Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher – Book Review, Preview

Posted March 6, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Giveaways, Guest Post /

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Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher - Book Review, Preview

The ripple effect. You throw a stone into the water and the ripples extend far beyond what you can see.

Our lives are like that in so many ways. The things we do affect others, not just ourselves.

I recently read through the life of King David, and instead of reading only a few chapters a day, I went through the entire account in just a couple of days. One thing that stood out to me so clearly was that David’s sins tore his family apart, directly caused the death of a man who loved him and was loyal to him, and caused the deaths of many of the Israelites.

This isn’t because God is cruel and enjoys punishing people! It is because we are here in this world together and just like that stone tossed into a pond, our actions ripple out and affect others.

Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher – Book Review, Preview

Mending Fences

by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Series: The Deacon's Family #1
Series Rating:
Published by Revell
Publication Date February 5, 2019
Genres: Amish Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Pennsylvania Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
Pages: 330


Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him.

Amos and Fern Lapp allow Luke to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, Luke must make a sincere apology to each person he's hurt--a four-page, single-spaced list. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused.

Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused . . . that isn't so simple. It's gut-wrenching.

And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miranda, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm. Luke's clumsy efforts to befriend Izzy only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge.

Bestselling and award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher returns to her beloved Stoney Ridge for this brand-new series featuring some of her readers' favorite characters.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

Also in this series: Stitches in Time

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When Luke played “pranks” on the people of his community, he gave no thought as to how his actions would affect them. After all, he didn’t really mean anything by them, did he? Yet he discovered as he set about “mending fences”, that his actions had much deeper consequences than he had imagined.

In this touching, humorous, and insightful story, Luke goes through a transformational journey as he attempts to change his life, the community’s perception of him, and figure out what to do next. I really appreciated the fact that the author didn’t have me loving Luke from the start. She kept a great balance of showing his faults and making him just likable enough that I wanted to keep reading to learn more about him. Don’t worry, though. I did end up liking Luke a lot by the end!

I loved watching Luke become a man I could admire. His blunders as he attempted to set things right were humorous and sweet. His heart was pricked when he saw the damage he had done to others and he truly had very good intentions. . .

Luke’s interactions with Betty the librarian were great! As were his attempts to keep Bob the horse in his stall at night. And who could blame him for trying? Being wakened out of a deep sleep by horse breath wouldn’t be something I would be passive about either!

Izzy was taken from her mother by the State when she was very young and she had a difficult childhood, never feeling accepted and always waiting to be told that she could no longer stay. Her life had been hard and she saw some ugly things. The opportunity to stay in the Amish community was such a gift to her. Amos and Fern were so thankful for her gentle nature and the compliant way that she followed their instructions.

The contrast between Izzy and Luke was similar to the one between the Prodigal Son and his older brother. While the younger son clearly displeased the father with his wasteful and indulgent living, the older brother appeared to be righteous and yet harbored pride and resentment towards his brother. And like the elder brother, though her actions were all as the community desired, she had some heart issues that needed to be addressed. I enjoyed seeing who noticed this problem and the way it was handled.

If you have read other Amish stories, you will have noticed they are often filled with Amish terms. I was surprised not to see that here. It gave a different feel to the story than what I expected.

Rich spiritual truths are shared in a poignant manner. In several places I was almost moved to tears. If you like your fiction to challenge your walk with the Lord, Mending Fences will certainly fit the bill.

Suzanne's Amish Recipes Pinterest Board

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A Friend in Need

by Suzanne Woods Fisher

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” –Walter Winchell

Luke Schrock was nearly friendless. He returned to Stoney Ridge in Mending Fences after a stint in rehab only because his bishop, David Stoltzfus, strongly encouraged him. And everybody knows you didn’t say no to your bishop.

But nobody else in town wanted anything to do with Luke. They forgave him for the trouble he’d caused in his last downward spiral, the one that went too far. The one that even scared Luke. Forgiving him was the easy part. The Amish of Stoney Ridge were intentional forgivers. It was their trust—that’s what he would have to earn. Trust was a fragile thing. Once broken, it wasn’t easily mended.

Somehow, David was still able to look past the behavior to see the best of Luke Schrock. He didn’t stop there. He found a family who was willing to take Luke in, and he spent hours with him—at times as a mentor, at times as a father figure, but mostly as a friend.

A loyal friend can have a powerful impact. Consider those friends in the town of Capernaum, who carried their paralyzed friend to Jesus for healing—so determined to get to Him that they dragged his stretcher up onto a roof, broke through the roof tiles, and lowered him down. Can you imagine being in the crowd, listening to Jesus, as straw and tile pieces and branches and bugs started to drop down from the ceiling? A shocking display…of devoted friendship. And what a miraculous outcome for that paralyzed man!*

I won’t tell you how Luke’s story ends—only that he works hard to find ways to make amends to those he hurt, to regain trust. Especially the hard-to-earn trust of a brown-eyed beauty named Izzy.

Do you have a real friend like David Stoltzfus, who walks in when the rest of the world has walked out? Or maybe the better question, for you, for me, is to ask ourselves if we are friends to others like David Stoltzfus was to Luke Schrock. I know I want to be.

*This miracle is reported in three gospels: Mark 2:1-12, Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26.

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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of an Amazon Kindle!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

ends March 20, 2019

About Suzanne Woods Fisher

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Phoebe’s Light and Minding the Light, as well as the Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She has also written several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. Fisher lives in California.

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