Another amazing retro read from one of my favourite authors. I just love how Suzanne Woods Fisher brings an Amish community to life! And Stoney Ridge is the kind of town I want to live in.
I laughed until my tummy hurt over Bertha's antics. Bess's grandmother is a law unto herself and she has a lovable way of mashing words that kept me chuckling throughout the read. But she's crusty and opinionated and downright intimidating at times as well. Kind of reminded me of Marilla Cuthburt (Anne of Green Gables.) But this isn't Bertha's story -- though she plays a pivotal role -- it's Bess and Lainey's tale.
I was gobsmacked in places. Literally stunned. And my emotions dipped and soared as the story unfolded. True confession -- I shed more than a tear or two. And spiritually moved by such faith-filled concepts as: "Are we going to be part of condemning a man? Or are we going to be a part of releasing him from condemnation?" (p. 191) A rich read that is sure to stir your emotions and get you thinking.
Like the two previous books in this series, this story had many unexpected surprises. This is not the predictable Amish fiction. And Bertha Reihl is not the typical Amish grandmother. She will make you laugh at loud, shake your head, and wonder what in the world is going on in that mind of hers. You will fall in love with sweet, innocent, gentle Bess, and her strong, sensitive, and protective father Jonah. Sallie will frustrate you, Billy will exasperate you, and sweet Lainey O'Tool will continue to make you smile.
It's a wonderful story full of realistic situations, and some that might make you wonder. As secrets are revealed and truth comes to the forefront you will be right there in the middle of this tale, feeling with them the happy and sad moments that intertwine their lives together. And there will be surprises right until the last page - so don't peek ahead!!
This book left me feeling warm & satisfied, with a big smile on my face. I recommend this story for both teens and adults.