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Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer

Beside Still Waters: A Big Sky Novel 
Publisher: B&H Books
ISBN: 1433668688
Pages: 320 pgs
Genre: Fiction
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge


Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound  

Summary from publisher:
Raised among the Amish of Indiana, 18-year-old Marianna Sommer plans to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and set up life in the only community she has ever known. But when her older brother chooses the world’s path following his rumschpringe, and a younger sibling begins showing interest in Englisch ways, Marianna’s parents move the family to Montana.

Although she is also in her rumschpringe years and not obligated to move, Marianna makes the journey to dutifully help her mother who is expecting another child. Surprisingly, from strangers on the cross-country train ride to the less rigid stance of the new Montana community, many Englisch influences awaken within Marianna—and even her father—the desire to pursue a deeper kind of joy and love for God.

After an accident, Marianna tells her friend Ben a defining story about the Sommer family, and his response further illumines the active relationship God seeks with His followers. In due time, she learns the move from Indiana was not about losing anything, but finding out who God really is. Despite all the shake-ups, Marianna feels a sweet peace, like still waters, in her soul.
My Review:  

I am late with this review. I had not one, not two but three computer crashes over the weekend. Every time I got it back, it died again and I had to rewrite the review again. So new computer, new review. It's either better or worse than the original.

I know it’s probably a very ignorant thing to say but I have studiously avoided any faith based fiction. I know, I know… I should give everything a chance but I am terrified of being preached at. It’s probably a residual from Catholic school. But I figured that I should give this one a shot. It sounded so good and I have been fascinated by the Amish community since a childhood trip to Hershey, PA.

I have never met a heroine that I genuinely liked without fault until I met Marianna. She was so easy to like and identify with. She never had a moment of obnoxious like many heroines I’ve come across lately. I also liked that she never delved into the area of preachy—the one thing I would not have been able to tolerate. Her struggle to find God (or peace as I prefer to think of it) was something that I really identified with for reasons that I am not really sure of. I'm actually quite jealous of Marianna because she figured it out.

I initially thought that I was walking into a romance with Beside Still Waters but it was something completely different. I would think that I would be more disappointed about that but, surprisingly, I wasn’t. Marianna’s journey was something that I really enjoyed reading about even without the romance. I also loved that I learned so much about the Amish way of life. I am really amazed and in awe of that community. 

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.


  1. I read so much Amish fiction - it is my one 'guilty pleasure'. I can't believe that I haven't read this author!

  2. @Bonnie

    I didn't realize there were so many Amish themed books but now I'm completely in love with them. I would definitely suggest this book. It was so good.



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