Customer Reviews for

Beside Still Waters (Big Sky Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 26 )
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  • Posted June 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Following God

    What a great book, couldn't put it down. Marianna Sommer's world is turned upside down when her Dat decides to move the family to Montana. Marianna has been hoping Aaron Zook would start courting her, and wants to join the church. She is torn about what to do!
    Loved the descriptions of the beautiful Montana countryside. Sounds like a beautiful place to live. All of the people there seem to be so kind, and now Marianna has started to develop a personal relationship with God. One that seems to surprise her and make her wonder if she is going against her Amish upbring.
    Loved that there is going to be a sequel to this also includes some yummy recipes.
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and B&H Publishing Group, I was not required to give a positive review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great example of Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother

    This story begins when the Sommer family are on there way home from a church meeting. They are an Amish family traveling by way of horse and buggy. They cross a busy road and are in a terrible accident that will change their lives forever. Two of their little girls are killed in this accident and a baby girl is forced to come into this world under harsh circumstance. Their young son also survives.

    Marianne was that baby and she has been trying walk in the shoes of her two sister ever since day of that tragic accident. She thought if she worked hard and played the dutiful daughter it would ease the loss of that day. Her brother feels as if he should not have survived that day and has left the Amish to live among the Englisch.

    The family is reminded of the accident everyday by the stares and whispers of the Amish Community. So they decide to relocate to a new Amish community forming in Colorado where they are not labeled by tragic day. Marianne agrees to go with her family leaving behind a fiance and the hope of a new life. She only plans to stay until her family is settled in their new home.

    She starts to fall in love with Colorado and God's amazing hand at such beauty. Then she reaches a relationship with God she had never imagined possible. She begins to question whether to stay or go back to her fiance and the life she left behind. Wanting to make sure she does whatever is God's will.

    There are so many beautiful other characters in this story that I will let you discover on your own. I feel as if I have said too much already.

    I read this book before I read book two, Along Wooded Paths in the series. I am glad I did. I highly recommend them both.

    I give this book a rating of 5 out of 5.

    I got a copy of this book from the author on NetGalley. I was in no way compensated for this review. This is my own opinion.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2011

    Well-written, well-researched

    Beside Still Waters
    Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer was a delight. Having interacted with the Amish I was not disappointed in this well-crafted book. Tricia has done her research and it shows in her descriptions of life in the two very different Amish communities. Tricia story touches the heart of every believer. Prejudice and legalism are explored along with living up to preconceived expectations of others.
    Marianne was born the night her family's buggy is hit by a semi-truck instantly killing her two older sisters. Sadness and loss hang over the family causing her to feel the need to be as perfect as she can in an effort to replace her dead sisters. Moving from Indiana to a new Amish community in Montana transforms the family. These communities are quite different. Not only is the geography and the weather different but the interaction with the Englisch (non-Amish) is startling to her. As she makes new friends both Englisch and Amish she discovers her own heart of faith is frailer than she realized.
    Her emotions take a roller coaster ride between Ben, the Englisch woodworker and Aaron the almost fiancé she left behind in Indiana. Having Englisch friends opens her eyes to her many misconceptions of them. Learning to adjust to her new way of life challenges her. Watching her family find joy and pleasure in life and one another makes her question all the old traditions. Learning from Englisch believers a faith more intimate deepens her own.
    I found myself enthralled with the story and sad to see it come to an end. The chapter teaser at the end of the book has me anxious to read the sequel.

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  • Posted April 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Stretch Your Wings - Discover a New to you Author or the Genre of Amish Fiction by experiencing this latest from a talented and prolific writer.

    If you are a Goyer fan she has once again given readers a new reason to love her work despite being a newcomer to this genre. If you are an Amish fiction fan she has expanded your options in a focused genre and you may just discover a new favorite author with a backlist that will last you beyond the release of her second Big Sky novel this fall. The characters and setting Tricia has crafted in this novel grabbed me from the first page to the last. Her stories always contain sufficient action and progression of a story that I never feel stuck in a rut reading them. The pacing and characters make me as a reader desire more but not because the story is lacking any important elements or padding the word count with embellished language or rich descriptions which stunt the progression of events. Lush descriptions and picturesque settings in this author's novels always prove a treasure trove to readers rather than a detriment to the story. Beside Still Waters has introduced a new genre to Goyer's bibliography that will stretch readers of the genre as well as readers of Goyer's work to embrace the unfamiliar and perhaps expand their list of favorites with either a new author or new type of novel.

