Beside Still Waters - Reviewed

Friday, April 22, 2011

Marianna Sommer believes she knows where her life is headed. Nineteen years old and Amish, her plan is to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and live in the only community she's ever known.

When Marianna's family moves from Indiana to Montana she discovers life and faith will never be the same. As she builds an easy friendship with local guy, Ben Stone, Ben not only draws her heart, he also gets her thinking about what loving God and living in community is all about.

As Marianna struggles to find "home", she also encounters God in intimate ways

Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-six books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock , Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. Visit for more info.

My Thoughts: A family's life is torn apart when their father falls asleep behind the buggy, and their hit by a semi truck coming home. Two children are killed and the family has not really healed from the deaths of these precious children. As Rumspringa approaches for Marianna it becomes quite clear that her Dat is not willing to allow her to have the same experiences the other children have. There is one young man, Aaron who has expressed interest in her and she has cared for him since she was little, and when it is mentioned that he wants to take her for a buggy ride her father says NO! There is the talk of moving to Montana which sends Marianna into a tail spin, as she can't imagine moving. With the Rumspringa you see her brother Levi disowned, which is something that is so hard to imagine. The children are given this time to decide and if they don't choose to stay Amish they are disowned. That for me is so hard to comprehend.
They do move to Montana, much to Marianna's dislike. While in Montana, Marianna finds the peace she so needed. Sometimes we have to move outside our comfort zone, away from people we know so that God can give us the rest and peace we need. I highly recommend this book, and I give it a lighthouse and shine a light on it for pointing a path to God.
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