaving the life she has known in Indiana all her life and moving to Montana, where the Amish group has many different ways than what she has been taught. She battles emotions between leaving Aaron and his promises of love and the feelings that she has when Bens attentions and his kindness show her a different kind of love for God and love for her. I am very interested to see how this author will resolve these conflicts as I read more in this series.
  2. St Cloud, FL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Marianna has a strong faith and love for her famil
    July 21, 2013
    wfnren
    St Cloud, FL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Marianna Sommers was born early due to a freak accident that killed her two older sisters, Marilyn and Joanna. Her parents and older brother survived but her mother went into premature labor and her dad named her Marianna after the older sisters that were killed. She lived her life in Indiana and planned on marrying Aaron Zook once they started courting and both joined the church.

    The family was blessed with three more boys and a daughter. Levi, her brother that survived the accident, left the Amish when he got older. Marianna spent her life taking care of the younger siblings, doing chores and working for a neighbor taking care of kids. She had little time to herself and always seemed sad but kind, didn't express any anger over her situation. She did wish she had been able to know Marilyn and Joanna to know what they were like and wondered how her life would be different if the accident never happened. Even though she and Aaron weren't courting she knew that he planned on marriage too and was even starting to build a house for them.

    Things changed when her dad decided to move his family to Montana, she thought about staying in Indiana with her Aunt, after all she would be 20 in about a month. When she was told that her mother was in the family way again, she decided she didn't have any choice but to go with them. She couldn't explain to Aaron why she had to go, it wasn't her place to tell that news. Her mother was reluctant to move too but her dad wouldn't let her talk him into staying in Indiana.

    How do you think you would handle thinking that you weren't good enough your whole life? Your birthday brings back the memory of two dead sisters that you're named after and your parents always talk about how 'good' each of the girls were. Would you feel like you were forgotten yet you're right in front of them, like you don't even mean anything to them? The whole community seems to look at you with sympathy because they know the whole story and see how it's affected your family throughout the years.

    What a good book this was and Tricia makes you feel the sorrow within Marianna's heart. Through it all she stays true to her faith. I've had this book for quite some time and finally pulled it out of my 'to read' pile and have started the second one, Along Wooded Paths, as I'm anxious to move ahead in Marianna's life with her. There is one more book in the series, Beyond Hope's Valley, I now have to get that so I'll be able to finish her story. Tricia did a wonderful job.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Read!
    March 13, 2012
    Diana Goyer
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I loved this book! I don't typically care for this type of book, but Tricia did a great job in keeping me interested!
  4. Grand Junction, CO
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Unique and Charming
    March 9, 2012
    Lesa Brassette
    Grand Junction, CO
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    What a wonderfully pleasant surprise! A tale of the Amish that ends up taking place mostly in Montana was a breath of fresh air to me ... one who reads all things Amish. This was the first book of Tricia Goyer's I've read and I have to say that I really, really enjoyed it.

    After hearing her interview with Suzanne Woods Fisher on her radio blog, this book was high on my list to read. I'm not sure how much is based on truth and how much is fiction, but it is truly a story that will take old of your heart and give you a hard time about putting it down.

    I love the characters and the setting(s). I love the style of writing and the commitment the author shows to the integrity of the story and its details. I found myself vested in what Marianna would do and hoping my daughter would one day find her "Ben".

    I love how human these "characters" are as well. I do find myself often forgetting that while our faiths are lived out differently, the Amish are just as human as I am and just as vulnerable in the world as anyone.

    It will be a week or so before I can start book two but I am eager to get to it and simply can not wait! Highly recommended as a great read!
  5. Pittsburgh PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    December 28, 2011
    Debbie
    Pittsburgh PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Beside Still Waters - eBook.
    Great book -- I enjoy all of the Amish books I purchase from Christian Books.
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Author/Artist Review

Author: Tricia Goyer
Located in: Little Rock, Arkansas
Submitted: February 04, 2011

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I am the author of 400 articles and 25 books. I live in Little Rock, Arkansas with my husband and four children. My hobbies include working in children's church and mentoring teenage mothers. I love writing. It's a joy! I feel blessed to be able to write stories.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  A few years ago I was asked if I'd ever consider writing an Amish novel. The truth is, I hadn't. But the first seed of an idea was planted and my mind started to feed and water it. That's how novels usually start. Later that day, I remembered that my daughter had a friend, Sareta, whose parents were raised Amish. They moved from an Amish community in Indiana to Montana, and that is how we met. I also remember my daughter telling me Ora Jay and Irene lost two daughters in a buggy accident. Hmmm, I thought. I'd love to hear their story. Maybe someday, if I see them again, I'll ask. The next day, my daughter Leslie and I went out for some mom and daughter time. We went to a bookstore to browse and get coffee. As we looked over the bargain rack guessed who walked in … Sareta. We hadn't seen her for six months at least and there she was. “Sareta,” I told her. “I think I'm supposed to talk to your parents—hear their story.” Less than a week later Ora Jay and Irene sat in my living room. They told me about being Amish, about losing their daughters, about their move. They also talked about their faith. They shared what the meant to be Amish. They shared how their faith had grown after moving to Montana. They shared many ways God had changed their lives and their hearts. I listened amazed. Their story added more water—the Living Water—and sunshine to the seed of a novel planted in my hearts. After talking to Ora Jay and Irene, I met many other Amish women from the West Kootenai Community. I was honored as they shared their lives with me.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  I hope readers will come away with a better understanding of the Amish in Northwest Montana. I also hope they'll understand that each of us must go before God as individuals and commit to having a personal relationship with Him. Also, it's during challenging times that we can find Him beside the still waters.

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  I was blessed to have gotten to know many Amish families who live in Northwest Montana. They are amazing people and I feel honored to call them friends!

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  I loved Dale Cramers book Levi's Will. It was the first book that made me consider writing an Amish story in a new and different way.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  Beside Still Waters is the first in a three-book series. Look for Along Wooden Paths fall of 2011!

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