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Friday, April 1, 2011

Beside Still Waters...Review

About the book:
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 English 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.

I normally enjoy Amish fiction, but this one just didn't do it for me.  Marianna defined herself and lived her life as if she was a burden to her parents.  Her older sisters were killed in a buggy/car accident the same night Marianna was born and she always felt like she could never replace them.  Yet, she never spoke with her family about it and her parents never spoke with her about it.  When her father explains how much her mother really does love her, the book ends and there is no resolution anywhere.  Is it supposed to be the first in a series?

Marianna's father moves the family to Montana and into a settlement of Amish people who aren't traditional Amish like Marianna and her mother are used to.  Marianna finds herself responding to many of the Englisch influences, but is naturally conflicted.  Her father begins reading the Englisch, not German bible and talking with the Englisch about their beliefs in God, yet he doesn't want Marianna associating too much with Ben, the Englisch boy.

Too much is unresolved.  It's as if the story is unfinished and incomplete.

My copy is an ARC and I received it very early (like December early, and it wasn't due to publish until April).  I don't know if the story would change significantly in the time since I received my unedited copy and when the book was published.  I'd like to see a final version to compare.  If the final version is significantly edited and different, sending it out so early for review would have been a mistake.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity and BH Publishing for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Tricia Goyer here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/11

* *
2/5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Holly! It's Deena from A Peek At My Bookshelf. Email me and let's talk about Ginger's book. I have a suggestion I think you might like:-)
    thedeena63 @ hotmail . com