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Mending Fences, #1 The Deacon’s Family by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

SERIES: The Deacon’s Family

PUBLISHER, DATE: Revell, February 2019

GENRE: Amish Romance

Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.

Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him.

Amos and Fern Lapp allow Luke to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, Luke must make a sincere apology to each person he’s hurt–a four-page, single-spaced list. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused.

Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused . . . that isn’t so simple. It’s gut-wrenching.

And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm. Luke’s clumsy efforts to befriend Izzy only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge.

Bestselling and award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher returns to her beloved Stoney Ridge for this brand-new series featuring some of her readers’ favorite characters.

 

MY REVIEW:

Suzanne Woods Fisher has become an author whose books I snatch up as soon as they are available. She is such a wordsmith that one’s whole being is drawn into the worlds she creates. In Mending Fences, Fisher combines a couple different series as Luke Schrock returns home to Amish Stoney Ridge after his third stint in rehab.
This is a novel of second chances; caring for the unlovable; longing for what one doesn’t have, while perhaps missing what is offered one; discovering that one’s foolish actions can have both negative and positive consequences. And the laughter!! Fisher knows how to present serious truths in a hilarious setting.
I felt my heart sympathize with quiet Izzy who is learning to be plain. I wanted to like bad boy Luke who is trying to reform, but still carries a bit of an attitude. I especially liked the characterizations of Amos, Fran, and Bishop David Stoltzfus. Each is more than they initially appear. David is unlike many of the bishops one reads about, very caring, respected, thoughtful, and wise.
Since it is forbidden to quote the whole book, here are a few quotes I liked:
“Like I said, forgiveness, that comes naturally for us. It’s trust that’s hard to restore. Trust is a fragile thing. There’s no such thing as a little violation of trust, especially if you are the one who was betrayed.”
“He was a pity party of one.”
and,
“at any given moment, your life is going to be determined by your view of you, or God’s view of you.”

I can’t wait for the next installment, book two of The Deacon’s Family.

This book can be read without benefit of the other series, as enough backstory is revealed. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I was not required to leave a positive review.

 

 

MY RATING: 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

suzanne-woods-fisherSuzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling, award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books, host of the radio-show-turned-blog Amish Wisdom, a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine.

Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain. A theme in her books (her life!) is that you don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate the principles of simple living.

Suzanne lives in California with her family and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To her way of thinking, you just can’t life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth.

Suzanne can be found online at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

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The Light Before Day, #3 Nantucket Legacy by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

TITLE: The Light Before Day, #3 Nantucket Legacy

FORMATS: Paperback, hardback, Kindle, 368 pages

ISBN: 0800721640 (ISBN13: 9780800721640)

PUBLISHED: Oct. 2, 2018

GENRE: Christian Historical Fiction

 

After three years on a whaling voyage, Henry Macy returns to Nantucket to news that his grandmother has passed, bequeathing her vast fortune to him and his sister, Hitty. And it was truly vast. But Lillian Coffin was no fool. The inheritance comes with a steep cost, including when they should marry and whom–a Quaker in good standing, of course. But if they relinquish the inheritance, it all goes to Tristram Macy, their father’s thieving business partner.

As Hitty and Henry seek a way to satisfy the will’s conditions, they’ll be faced with obstacles on every side–and it may be that Lillian Coffin will have the last word after all.

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher surprises and delights with this story of hope and renewal, love and redemption, arriving just when most needed.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

suzanne-woods-fisher

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling, award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books, host of the radio-show-turned-blog Amish Wisdom, a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine.

Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain. A theme in her books (her life!) is that you don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate the principles of simple living.

Suzanne lives in California with her family and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To her way of thinking, you just can’t take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth.

Suzanne can be found online at:www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

 

MY REVIEW:

The Light before Day is the astonishing conclusion to Suzanne Woods Fisher’s Nantucket Legacy Series. This is again a split-time story, told through the diary of “Great Mary” (Mary Coffin Starbuck) of the 17th century, and Hitty and Henry Macy, 19th-century twins of Reynolds Macy. Two influential ladies of their respective times bestow two very different legacies. One brings blessing, the other curses.

Another perspective of this novel is a study of human nature, of the “haves” and the “have-nots,” revolving around freedom, money, and religion(Quakerism). Those who think they “have” are not always better off. Certainly, Grandma Lillian Coffin never was, for all her wealth. Another small example of “having” but being unhappy is Stephen Hussey, who as a Quaker, “possesses the Light.” According to Great Mary, “he could convince anyone not to be a Quaker simply because he is one.” May this not be true of us as Christians!

I highly recommend this book. Full of real-life struggles, well-researched history, and a few chuckles, this tale renewed my acquaintance with old friends and allowed me to meet new ones. (Team Anna? Team Marie-Claire? What about Team Isaac vs. Team Benjamin?) This is a series I will be acquiring for my paperback keeper shelf.

A wealth of extra material is included at the book’s end, including discussion questions, author’s note, and “What’s True and What’s False in The Light Before Day?” Fisher also refers to quite a list of historical resources.

So many great quotes. I am choosing to highlight some unique ones that tickled me.
“Decisions were difficult for Henry, small or big. Anna Gardner once told him that he was the only man she knew who could sit on a fence and watch himself walk by.”

“Quakers might be hypocrites, but we are not liars.”

I gratefully received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, publisher, and NetGalley. This in no way influenced my voluntary review. All opinions are my own responsibility.

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