3 Generations Are Loving This Amish Author

We can't wait to chat about our most recent reads with our friends, can we.  And we look forward to our next book club gathering, or the rockin' monthly link-up at Anne's place.  

But what could be better than sharing books that have captured your heart with your very own family?

Suzanne Woods Fisher's Amish writings are making the rounds through three generations here in Massachusetts these days with Mom {in her 80s}, my baby sister, Marilyn {in her 50s}, my oldest daughter, Kristin {in her 30s}, and I swapping volumes of fiction back and forth and comparing notes on who's read what.  It's just been plain fun for mother to share books with daughter who shares books with sister who shares books with granddaughter ... well you get the drift.

It's a pleasure to welcome you to our family powwow today.  None of us are particularly fond of the camera so I promised not to share pics if they'd participate.  But be sure they're lovely women, each of us relishing a relaxing page-turner at the end of a long day.

So ... grab yourself a coffee as we chat together.  As always, I've added links so you can check out specific books on Amazon {I get a few cents a book if you buy}.  None of my dear sparkling conversationalists have read the others' responses, and I've taken the liberty of throwing in my two cents here and there in blue print.

Here goes ...

#1.  The four of us have been talking about Suzanne Woods Fisher and her books!  Who of you found her in the first place ... and how'd you hear?

Mom:  A year ago I ordered a book by David Jeremiah from Christian Book Distributors and in ordering I noticed a 3-books-in-1 volume about Amish life by Fisher and the price was either $2.99 or $3.99.  There was also a book The Heart of the Amish which was talking about forgiveness for $2.99.  My ears picked up and I ordered them both.

Marilyn:  I found one of her books in our local library around a year ago, read it and loved it, but then couldn't remember the author's name!  I was at Mom's right before vacation a few months ago and told her I was looking for something to read while I was away.  I took both her books.

Kristin:  I've been looking for some good, clean reading and my mom mentioned that my grandma had been reading a series by Suzanne Woods Fisher.  I absolutely LOVE her writing!  

#2.  There are a number of authors out there who write Amish fiction.  What makes Fisher's work unique?

Mom:  She's not the typical writer of this type of book and I found she was writing very positively about their beliefs and how their spirituality worked out in their daily lives.  She didn't talk negatively about their lifestyles.

Marilyn:  I have read many Amish / Mennonite / Quaker books over the years.  I have enjoyed most of them and they have been quick reads.  Sort of a Christian Little House on a Prairie - easy to read, life was simple then, no technology, family oriented.  As soon as I started reading Fisher's books, they were different.  Her descriptions are so detailed, you feel as if you are in the kitchen with her characters or out in the fields, smelling the fresh meadows, fruit trees, cow manure {gross, Marilyn!}.  

She also doesn't fantasize that this choice of lifestyle is easy.  The kids moan and complain about not wanting to do their chores.  Washing clothes by hand takes all day and the sisters try to get out of doing their part of the work.  It is realistic - I can relate to it {sounds like us growing up, huh?}.  

Their faith comes across real.  They question God when they don't understand why things happen.  Teenagers have real emotions like jealousy, insecurity, not feeling pretty enough, nervous around boys or girls.  In one story, the main character was chosen as a minister and he was reluctant to do it because of the demands on his time and family.

Kristin:  I've only read one Amish fiction book before this and I just couldn't get into it.  Suzanne's writing is light reading and entertaining.

#3  Your favorite book so far ... and why.

Mom:  I love The Inn at Eagle Hill series ... I felt like I was living right in the inn and was sitting at their table.  Fascinating.

Marilyn:  Don't know the name - ex-boyfriend supposedly killed in the war, but his death ends up being wrongly identified.  Meanwhile, his brother's wife dies and the ex-girlfriend falls in love with the brother and becomes a teacher / mentor to the children {is this a tad confusing or is it just me?}.

Kristin:  I've read 3 of her books, and the one that really got me was when a very dramatic and unforeseen event happened.  I just sat there and cried!  SPOILER ALERT  SPOILER ALERT  {I don't want to give it away, but it was when Menno died and gave his heart to his dad.}

#4  We've got three generations talking here.  What is it about Fisher's work that seems to resonate no matter what the reader's age?

Mom:  Their day to day life is just like ours with its frustrations and joys, their concerns for each other and wanting to be able to help.

Marilyn:  There is something in each story that everyone can relate to.  Making your home into a bed & breakfast due to financial struggles, the loss of a spouse, a child with a stuttering problem, the crops that get ruined by a storm, moving to a new town and having to find new friends.

Kristin:  There are characters of all ages, she covers so many different topics, she touches on many stages of life.

#5  Anything else you want to add?

Mom:  In each book, she weaves in a delightful addition.  I learned about bee-keeping and making honey, falconry, basket weaving, the sky at night, natural remedies, baking.  I have not read any Amish books in a long time but when I did, each one seemed just like the previous one ... until I read this author.

Marilyn:  I'm in the middle of The Heart of the Amish, short stories about forgiveness in everyday life.  That is what allows them to forgive the major things we hear about like after the murder of the children in the schoolhouse a few years ago and the community ministered to the widow of the killer.  It takes a lifetime of living at peace to be able to do that with God's help.  

This can be used as a devotional book - there is a lot to learn.  She calls the first part of the book "Everyday Friction" - all those small annoyances that we need to forgive.

Kristin:  As long as you like this genre, it's fabulous!  I like how Fisher integrates Christian principles throughout the book without being preachy.  SPOILER ALERT  SPOILER ALERT  When she talked about Menno's dad accepting Menno's heart, she wove in how it was similar to our relationship in Christ. 


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