I’m happy to be part of a blog tour for Litfuse, a company that promotes quality works of fiction and nonfiction by Christian authors. After you read my review of The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher, be sure to enter her iPad Promotional Giveaway. The winner bill be announced at Suzanne’s Facebook Party on February 3rd, which is explained at the end of this post.
Here’s the publisher’s summary of the book: 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. Lainey’s and Bess’s worlds are about to collide and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.
My take on the novel: We readers love a story that has the power to immerse us in an unfamiliar world while still touching on feelings we all experience and can relate to. Such is the case with Suzanne Woods Fisher’s stories. The rural Amish setting harkens back to simpler days yet the modern world provides plenty of familiar conflicts to keep the story hopping. So even though Lainey, Bess, Bertha, Jonah, and Billy spend their days choring without electricity, grafting roses, baking pies, and the like, the inner conflicts they deal with are relevant to any of us who have lost our way in life and need God’s help to start anew. The story is told in such quaint terms that there is never anything to offend–no matter how painful the subject that’s touched upon. And I love that when all the clutter of modern life is swept away, what’s left is a clear view of what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.
About Suzanne: 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.