The Calling, Inn at Eagle Hill Series #2
Bethany is working to clean out the house of the five sisters home so they can host church. She thought the group of sisters where just old and liked to collects things but she soon finds out there is more to them then that. She is also still getting over the man she had seen, has up and disappeared and likely helped to ruin her fatherÃ¢ÂÂs business. Jimmy is someone she thought was immature and not worth her notice but as she gets to know him she finds herself attracted to him. While she is working to clean out the sisters home she learns they run a soup kitchen once a month and as she and more and more of her community help out each week they find themselves learning to see their neighbors in a new light.
This is book two in the series. I have not read the first book yet this book can be read as a stand alone though you will have a better idea who people are if you read the first one as this is a continuing story. The author does a decent job bring the readers up to speed from the first book.
What I liked: The author is well-known for her deeper plots and this book and series is no exception. The family is dealing with the backlash of a failed business. The father is dead and the brother has run off. There are a few characters telling this story. I like the complexity and how well the story comes together as the book progresses. I found all the characters quite likable.
What I did not like: This book is good but the plot was a little slow at times. Fishers books always have a lot going on in them and it can take a little time to get all the subplots figured out and with a few characters telling the story I donÃ¢ÂÂt always feel like I get to know the main characters as well as I would like.
Overall this was a good book and I am looking forward to the third book in the series to see how it all plays out. Towards the end I found myself more interested in the next book than how this book was going to finish up. If youÃ¢ÂÂre looking for a light quick read this book is not for you but if you like books with a strong story and some twists and turns than this is a good series for you. I would highly recommend going back and reading the first book though. You donÃ¢ÂÂt have to but itÃ¢ÂÂs the back story and I wonder had I read it first maybe this book would have been more enjoyable to me.
February 19, 2014
Dealing With The Past and Romance
Suzanne Woods Fisher in her new book, Ã¢ÂÂThe CallingÃ¢ÂÂ Book Two in The Inn At Eagle Hall series published by Revell introduces us to Bethany Schrock.
From the back cover: BethanyÃ¢ÂÂs restless heart is searching for answersÃ¢ÂÂin life and in love
Bethany SchrockÃ¢ÂÂs love life has derailed, her faith hangs by a thread, and she is spending hot summer days wading through a lifetime of accumulation at the home of five elderly Amish sisters. SheÃ¢ÂÂs not sure what she wants out of life, but she knows that sheÃ¢ÂÂs not finding it in Stoney Ridge.
Then a new guest at the Inn at Eagle Hill ropes her into volunteering in a community project for down-and-outers. Reluctant at first, Bethany starts to feel a bit of joy and satisfaction again. But not so much that Jimmy Fisher, adorable and impossible, can woo her affections with his winks and tricks. Well, maybe a little.
When a figure from her past reenters her life, Bethany must decide: What does the past mean to her future?
Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher delivers her trademark twists, turns, and tender romance in this delightful and exciting visit to the quiet community of Stoney Ridge.
Welcome back to Stoney Ridge this time the focus is on Bethany. When you find yourself adrift without purpose sometimes it takes family to get you back on course again. As Bethany finds out the things she is really good at she needs to come to terms with her past otherwise she is not able to see the future. Plus there is a new romance for her to deal with. Suzanne Woods Fisher writes an interesting story that moves along at a remarkably brisk pace. Ms. Fisher has a lot of characters to work with and she provides an excellent story for them to grow in.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255: Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.Ã¢ÂÂ
February 9, 2014
Rises above the Amish genre, another winner
The Calling, book two in the Inn at Eagle Hill series, reunites us with the Schrock and King families, introducing some new characters as well. When it comes to Amish fiction, Suzanne's writing stands out because of its authenticity, flowing prose, spiritual depth, rich characterization, and multilayered storylines. Book one, The Letters, was inspired by an actual event in the Amish community, and this theme continues to cast its long shadow. Suzanne is also very effective at bringing non-Amish characters into the story, which expands this book's appeal beyond Amish fiction fans.
A major strength of The Calling is its outstanding ensemble cast, and I'm amazed at how they all connect and interact. The five elderly sisters captured my heart, for they understood what it meant to be the hands of Christ to their world and they worked tirelessly. Bethany struggles with her job of cleaning their messy house, but "the more time Bethany spent around the sisters, the more amazed she was at their quiet and purposeful lives . . . they had better things to do with their time than clean and tidy and iron and dust." One of the things I love about the Amish is the way they quickly rise to meet a need, making work fun - and this is beautifully shown in the way everyone comes together to create and sustain a community garden.
One of my favorite characters is Geena, a youth pastor who is passionate about helping teens, but was fired from her church because of her weak preaching skills. Using her stay at Rose Schrock's bed & breakfast to find another church position, God uses her passion and gifts to minister to those around her. Geena discovers an important spiritual truth that should speak to all of us: "She had been asking the wrong question: Which church should I serve in? Surely the answer was to look around and see the church was everywhere."
Galen's sister, Naomi, is another strong character that I loved - a young girl extremely talented at quilting, and with an unusual ability to see or feel strange things. Suzanne is really gifted at creating characters you'll love and a storyline that entertains, with spiritual insights a natural part of the narrative. In Naomi's words:
"Piecing a quilt top seems to be evidence of how God works in this world. . . . I take all these scraps and leftovers and odds and ends, and turn them into something beautiful. Something useful and purposeful. It just seems like that's what God is always doing, all around us. Taking our jumble of mess and transforming it into something wondrous."
Book three, The Revealing, will be released in July 2014. I highly recommend The Calling to all readers.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
February 9, 2014
More from the Inn at Eagle Hill
The Calling is another delightful Amish story from the pen of Suzanne Woods Fisher. I can always count on Suzanne to deliver a fun story, complete with some quirky characters, a little romance, and a few unexpected twists and turns.
The Inn at Eagle Hill got off to a captivating start in The Letters with a new cast of characters, as well as some familiar "faces" from a previous series. Those characters, while almost all Plain folks, definitely do not find life uncomplicated. Their simple lifestyle offers no guarantee of simple solutions to their day-to-day struggles.
Bethany Schrock, the main character of this book, has a lot of questions about her life, questions that are easily identified with as they could just as well be found in an English setting. How she deals with those uncertainties drives the story, along with lots of things going on with friends and family around her. Some of the most important lessons Bethany learns have to do with looking deep within herself and other people to try to understand the hurt that is hidden behind actions. In the midst of the difficulties, long-time fans of Suzanne's books just might be surprised to see the responsible young Amish man Jimmy Fisher is turning out to be.
As a good installment in an ongoing series, The Calling brings resolution to some of the issues in the story. However, there are plenty of loose ends left to make me anxious to read The Revealing, due out later this year. I highly recommend this series to fans of great Amish fiction.
Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
February 8, 2014