Suzanne Woods Fisher
About the author:
In no particular order, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a wife, mother, writer, lifelong student of the Bible, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a gardener and a cook...the latter two with sporadic results.
Suzanne has loved to write since she was a young teen. After college, she started to write for magazines and became a contributing editor for Christian Parenting Today magazine. Her family moved to Hong Kong for four years, just as the internet was developing, and she continued to write articles in a 44-story high-rise apartment, sending manuscripts 7,000 miles away with a click of a key.
After returning from Hong Kong, Suzanne decided to give her first novel a try. For four and a half months, she worked on an antediluvian computer in a cramped laundry room. She didn't even tell her husband what she was up to. When the novel was completed, she told her family at dinner one night that she had written a book. "That's why there's no food in this house!" said her slightly insensitive sons.
Undaunted...Suzanne found a small royalty publisher for that book and wrote three more (all earned multiple awards). With help from an agent, she now has numerous books under contract with Revell. Also look for Suzanne's Amish non-fiction, Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World, a non-fiction book of stories and examples about the Old Order Amish, as well as Amish Proverbs, and coming in Spring of 2011, look for Amish Values for Your Family. The Choice and The Waiting are the previous books in the Lancaster County Secrets Collection.
Writing, for Suzanne, is a way to express a love of God and His word. With every book or article, she hopes readers get a sense of what faith really looks like in the daily grind. She hopes they realize that life can be hard, but God is good, and never to confuse the two.
Fifteen years ago, Lainey O'Toole made a split-second decision. She couldn't have known that her choice would impact so many. Now in her mid-twenties, she is poised to go to culinary school when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge, the very Amish town in which her long-reaching decision was made, forcing her to face the shadowed past.
Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm with her large and intimidating grandmother, Bertha. It quickly becomes clear that she is there to work the farm--and work hard. The labor is made slightly more tolerable by the time it affords Bess to spend with the handsome hired hand, Billy Lapp. But he only has eyes for a flirty and curvaceous older girl.
Lainey's and Bess's worlds are about to collide and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.
What Others Say:
"It is interesting to get a peek into the lives of the Amish people.
Fifteen year old Bess and her father Jonah live in Ohio in an Amish community. Jonah moved away from his father and mother after an accident between his buggy and a truck caused the death of his wife and a trial that put him in the spotlight which he was uncomfortable with. Bertha, his mother and Bess's grandmother, writes to ask that Bess come stay with her for the summer because she needs her help. It turns out there is more behind her request than might have been expected. Lainey has returned to Stoney Ridge after a fifteen year absence. Her mother and baby sister died fifteen years ago at the same time as the accident and her step-father disappeared so she was taken into foster care and has been working to save money to go to culinary school. Her car dies in town and she winds up with a job in a bakery and a room to rent so she stays, becoming friends with Bess and getting reacquainted with Bertha.
I really enjoyed seeing how these lives fit together and where they went from the beginning of the story to the end. It was also heartening how much the characters trusted in God for the paths that opened or closed in front of them. Lainey has some tough decisions to make based on things from the past that she trusted to God. Once I started reading I had a difficult time putting the book down. Even Bess at fifteen seemed to have more trust in her direction than many adults I've met.
One of the things Lainey notices about her Amish friends is that they accept each task for what it is and don't rush on to finish it, but value each for the worth it has. Bess shows Lainey how to wash sheets using a hand wringer. It is much harder than going to the Laundromat or using a washing machine at home, but instead of trying to hurry through this chore Bess accepts it and does it until she is done. So often I find myself rushing through something because I have more to do. Laundry for my family of 6 can be overwhelming and it seems I am always rushing to get all the chores done. I never really stop to appreciate each task for what it is. Maybe we as a non-Amish society would find more joy in things if we saw the value in them, doing laundry supplies your family with clean clothes and grocery shopping keeps your family from going hungry. That there really is a value to all the little things one does in a day.
The other thing I really noted in the book and thought was of value was how willing neighbors were to help each other out and to put their resources together for the good of the whole. Two characters get married in the story and the whole community pools there glasses and chairs and plates so there is enough for the celebration. So often people are unwilling or afraid to share with others, but these people valued each other more than their possessions and really connected with one another." ~~Jill at Book, Books Everywhere
I was drawn in from the first line, and didn't want to put the book down until I finished reading.
So many threads. My favorite type of reading.
Suzanne has the ability to show me the hearts of her characters. They become real and I care about them.
I enjoyed seeing Bess learn that her grandmother was only gruff on the outside. I really didn't want Jonah, the father, to settle for a loveless marriage. I wanted to discover Lainey's secrets.
I didn't see it coming but Suzanne tied everything up nicely and acceptably in the end. And
I am eager to read her next book.
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We received a copy of The Search from Litfuse Publicity Group and offer it to one blessed reader this week.
Book Contest weeks are from Saturday, when the review is posted through Friday. A new book review is posted each week which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.
Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner. Posts on facebook do not count. We only check the messages on the blog to pick a winner.
We will send one special person a copy of The Search.
What favorite book did you read so far this year?
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Our oldest sibling and youngest are men and they weren't here.
Have you ever studied the theory of how our birth order affects our personality? Where do you fit in your family?
Friday, January 21, 2011
Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about the pastor of his church. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc.
The kitty would not come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and pulled it until the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.
That's what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car. He then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke.
The tree went 'boing!' and the kitten instantly sailed through the air - out of sight.
The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they'd seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a stray kitten. So he prayed, 'Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping,' and went on about his business.
A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food.
This woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, 'Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?'
She replied, 'You won't believe this,' and then told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her little girl, 'Well, if God gives you a cat, I'll let you keep it.'
She told the pastor, 'I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won't believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her.'
Has God sent any surprises your way lately?