In Beside Still Waters, author Tricia Goyer takes the reader on a journey into an aspect of Amish life that few people consider: What happens to the people of such a tightly knit community when tragedy strikes?
Born on the same night her two older sisters were killed in a buggy accident, Marianna Sommers has tried to replace them in her parents’ lives. Marianna is caught between her duty to honor and respect her parents and her own desires to enjoy the courtship of the man she loves. If she refuses to relocate to an Amish settlement in Montana with them, Marianna would disappoint her parents and cause yet another loss to their family, something that she can’t bear to do. And yet, Aaron Zook has built a cabin on his land; a cabin for her if she’ll just stay and be his bride. As Marianna seeks to find peace with her decision, she finds something else that she never even knew was missing: the peace that she finds beside still waters.
I enjoyed this story immensely. The characters were presented realistically, with a lot of variety in personalities, which is something that is often missing in books with an Amish setting. Marianna is compelling as she seeks to understand the nuances of her life and the affect that the tragedy of the night of her birth had on her, and continues to have on her family. I also enjoyed the setting, since as readers we don’t often see Amish outside of Pennsylvania or Ohio.
This is the first of Tricia Goyer’s books I have read, but I will certainly look for more of them. A sequel to this book, Along Wooded Paths will be published in October, 2011, and is available for pre-order.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for my review.