Thursday, January 20, 2011

Review: The Search

The Search (Lancaster Country Secrets - Book 3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Publication Date: January 2011
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Genre: Christian Fiction
ISBN-13: 9780800733872

(Received for review from Revell)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository,, IndieBound

If you live in Morehead, KY or the surrounding area:

Purchase from our local independent bookseller: CoffeeTree Books
Borrow from our local library: The Rowan County Public Library

Suzanne Woods Fisher on the Web: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter

Excerpt from The Search
Book Trailer:

Synopsis (Book Blurb):


As a child caught up in a crisis, Lainey O'Toole mad a split-second decision with far-reaching effects. Fifteen years later, when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge - the very town in which that decision was made - she is forced to face the past and discover how her decision has impacted so many.

Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm helping her intimidating grandmother Bertha recover from surgery. It doesn't take long for Bess to realize that her grandmother coaxed her to Stoney Ridge for an entirely different reason. But once Bess meets hired hand Billy Lapp, the summer starts to hold some promise.

Lainey's and Bess's worlds are about to collide, and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.

Beautifully written, The Search is a skillfully women story that takes you through unsuspected twists and turns on the long country road toward truth. Immerse yourself in this heartwarming - and surprising - tale of young love, forgiveness, and healing.


The Search is the third book in Suzanne Woods Fisher's "Lancaster County Secrets" series. This is a Christian Fiction series that focuses on the Amish. The author is uniquely qualified to write this kind of book because of her affiliation with the Anabaptist culture through her grandfather who was member of the Old Order German Baptist Brethren church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Woods Fisher has crafted a novel that will encourage readers seek the freedom that comes from truth and forgiveness.

This is the story of two women, Lainey O'Toole and Bess Reihl, who are connected though they don't know it. Fifteen years ago Lainey was involved in accident that required her to make a decision that changed her life forever. She had no idea of how it changed the lives of other people as well. Now Lainey is trying to move on with her life when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge, the place where it all happened. She is drawn to Bertha Riehl a woman who was kind to her when she was a child. Bertha is also the grandmother of Bess Riehl, who has come for a visit to Rose Hill Farm for the summer. Bess isn't exactly thrilled to be there, but things start to look up when she meets her grandmother's hired hand, Billy Lapp. How are the two women related? And what will happen when all of the secrets are revealed?

I have really enjoyed this series so far. The author was kind enough to send me the first book in the series, The Choice for review when I first started blogging and I've been privileged to get to the review the other books in the series as well. With this book, the third in the series, the author again goes back to her roots to bring readers a novel about freedom and forgiveness. Suzanne Woods Fisher gives us characters that are believable and easy to relate too. How many of us have had to make some tough decisions in our lives without really considering how long range the effects could be.?

Lainey's situation is interesting. It seems like divine providence that her car breaks down in the exact location that she was forced to make a life altering decision in and now she may be making another one. I liked the way the author got Lainey where she needed to be and gave her a reason to stay. She needs to get her car repaired but doesn't have the money, so she takes a job at an Amish bakery to try to get the money. That's when she begins to realize that the past has caught up with her and she starts to see how her decision changed not only her world but the worlds of others as well. I liked how Lainey was able to grow from this experience and really find a place that became her home.

Bess's situation is a little different. Her father and grandmother are estranged and she hasn't been to see her grandmother in a long time. Her grandmother decides to take matters into her own hands and asks that Bess come to take care of her after a surgery, which turns out to be having a tooth pulled. Bertha has ulterior motives. Bess isn't to happy about things until she meets Billy Lapp and young love starts to bud. I found it really interesting how the two stories are unfolding right alongside each other and then they seem to veer a little bit and crash into each other full tilt. I loved the way the author orchestrated everything and showed how forgiveness is often tied to freedom and how that release can make you feel.

As a reader you would probably think that a book focused on the Amish would have a lot of religious overtones and might end up being "preachy" but Suzanne Woods Fisher does a wonderful job of writing about issues of faith without trying to tell the reader what to believe. I thought she handled this part of the book in a very simple way that brought a lot of clarity to the story. I would recommend this one to those who love Amish fiction and to Christian Fiction enthusiasts as well. This is a great novel and I hope there will be more books exploring the lives of these two wonderful characters.

Available January 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Choice and The Waiting. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is the host of the popular internet radio show Amish Wisdom and lives in California.


Suzanne said...

Hi Debbie! I have spent about 30 minutes poking around your fascinating blog...loving it! And then I read your review of "The Search." LOVED IT! Thank you for taking the time to write up such a poignant summary--I really enjoyed the points you brought out, the themes you highlighted. And I am THRILLED that you don't think it feels as if a reader gets knocked on the head with a religious 2x4. That's exactly what I'm hoping for...that these characters share their interior life...and readers might find themselves open to faith.
Would love to have your review up on Amazon/CBD, Debbie! Thanks for being a part of the blog tour. Warmly, Suzanne Fisher