I know what you are thinking... another Amish romance? What gives? And what do the Amish know about romance anyway?
There are so many authors writing in this genre right now that it is hard to find anything new, it seems to be the same old storyline every time. However, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a master at her craft and you will not be disappointed in The Search !
The Search is Suzanne Woods Fisher's third book in her Lancaster County Secrets series and so far, my favorite.
From the very beginning you are drawn into a community that you feel like you could belong to. You want to bake cherry tarts in Mammi's kitchen and you can almost smell the fragrance from the roses wafting from Rose Hill Farm.
The characters are written in such a way that you want to know them. There is such depth and emotion - you find yourself caring about what happens in their lives.
Suzanne weaves a story that twists and turns and you never know what surprise will pop up next. Not 'just' a romance, The Search is a story of healing and forgiveness and finding where you truly belong.
Don't miss the first two books in the Lancaster County Secrets series: The Choice (Lancaster County Secrets, Book 1) and Waiting, The: A Novel. (Both available for your Kindle!)
*Fine Print: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. The opinions expressed are all mine and I was not required to give a positive review.
This is the third book in this series and I've enjoyed them all. This one had me chuckling! An elderly Grandmother leading her 15 year old daughter astray! The pictures of the Sheriff chasing them still make me grin!
Lainey O'Toole is a spunky girl and so loving. She has had a rough road in life, and love how she learned to lean on the Lord. She let the Lord teach her forgiveness and how this impacts her life.
Fifteen years ago, Lainey O'Toole made a split-second decision. She couldn't have known that her choice would impact so many. Now in her mid-twenties, she is poised to go to culinary school when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge, the very Amish town in which her long-reaching decision was made, forcing her to face the shadowed past.
Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm with her large and intimidating grandmother, Bertha. It quickly becomes clear that she is there to work the farm--and work hard. The labor is made slightly more tolerable by the time it affords Bess to spend with the handsome hired hand, Billy Lapp. But he only has eyes for a flirty and curvaceous older girl.
Lainey's and Bess's worlds are about to collide and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.
Beautifully written, The Search is a skillfully woven story that takes readers through unexpected twists and turns on the long country road toward truth. Fans both old and new will find themselves immersed in this heartwarming--and surprising--tale of young love, forgiveness, and coming to grips with the past.
The opinions express are my own I purchased this book.
I do believe that this is Suzanne's best novel so far! The Lancaster County Secrets Series has always had a good dose of drama, and of course, secrets, but without a doubt, this book was my favorite of all three.
Whenever I see a character with the name Bertha, I always picture a large, perhaps bulky, woman that speaks her mind and someone that won't stand for any backtalk. Well, that was Bertha to a T in this book! There were time when she had me howling with laughter with her funny way of talking, and especially, when she tried to sound smart by using big words that she didn't remotely know what they meant. So, be forewarned...you're in for a treat with this book if only just for Bertha.
Bertha didn't steal the whole show, though. Lainey was another character that really stood out in the story. Without making things too complicated, Lainey was a relation of Bertha, and because of a car breakdown, she found herself in Stoney Ridge. At first for Lainey, it was a temporary situation that over time, became a permanent one. Throughout her life, she's held on to her own batch of secrets, and little does she or Bertha know, these secrets are about to change their lives.
Before Lainey could move forward in her life, though, she had to do a little housekeeping...namely in the form of forgiveness to a stepfather that was quite cruel to her. This forgiveness didn't come easily since Simon, her stepfather, had not changed much from the man she knew him to be when she was a child. One comment that her character made in the book stuck with me right through to the end--
"...a few years ago, I went to a church service and the pastor happened to be preaching on the difference between divine forgiveness and human forgiveness. I knew I couldn't forgive others without God's help. He said that we fail in the work of grace and love when there is too much of us and not enough of God. One I understood that and asked for God's help, I was able to forgive Simon and stop condemning him."
In case you're still wondering whether or not you should give this book a chance, let me end the guessing game for you--YES!!! Go get a copy!! You will be so glad that you did, I can promise you that. :o)
Never a disappointment with Suzanne's books. The Search is such a great mixture of humor and family drama with some romance woven through the pages, as well.
The Search has some very dynamic characters that certainly keep you on your toes. The one that stuck out the most to me is Bertha Reihl (a.k.a. Mammi). Bertha is a woman of few words, but definitely someone you listen to. She is a woman of simple faith who trusts that God will take care of everything. However there are times when she thinks it necessary to give her assistance to make something happen. To be perfectly honest, I kept thinking that this woman is the Amish version of Madea - for those of you who may be familiar with Tyler Perry's movies (definitely some differences, but similar). There were a few times I was literally laughing out loud while reading through her scenes.
There are also some great lessons to be learned while reading this book. Number one is forgiveness. Many secrets have been kept from people in this family for 15 years and as they are revealed some of the characters have to search deep into their heart and God's to find that forgiveness. Another lesson that stood out to me is the need to face reality and accept what God has for your life. We don't always know what is best, but God does and He uses people and circumstances to shape us into who He wants us to be. It is our responsibility to know Him and be willing to be changed. Romans 12:2 "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
View my full review at onerainyafternoon.blogspot.com
I haven't read an Amish book for many years, mainly because I'd let life get in the way of my reading obsession for a bit, so when I had the opportunity to try out an author that's new to me, Suzanne Woods Fisher, I jumped on it. My own protestant beliefs parallel the Amish beliefs of family, order, and living a life for God in everything we do, so I enjoy learning more about their lives and beliefs. Thanks for the copy Revell Publishing but this opinion is my own.
This is really a 2-in-1 story about two young ladies from seemingly different worlds but they share a connection. I liked to see the characters themselves, and those around them, grow spiritually as they discover the secrets and connection that each have. Bess is a young teen, while Lainey is in her early 20's. This book is perfect for a young teen (or even a tween if reading is her obsession). The Search will help broaden a teen's perspective on family dynamics, forgiveness and healing, especially if the discussion questions in the back are used.
I especially liked Bertha Riehl or Bess' Mammi. I come from a Germanic heritage also and what is seen by so many to be a crusty, conniving old lady is actually the wise, loving gem in the bunch--kind of like a hearty loaf of bread with a heavy crust.