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.
Format: Paperback Number of Pages: 320 Vendor: B & H Publishing Group Publication Date: 2011 Dimensions: 8.40 X 5.50 X 0.78 (inches)
ISBN: 1433668688 ISBN-13: 9781433668685 Availability: In Stock Series:Big Sky
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.
"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
Tricia Goyer is an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines including Todays 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.
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 parentshear 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 waterthe Living Waterand 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!