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Book Review: Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer

An Amish story that takes the reader out west to big sky country--Montana!

Published by B and H Publishing Group April 1, 2011
320 pages

Further sites:
Tricia Goyer

Link for the book @ publisher:
Price for paperback $14.99

YouTube for book: I thought this was a great video, beautiful scenery!

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Paperback price $10.19
Kindle price $9.68

Link for the book @ Christian Book:
Paperback price $8.49
eBook price $9.99-----interesting the eBook is more expensive than the paperback?

Tricia Goyer is hosting a calendar giveaway, a cute antique Amish salt and pepper set, as well as book giveaway, follow the link:

Thank you to Litfuse and B and H Publishing for my free Advanced Reader Copy for reading and review!
Marianna Sommer is an 18 year old Amish woman living with her family in Indiana. Marianna's parents are Abe and Ruth Sommer. The large Sommer family has carried the memory of a tragedy with them for years, everywhere they look is a reminder of their loss. Their oldest son Levi has chosen a different life and this adds to their pain. Marianna's parents have made a decision to move the family out west to Montana where there is a small Amish community. Marianna had made plans to marry Aaron Zook and become baptized in to the church. Marianna is faced with a hard decision in whether to move with her parents or stay in her beloved Amish community in Indiana and marry Aaron. When Marianna is told her mother is expecting another baby, Marianna feels compelled to help her mother even if it means moving to far away Montana.

I felt this Amish story showed a more realistic image of the Amish, in that the main characters--the Sommer family, is shown with the same problems that we all can have: rebellious teenagers, mental anguish, unforgiveness, fear of unknown, pride and judgmental attitudes, anger, and seeking God's will for our lives. 
Too often an Amish story seems to be somewhat docile and superficial. I am aware that there are reader's that love the light hearted and simple life of the Amish, and I am glad there are books like this for them to read. What I am saying, is that I am also glad there are Amish books that peel the layers off a little more, and dig deeper in to the idiosyncrasies and personality flaws, and life altering circumstances and their affects on the Amish, although they are Amish they are human as well. By seeing a more rounded 3-D character perse, I can relate to them, and even identify with them, and thus become more involved in their story.
The character Marianna has shouldered a burden most of her life, yet she has a loving and unselfish heart. She is an admirable character. Even though we see that she struggles with decisions, we admire her determination to do the right thing.
The mother Ruth was sort of like a unmerged butterfly, held back by pain and anguish from the past. It was inspiring as well as a joy to see her transformation.
Much was revealed to me in how the Amish community frowns on anything they perceive as being prideful,  yet there is pride in this thinking, but they do not see this.
This rigid feeling of being watched, not watched by a loving, forgiving and merciful God---but instead by some unseen red eyed judgmental ready to strike god was so sad to me.

I really liked this book---most of all for the fact it made me think more about the Amish community and my own preconceived feelings about them. They are promoted as being a near perfect type, sober minded and
self sufficient community; yet I saw in this book that they are humans as we all are.
I do have one question, I wondered after reading this book if the Amish are taught to have a personal relationship with Jesus?

Blissful Reading!