Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An Amish Love Story

Reviewed by Phee Paradise

The Waiting
By Suzanne Woods Fisher

One of the things I loved about The Waiting was reading about people who love being Amish. In most of the books I’ve read about Plain people, at least one of the main characters struggles with being Amish and usually include interactions with the English as a large part of the plot. The Waiting is about being Amish, not about having to choose between two lifestyles.

Jorie King has a full life, helping her grandfather raise horses, teaching in the community’s one room school and participating in church activities. She’s also waiting for Ben Zook to return from Vietnam where he’s serving as a conscientious objector. But a series of tragedies that link the King and Zook families, bring Jorie close to Ben’s older brother, Cal. Eventually Jorie finds she must choose between the charming, but troubled, Ben and the mature and kind Cal.

Set in the middle of the Vietnam war, we see that the Amish community is affected by world events, but responds to them differently than their neighbors. Two of the Zook brothers are drafted, but serve in medical facilities. There is also an underlying theme of prejudice, directed against the Amish because they are different, but also because Jorie is friendly with a black veterinarian who moves into town. But the Amish mostly have a friendly relationship with their English neighbors and serve as an example to them of Godly living. Jorie’s commitment to God is inseparable from her commitment to being Plain. She prays over her dilemma and relies on the tradition of her people’s way to know what to do.

I loved this book because it has everything I look for in a good story. Jorie is the kind of person I want for a friend, and her family and friends are the kind of community I care about. Just like real life, the story has unexpected twists and is full of joy, grief, trouble and mundane life. Fisher’s Amish aren’t so different from English Christians, and I would be happy to have them for my neighbors.

Pros: Ordinary Christians living out their faith in a turbulent time, with the added interest of the Amish lifestyle. The writing is smooth, the characters are real and the plot is well developed.

Cons: The book is the second in a series, so there are some assumptions based on the previous book.

About the book:

She was waiting for love--and found it in the most unexpected place.

Jorie King's life is on hold. She has been waiting for Ben Zook to return to Lancaster County. Waiting for him to settle down and join the church. Waiting to marry him.

But when news arrives that Ben has been killed, Jorie is devastated. She finds unlikely comfort in the friendship of his brother Caleb. Friendship ripens into love, and two broken hearts plan for a life filled with the promise of a fresh beginning--until their worlds are turned upside down.

With her realistic characters whose weaknesses develop into strengthes, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers a reading experience that rises above the others. You will love growing in spirit with these complex people living the simple life as The Waiting transports you into a world where things aren't as simple as they seem.

About the author:
Suzanne Woods Fisher lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has one husband, four children, one son-in-law, a brand new grandbaby, and two dogs.

Suzanne graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, and was a free-lancer writer for magazines while her children were growing up. A former contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today, Suzanne's work has appeared in many magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman, Worldwide Challenge, and Marriage Partnership.

Her first novel, Copper Star, a World War II love story, was published by a small press (Vintage Reflections) and received three literary awards. It opened the door to a literary agent, Joyce Hart. The agent knew of Suzanne’s connection to the Plain People—her grandfather was raised Plain—and introduced her to an editor at Revell, a division of Baker Books.

Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World was Suzanne’s first book release with Revell. It’s a non-fiction book of true stories about the Old Order Amish and was a finalist for the 2010 ECPA Book of the Year Awards. It was chosen as a book selection by Doubleday, Crossings, and Book of the Month 2 Clubs.

The Choice, a novel about a young Amish woman, is the first in a three-book ‘Lancaster County Secrets’ series and released in January 2010. It is a CBA, ECPA, and CBD bestseller. Wal-Mart chose The Choice for its January Inspirational Book Shelf, and it was the Main Selection for Crossings Book Club, as well as Doubleday, BookSpan, and Literary Guild.

In August 2010, Suzanne released another non-fiction book, Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom for a Simple Life. In October 2010, The Waiting will release; it is the second in the ‘Lancaster County Secrets’ series and is already a CBD bestseller. Six other books—both fiction and non-fiction—will follow into 2012.

Another new venture for Suzanne is Amish Wisdom, a weekly radio program in which she interviews all kinds of interesting guests who have connections to the Amish. Drop by and listen to a show at your convenience. It's on-line at

Suzanne Woods Fisher is thrilled to announce the release of The Waiting, book two in The Lancaster Secrets Collection. In The Waiting Jorie finds herself caught be two loves and two lives in this compelling page turner about complex people living the simple life.

The Waiting is the next stand alone story in The Lancaster Secrets Collection and follows in the footsteps of the best-selling, The Choice. The Waiting is in stores now and to celebrate Suzanne is hosting The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle preloaded with Suzanne Woods Fisher titles and a gift certificate! The Prize Pack (valued at over $185.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, Free 3G, 6", Latest Generation

* The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* A $15 dollar Gift Certificate

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on October 28th at Suzanne's Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party.

Join Suzanne for the Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party on October 28th! She’ll be announcing the winner of the The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway, hosting a book club discussion of The Waiting and The Choice, and giving away copies of both books and HEAPs of readerly prizes! Be sure to join us on Thursday, October 28th at 5:00 PM PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST & 8 EST) at Suzanne’s Author Page.

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1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Just wanted to stop by and thank you for your wonderful review of "The Waiting!" So interesting to see what spoke to you in the story. I'm glad you liked Jorie and would want her as your friend! Me, too!
Suzanne Fisher