Well, Suzanne Woods Fisher has done it yet again! She is one of my favorite Amish authors, and indeed this book did not disappoint. It has everything that readers have come to know and love in great Amish fiction:
1. A look into the daily lives of the Amish
2. The Old Ways versus the New Ways
3. Great romance (that is clean)
4. A deep-seated faith in God
These elements are the things I so appreciate about this author and her writings. I love the Stoney Ridge series, and this takes that to an entirely new level. Okay, so maybe it's sappy at times, but it is also real. When the Amish deal with the struggles of the outside world, there are some difficult issues that are raised. However, God is in control, and He permeates every nook and cranny of this novel. The reader will find a recipe in the back (what is an Amish book without recipes, right?). The book is never "preachy," but it is solid. I can recommend this book to everyone, and I greatly anticipate the next installment.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
This review gives more insight than just "it was/wasn't a good book" or "this is/isn't a must read". While I try not to give too much away, sometimes it's difficult to write about the story and have it not be revealing.
Suzanne Woods Fisher fans get to visit Stoney Ridge again with her new series, The Inn at Eagle Hill. The Letters is the first book in this series. I didn't read the Stoney Ridge Season series so all the characters are new to me.
When Mennonite Rose Schrock and her family moved into her Amish mother-in-law Vera's house she didn't know she would be a widow in the months to follow. After her husband Dean died she needed to support her family. She decided to realize a dream and open a Bed & Breakfast, which became named The Inn at Eagle Hill.
Sixty year old Delia Stoltz had not planned to be a guest at Rose's Bed & Breakfast; she went there on a whim. But it proved to be what she needed and more. Delia needed to heal her body from surgery and her heart from her husband's unfaithfulness.
Rose is a loving and caring mother to her five children. Tobe and Bethany are step children but she treats them as her own. Tobe has left home. Bethany is nineteen years old and ready to marry Jake Hertler, her boyfriend from York County. Mim is thirteen and likes to learn facts about anything and everything. Sam and Luke and younger and enjoy being in a constant state of motion. They all are still trying to get over Dean's death and how he died.
Rose is very caring toward her mother-in-law Vera, who is anything but easy to be around. Vera has been diagnosed with having mini-strokes and is having physical and mental issues. Vera wants nothing more than her family to get back to its Amish roots.
Next-door neighbor, Galen King, has really helped Rose and her family since her husband passed away. Galen has never been social and is perceived by the community as unapproachable. Rose only sees him and a gentle and kind man. He's also a good example for her younger sons who "help" him with his horses.
I like how God caused Rose and Delia's lives to intertwine and in the process so many things are worked out according to his plans - all of which you'll have to read on your own because too much would have to be revealed about the story. There is actually more than one set of letters going on which I thought was interesting. I liked how the author showed how people and situations aren't always as they seem. "Don't judge a book by it's cover" can really be proven true in this story. This is an enjoyable story because the characters and their individual issues are situations are realistic. I read The Letters in one day. I look forward to the next book in this series to see where it takes Rose, her family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill.
I received a free copy of this book from Revell Publishing and The Christian Manifesto in exchange for my honest review.
The Letters is an Amish story, an Amish family with many complicated problems to solve, and an interesting view on their lives as God-fearing people who want to do the right thing but keep running into obstacles. Young girls (and some men) looking for love and hoping to fulfill their dreams are often thwarted in their goals and have to look at alternatives.
Rose Schrock is a widow raising four children (five actually, but the oldest ran away from home and hasn't yet returned). Rose was left with some very troubling business problems by her late husband and she has taken it upon herself to make everything right, even if it takes the rest of her life to do so. She is living with her mother-in-law who is suffering from something affecting her brain and thus, her thinking, and she has become very difficult to live with. The family is very close, very loyal to one another, and very caring about each other's burdens.
Rose decides to make their house into a bed-and-breakfast and with a neighbor's assistance, accomplishes this in a beautiful way. Her very first guest, an "Englisher" is a woman who comes to their home with a huge pack of troubles herself. The bed-and-breakfast soon becomes an oasis for this woman and she, in turn, is able to assist Rose in overcoming some of her own fears.
There are many twists and turns for this family, with each member of the family facing their problems in special ways. It is a fun story and brings smilesâ€”and tearsâ€”to the reader. How they eventually work out their problems with the help of God and His people is well worth reading about. Rose is told by a friend, "Things can get good again," and her realization of this truth brings much peace to her heart.