(Lancaster County Secrets, Book 1)
One moment Carrie Weaver was looking forward to running off with Lancaster Barnstormers pitcher Solomon Riehl – plans that included leaving the Amish community where they grew up. The next moment she was staring into a future as broken as her heart. Now, Carrie is forced with a choice. But will this opportunity be all she hoped? Or will this decision, this moment in time, change her life forever?
A tender story of love, forgiveness, and looking below the surface, The Choice uncovers the sweet simplicity of the Amish world – and shows that it is never too late to find your way back to God.
Look out Beverly Lewis and Wanda Brunstettler, there’s a new Amish-writing author in town. Wow. This novel is only one of the first of what is sure to be many by this relatively new fiction author, Suzanne Woods Fisher, but it is masterfully written. She has many a pretty turn of phrase and the story line is inspired. The characters each have a depth and quality to them that brings them to life.
As I mentioned above, the characters are well developed and likeable (or ones you liked to dislike – Esther and Veronica come to mind.) While the characters are deep and colourful, I kind of wish I liked the main character, Carrie, a little more. She sometimes seemed kind of unbending and unsympathetic to the hurting people around her. For example, she flees the scene or refuses to give an answer. A little more softness in her would have been nice, making her easier to care about and lend even more emotional connection to the main character. It is understandable why she was depicted as strong, competent and independent as she was providing for the family and had people dying on her left, right and center. Perhaps I am being somewhat short sighted in my assessment of her.
The plot is great – robust and satisfying – like a flavourful wine. There are twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. There are love triangles, wise old grandmas, wise elders who gave loving counsel, caring sisters, jail birds, guarded secrets, mystery, and sweet, sweet romance. The chemistry between the two main characters was very believable and I enjoyed it immensely.
The author has a great command of the English vocabulary and chooses apt phrases for her writing. Sometimes it is prosodic fiction is and other times crisp and to the point. Descriptive words used are a delight to spill over my tongue and when I come to one I am often pausing to experience the whole elegance of the turn of phrase. Some such descriptors are “cerulean sky” and “the freshly sawn boards still raw and yellow,” or “the curtain of flower blossoms that covered the trees” and many more made more beautiful when read in the understanding of the story.
Most beautiful of all is the story of forgiveness and reconciliation that can be found woven into most of the story lines in the novel. Indeed, the novelist gently reminds us that time can elapse and we may find ourselves bereft and without the ability to reconcile with someone. I appreciate how the author centers the novel a round forgiveness and yet I do not feel beaten over the head with the message. Suzanne Woods Fisher is not preachy and this is one thing I really like about this novel.
Well, in case I have not been clear enough – I love The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher and can’t wait to read another novel by her. I think you will thoroughly enjoy this novel if you like the genre of Amish fiction or a sweet story on forgiveness and reconciliation.
Tracy’s Pick of the Best Reviews:
Richele at underthegoldenappletree.com
Michelle at My Semblance of Sanity
Heidi at Reviews & Reflections
The Journey Back