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  • Posted April 17, 2011

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    What Happens When The Life You Had Planned Takes An Unexpected Turn?

    It's not often you hear stories of an Amish family picking up from where their generations have always lived to move to a place that they have never been before, but that is exactly what Marianna Sommer's family plans to do. Even if it's something she doesn't want at eighteen.

    Her older brother Levi was different from most Amish boys who attend rumschpringe. It allows the youth to see the world outside and experience things from the Englisch world before making their commitment and being baptized as an Amish boy or girl. Yet Levi wouldn't return. His ways were different from the Amish and he desired something different. It was that along with the accident that have kept their parents bound with unhappiness at times.

    Her sisters Marianne and Johanna died when her father fell asleep at the reins of their buggy one night. It was also the night she was born, a new daughter to replace the two that would die that same night. No matter how hard Marianna tried, she could never be good enough for her parents, even if she did find the perfect Amish boy in Aaron. Would that even matter?

    When her parents pack up their belongings after her younger brothers begin to show signs of leaving the Amish family like Levi did, they feel that a change might do them all good. So they head off to Montana to live with their Uncle Ike and about to see things are a whole lot different there.

    I received the book Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer,compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. This book show that change even though difficult at times can bring about renewed faith, hope and love. It shows us that God will still meet us wherever we are and we can find a personal relationship with Him, no matter where our family decides to live. God will meet us there. This book offers redemption for the Sommer family that seems to live in a cycle of loss. Loss of children, loss of a lifestyle, loss of a relationship with God at times, but what they find there will show them that despite everything, God will lead them beside still waters and find His grace in the most unexpected of places. A 5 out of 5 stars, must read!

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  • Posted April 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Perfect kickoff for an exciting new Amish series!

    Marianna Summer's life started out on a tragic night when her two older sisters were killed in a horrible accident. At the age of nineteen she has always felt as if she doesn't really measure up, after all how can one life replace two, but she does her best to be a dutiful, helpful Amish daughter. While she isn't engaged to Amos Zook it is sort of understood that they are together, he is building them a house and they will eventually marry.
    When her dad decides to leave their Amish community in Indiana for a fresh start in Montana, she tells Amos that she will only stay for six months to help her mother with the baby that is to be born and then will come home. Will she return after six months, or will she find a different life in Montana?

    I am a huge fan of Amish fiction and was excited to read an amish story written by Tricia Goyer, a very talented author whose work I have always admired. I feel like in "Beside Still Waters" she really outdid herself. She takes the very popular genre of Amish fiction and gives it a very fresh perspective, by allowing us to see the characters as real, with real problems. Her story didn't idealize the Amish life, and make English life bad, instead by allowing Marianna to learn about Christianity, we easily see the similarities and differences between the two worlds.
    The setting was fresh as well. Instead of taking place in Ohio or Pennsylvania she takes us to Montana, and her descriptions were outstanding, making you feel as if you were right there.
    The characters are easy to like, and it was nice to see Marianna's character develop and grow throughout the story.Fans of Amish fiction will love this one, but even if the Amish Genre isn't your cup of tea, give this one a try because Tricia Goyer is a master story teller who adds a breath of fresh air to this one! A perfect kick off for the Big Sky Series, that left me wanting more!

    A complimentary copy of this book was provided for an honest review.

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    New Idea on the Amish life

    Marrianne Sommer was born on the day her two sisters were killed in a buggy/eighteen wheeler accident. The parents and children were on their way home when Abe the father kept dozing off and before he knew it the accident happened.

    Marrianne was name for the two sisters and her older brother Levi was only three at the time. Now Levi is grown and has left home for an English life style, Marrianne is (sort of) dating Amos Zook, even though he had never dated her, there was just and understanding. He was building them a house but she had never saw it. Abe had taken all he could at their home in Indiana and wanted to move to Montana where his brother lived. They packed up everything and moved to a new way of life. The Amish were few in this area and they mixed in with the English. Marrianne had told Amos that she was only staying six months and she would return home to him, but will she?

    Everything was different here in Montana the homes were far apart and there was no place to farm so what was Abe going to do? Marrianne went to work and was getting involved with an Englich man named Billy, he was a driver for the Amish but didn't know many of their ways. Will the family decide to stay in Montana or will they go back to their seventy acre farm in Indiana? This book was different than a lot of the Amish books I have read, as in this one they mingled with the Enblich a lot more than most of the ones did, from the other Authors.

    This is the first Amish book Tricia Goyer has written but she has plenty other books under her belt. Good book.

    This book was sent to me free from B & H Publishing for my honest review.

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