In The Letters, Suzanne Woods Fisher provides a great beginning to The Inn at Eagle Hill series set in Stoney Ridge. Some of the characters from her Stoney Ridge series show back up here, adding an air of familiarity for those of us who have read the previous series.
As always, Suzanne weaves an engaging story of the Plain people and their captivating lifestyle. Rose Schrock has endured more than her fair share of struggles and still finds her life extremely challenging. Her steady faith and sense of commitment to her family and responsibilities carry her through a wide range of adventures.
Some of the details of this book are a little out of the norm for typical Amish fiction, and I found it interesting that a real-life incident inspired Suzanne to write the story. Her well-developed fictional characters round out the true story in an engaging way. And there are enough unfinished plot lines to definitely whet my appetite for the next installment.
I highly recommend The Letters to fans of great Amish fiction.
Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Thanks to Revell for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I looked forward to The Letters for many days after I first heard about it and I'm SO glad I read it! This is an awesome book! I thought that the inn was a great draw, but when the horse trainer was mentioned I was hooked! There are some things that really kinda made me go hmmmm. One being that I didn't feel that the back cover book description was truthful in the fact that the church was against the inn in a any way. Second being that I thought that shunning would have been implemented towards one of the characters in his past choices. Excommunication was lightly mentioned but never shunning. I was just a little confused about what I already know about the Amish rules and way of life and what was in this story. But that said I REALLY enjoyed all of the characters especially the kids in The Letters. Suzanne is also an author after my own heart! She provides the recipe for the special cornbread mentioned in the beginning of the story! I don't like it when an author goes on and on about a great tasting food, and then never gives us (the readers) the recipe! ;) LOL! So kudos to Suzanne for giving us the recipe! :D The pace of the story was excellent with no lulls in the plot or dialogue and moving right along with the story in a nice flow. I also loved loved loved the way she wrapped everything up and ties it all in a great big surprising and satisfying package! The twist blew me out of the water and I'm still in awe of it! I can't wait for more in this series. Suzanne portrayed so many wonderful messages! The way Rose lives out her faith and trust in The One that will always come through is beautiful, and the way everything just falls into place perfectly holds the true message of who God truly is and what He does for us as His children when we rely and truly trust in Him! The fact that circumstances may seem horrible to us and we think that we have been forsaken, but actually the bad turns into some of the greatest blessings we will ever know, is so true to life in The Letters. I highly recommend this book!
Songs that I feel go with The Letters: "To Kill a Mockingbird: End Title" by Elmer Bernstein, "Bald Eagle Call" by Wildtones, and "He Leadth Me" by The Cluster Pluckers
I was absolutely excited to return to Stoney Ridge to become acquainted with a new host of characters as I picked up my copy of "The Letters", and I'm happy to report that the novel was all I hoped for! I was first introduced to Fisher's books in "The Keeper", the first book in the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, and since then I haven't been able to get enough of the stories that emerge from her talented pen. The characters that star in "The Letters" are wonderful indeed, and I loved meeting Rose Schrock and her passel of children, along with her acidic-tongue mother-in-law and the talented horse trainer and neighbour Galen King. Fisher has woven together a number of plot elements as she explores the storyline from the perspective of various characters, and the result is an engaging, moving read that at some moments had me smiling and at others had my heart aching with the beauty of what I was watching unfold. The scenes between Rose and her mother-in-law Vera made for some especially tender moments at the end of the book. The romantic love that pursues Rose also made for some wonderful scenes, especially as Rose has to learn to trust again and learn that she is fully worthy to be loved, no matter what.
Fans of Amish fiction will adore "The Letters", and readers who have journeyed to Stoney Ridge in prior books are going to love going back for more! I can't wait to see what's coming next in this engaging series. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Welcome to Eagle Hill Inn, located in Stoney Ridge, PA where you'll enjoy getting to know Ruth Schrock, and her family.
Ruth's husband has died and left her and their children with a mountain of debt. They live with her mother-in-law, Vera, taking care of her while she recovers from a stroke, as well as the farm. She is determined to pay off her husband's debt one dollar at a time, if that is what it takes; but finds it more and more difficult to make ends meet.
When Ruth overhears a conversation between an English couple concerning the lack on lodging in the area; she felt as if God had given her an idea. She invites them to stay in her home, and from here the idea of running a bed and breakfast hatched. With the help of her children and neighbor, Galen King, the basement was renovated and turned into Eagle Hill Inn.
I enjoyed meeting and getting to know the people in Stoney Ridge, and I didn't want my visit there to end, although I am already planning to visit again when the next book in The Inn at Eagle Hill series-- The Calling is available. I am sure you will feel the same, and when you visit, be sure to try Ruth's Blueberry Cornbread (the recipe is provided at the back of the book) my family thinks it is delicious.
**The Letters by Suzanne Woods Fisher was provided for me free by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.
This is the first book that I've read in the Stoney Ridge series by Suzanne Woods Fisher and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found the characters very believable and easy to identify with. Everyone has problems and trials in their lives and I appreciated the foundation of faith and dependency upon God that Ms. Fisher has woven throughout the book.
The main character, Rose Schrock, finds herself in a life situation that is not uncommon for many women. Her husband has passed away and she is left to care for five children and her mother-in-law, who often times is very bitter and condemning of Rose and her choices. Rose's deceased husband Dean has made some very poor financial decisions that has left Rose in a difficult position. Rose has begged the Lord to give her direction in how to support her family. She believes that He has done just that when she overhears a husband & wife talking in a merchant's shop about trying to get home before the nighttime because neither wishes to drive after dark. Suddenly an idea begins to form in Rose's mind and heart that she could offer them a bedroom at her home for the night and the idea of a bed and breakfast takes root from this couple's dilemma. Rose fully expects to meet with opposition from her mother-in-law and possibly the Bishop within the Amish community.
She shares this bed and breakfast idea with her neighbor, Galen King, and he offers to help her renovate the basement into a small bed & breakfast. Rose's older daughter Bethany is not fully on board with the bed and breakfast idea, but Rose's younger children are very supportive.
When the first couple that stayed at Rose's house spreads the word about the new bed and breakfast in Stoney Ridge, people begin calling and wanting to make reservations. Rose and the children find themselves with several very interesting visitors. Rose also realizes that she is able to share her faith with a few of the visitors. However, near the end of the book a mystery develops which made for a very intriguing end of the story.
I will repeat - this was a very enjoyable book and a delight to read. I highly recommend. (reviewed P.Howard)
DISCLOSURE: A review copy was provided to us by the publisher, Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group for the purpose of our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.