Revell (October 1, 2010)
Jorie’s family has relocated yet she knew her heart was always in the horse breeding business her Grandfather started. As a result Jorie could never leave the Percheron’s and the farm she grew to love as a child. The neighboring farm to the King’s is run by the eldest of four sons with some help from his younger siblings. The Zooks lost their parents while Ephraim was still quite young. Though the Amish practice is to pass on the family farm to the youngest son, Ephraim was too young to take on sole responsibility for the farm and dairy business so his older brother Caleb shouldered that responsibility as well as taking on the role of raising his youngest sibling as well as his own daughter. Jorie has fostered a spark of love for Ben one of the middle Zooks yet he has never had the desire to settle down to a complacent family life among their community. Caleb and Jorie both recognize the pull of a faster paced life and the enticement of different ways for Ben. Jorie however cannot fathom either loving her best friend, Maryann’s husband, or leaving the faith and abandoning her community for Ben who has never fully belonged among their number.
Can Ben deny his own call to a life his family and their community are unable to grasp? Though one human may love another and feel a unique draw to that person – some differences are not meant to reconcile themselves especially in the confines of a life time bond with another. Jorie and the Zooks find themselves all struggling through the loss of both Ben and Maryann in a span of less than a month. Before one loss has abated in it’s intensity the next follows and deepens not only the grief but the confusion of those grieving. Fisher’s characters take on a life of their own and become a beloved community with readers touched by their experiences. As Jorie struggles to prove her district can educate their children to the standards of American public schools, she also discovers the good in each of her pupils even those in whom that good lies deeply concealed. Her optimism and encouragement may prove to be just the ingredient to germinate the stubborn seeds lying dormant in even the balkiest students. Not only can she connect meaningfully to the youngsters, her creative lesson methods and presentation of content draw out many of the most apathetic students. Adjusting experience and method to her students’ strengths allow both a success which forcibly feeding them the material will increasingly undermine. (ISBN#9780800733865, 320pp, $14.99)