Wednesday, November 9, 2011

“Beside Still Waters, A Big Sky Novel” by Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer takes us on her wonderful ‘first’ Amish journey in this first book of the, ‘A Big Sky Novel’ series, with “Beside Still Waters”, being Book One in the series.  It feels as if she has been writing Amish fiction all along in her writing career, with this, her first attempt at Amish Fiction.  I enjoyed it much more than some of the other Amish Fiction writers, and I think she should write a lot more Amish Fiction from this point on. 
She truly keeps us glued to the page, as the characters are so life-like, even when the storyline is ever changing.  In her new writing of Amish Fiction, these characters are so life-like, you feel like you are a part of them as you read this story.  She makes us feel what the characters’ feel and experience in this story.  Goyer makes things happen you would never expect.  Being Amish or not, you feel exactly what they feel.
This first book in this series starts with Marianna, 20, and her family, including both of her parents and the rest of her brothers and sisters moving to go to settle from the plains of Indiana to the new mountainous regions of Montana where a newly developing Amish community is forming.  One of the reasons for this huge move is to try to get away from a terrible tragedy that occurs in the beginning of this book.  Goyer’s characters come to life and jump off the pages at us as she pens this story.  We feel a part of them.
As we meet our main character in this book, Marianna, 20, is ready to marry and settle down in this book, as long as Aaron, whom she has her heart set on, has his heart set on hers.  Aaron does want to wait until the fall, after Harvest to start to courting her, and Marianna becomes heart broken as she learns her parents have decided to move to Montana long before this fall.  Marianna has set her sights set on possibly marrying this young man, which may be ruined if they are to move.  Would he wait for her to return to Indiana for her cousins wedding and then she would stay in Indiana?  Or would he decide to court someone else since she would not be there?  Being completely heart broken, she has been forbidden by her father to even tell a soul of their possible move because this type of gossip even seems to travel ‘by the geese who fly north overhead he thinks!’  He doesn’t want his relatives in Ontario to find out of his plans, and says the geese who fly north overhead must be the ones who tell his relatives!  So Marianna does not know how to tell Aaron about the move her parents have planned, yet she finds out from Aaron that everyone already does know!  The time comes and they do pack up into a truck, hire a driver, and move.
So now we start on a wonderful new Amish journey.
As Marianna adjusts to the new life in Montana, makes new friends, and gets along, she is finding she really enjoys Montana.  She meets a nice young man who is Englisch, Ben, and he shows her a different, deeper type of faith than the Amish faith alone like back in Indiana.  She is really enjoying this.  Now Marianna is toying with the idea of whether or not she should go back to Indiana, yet she must for her cousin’s wedding.  Does she really want to go back to the people in Indiana?
This story is different in that the Englischers' and the Amish are not enemies, yet get along like all people should, whereas most other authors who write Amish Fiction tend to make it sound as if the Englischers'  are more like a threat to the Amish community than possible friends.  Tricia Goyer does definitely have quite a knack for writing this new genre of hers.  I enjoyed this book very much and look forward to reading Book Two in this series, Along Wooded Paths.
I received this book for “FREE” from B & H Publishing Group through NetGalley, through their Book Reviewer’s Program in exchange to read and write a review about this book.  It is NOT required for my review I write to be either positive or negative, but, “of my own opinion.”  I was NOT provided with “ANY” monies to accept this book, “NOR” to read it, NOR were “ANY” monies given to me to write the review for this book.  All that was ‘expected’ of me was to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it.  Again, the opinions expressed for and about this book are ‘of my own opinion’.  I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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