Revell (Jan 1, 2011)
Lainey O’Toole returns to Stoney Ridge a decade and a half after the fateful decision she made as a child which brought pain to more people than she ever considered it could. Her car just happens to break down and Stoney Ridge is the only community at hand. Bess Riehl is also a visitor to this community though her ties are through family. Her Grandmother has requested Bess’s assistance as she recovers from surgery. A summer at Grandma’s was Bess’s last choice but soon she finds that “help” isn’t necessarily Grandmother’s motivation. Two different lives unwillingly caught in a place not of their choosing face circumstances they’d rather not acknowldege. In order to escape the shadows of guilt and anger Lainey must resolve past regrets and realize the unintentional ripples she left behind her in Stoney Ridge reach much wider than a child could have imagined.
Fisher writes about the struggles many of us face but in a unique genre. Though her books focus on Amish life and communities, she integrates characters from the outside into the flow of each novel, Englischers (as the Amish refer to them). Though Amish communities are mostly self contained, Englischers still play a role in the lives of these communal societies. Though beliefs may vary within the Amish faith, there is a unity among them that is rarely present among the Englisch. Suzanne’s characters draw readers into a world quite different from the one many of us inhabit but just as the faith of both Englisch and Amish touch one another at times they both have lessons and truths to share and enrich the lives they touch. Despite the pain and circumstances her characters face, Fisher’s novels seem to shine with encouragement and growth for the characters as well as readers. I look forward to her next novel.
(ISBN#9780800733872, 298pp, $14.99)
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