Friday, August 26, 2011

Beside Still Waters

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 Englisch 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.

Bam!! This book started out like a ball of fire. Wow -- such pain for a family to experience. It felt like Marianna's family had a big black cloud following it around. But God doesn't give more than a family can handle, but sometimes takes them to the breaking point.

The pictures that were painted in my head as I read were wonderful -- my imagination worked overtime with this book. I've never personally seen the mountains in Montana, but the view in my mind's eye was spectacular. The sights and sounds at the sale had me right there with Marianna, and then when Ben had more than his guitar in his arms... my breathe was gone.

I can't wait for Along Wooded Paths

Many thanks to NetGalley and B&H Publishing Group for my review copy.

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