The Search (Lancaster County Secrets Series #3)

( 43 )

Overview

When worlds collide, can the truth set two young women free?

As a child caught up in a crisis, Lainey O'Toole made 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 ...

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The Search (Lancaster County Secrets Series #3)

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Overview

When worlds collide, can the truth set two young women free?

As a child caught up in a crisis, Lainey O'Toole made 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 woven story that takes you through unexpected twists and turns on the long country road toward truth. Immerse yourself in this heartwarming--and surprising--tale of young love, forgiveness, and healing.

Praise for Suzanne Woods Fisher

"Fisher writes with a fresh mix of humor and depth, splashing raw emotion onto the pages. I guarantee your heart will be touched."--Ginger Kolbaba, founding editor, Kyria.com; author, Desperate Pastors' Wives

"Fisher writes with her heart and soul."--Romantic Times Book Reviews

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 Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is the host of the popular internet radio show Amish Wisdom and lives in California.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this third series title (after The Waiting and The Choice), Bess Reihl is spending the summer helping her grandmother Bertha work Rose Hill Farm. Lainey O'Toole is on her way to culinary school when her car breaks down in the Amish community of Stoney Ridge, the very town where she made a fateful choice 15 years before. Now she will have to face her past as the separate worlds of both these women collide. VERDICT This pleasant tale of love and forgiveness has a homespun feel that will attract readers who like character-driven stories with a relaxed pace. And, of course, bonnet fiction is always popular; fans of Marta Perry will snap this one up.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800733872
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/1/2011
  • Series: Lancaster County Secrets Series , #3
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 212,836
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Letters, The Calling, the Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 20, 2011

    Grrat read!

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted February 11, 2011

    SECRETS,YOUNG LOVE,FORGIVENESS AND HEALING IN THE AMISH COMMUNITY! THE SEARCH BY SUZANNE WOODS FISHER!!!

    THE SEARCH by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a heartwarming inspirational Amish contemporary romance set in present day Stoney Ridge,PA.It is the third in the "Lancaster County Secrets" but can be read as a stand alone. Book One,"The Choice".Book Two,"The Waiting".It has faith,hope,love,romance,forgiveness,healing, Amish faith,beliefs,young love,secrets,truth,freedom,family,witty banter and bringing light to past secrets when two worlds collide.This is a story of how truth,although,sometimes hurts,will in the end set you free. It is a compelling,heartwarming story of truth, forgiveness and healing.It has unexpected twists and turns and shows how a summer can hold promise for a brighter future.If you enjoy Amish at its best you will enjoy this one too.Also,if you enjoy Beverly Lewis,Amy Clipston,Wanda Brunsetter,Beth Wisemen or Shelley Sheppard Gray you will enjoy this one too.I would highly recommend this and the other two in the series,if you have not already read them,especailly if you enjoy Amish faith,community,family,forgiveness and a heartwarming story.This book was received for the purpose of review from the publisher and details can be found at Revell,a division of Baker Publishing Group and My Book Addiction and More.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2011

    Best in the series

    I loved this very readable story, and think it's the best of the three books in the Lancaster County Secrets series. Here's why:

    *This book has great characters in it. The portly grandmother is so full of personality she is one of them most memorable I've read in a long time--certainly not would you would expect to find in an old Amish widow.
    *The primary setting is a rose farm! I've never been to one, so I found the description of daily operations fascinating.
    *English and Amish characters meet in this book, and one side decides to convert to the other side. I won't tell you which one, but the development of her decision is very tender.
    *This is a story of redemption. The end of the book is extremely satisfying for those of us who love happy endings.
    *One of the main characters, Bess, matures from a love-sick teenager into a young woman with better judgment. I love the self-respect she ends up showing at the end.
    *The novel seems to me to be on the short side. At first, I was disappointed by this, but it's actually good for busy people who love to read but can't enjoy a super long novel because by the time they get through it, they forget what happened in the first half.

    I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    This series is very good as it keeps you guessing through out. If you like stories of the Amish and their customs start reading this series! Truly like the writings of this author and I am sure a book club would find lots to discuss.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2011

    Great Read

    Great series romantic clean uplifting

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    Secrets and Young Love in the Amish Community

    The Search, by Suzanne Woods Fisher, is my first introduction to Suzanne's writings about the Amish. I found her style refreshing, real, transparent, and unique.

    Refreshing in the way she describes the scenes in such intricate detail, the raw emotions that spill out unexpectantly, and the guarded pain held deeply, pulling you into every experience. Real in the way she portrays the many circumstances that could easily happen today, in just a slightly different fashion. Transparent because you could 'read' Mammi's facial expressions and body language, feel Bess's attraction to Billy, and empathize with Jonah's pain and tragedy. Unique in how she draws out the strength of her characters in their own personal way, making them special and lovable. At least most of them!

    You learn how one widow makes a new life for herself that pulls in her love of roses and the ingenuity of a young man trying to establish himself in the eyes of his father.

    The underlying secret Suzanne has running through the book has you on edge, wondering if or when it will be told, and how it will affect each character if it is exposed. She weaves in the aspects of forgiveness and healing, which are essential in everyone's life. I am sure you will find this a heartwarming story that resonates throughout your own life.

    This book was provided by Donna of Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful Amish Fiction!

    One thing I can say about Suzanne Woods Fisher is that she is keeping the Amish fiction genre fresh. Confronting issues such as war, alcohol abuse and even "fun" topics like growing roses makes Suzanne's books stand out. If you're looking for a tender, gut-wrenching all around awesome story pick up one (or all) of her books. Usually one to shy away from too much Amish fiction I can safely say that I will definitely be reading more of it in the future if they are stories like this one.

    The Search follows Englischer, Lainey O'Toole who inadvertently winds up in Stoney Ridge, the small town she left years ago and Amish teen, Bess Reihl who is visiting her ailing grandmother for the summer. What ensues involves grief, loss, and the affects of long kept secrets. While not as dramatic in terms of dealing with war and conflict as The Waiting or The Choice, The Search had its own unique storyline and characters. For most of the story the matriarch of the Reihl family, Bertha and her rose garden brought so many people together and came to represent the strength and tender care that must be had and given when dealing with humans AND roses alike. I think this entire series is a keeper and a must read for fans of the genre. I would also ask you to give this a chance even if you're not a fan of Amish fiction, as it just may change your mind!

    *I received my complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my honest review.*

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    The book you've been "searching" for ...

    If you're looking for a good read, look no farther ... I have just read The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher and have to say it was excellent. It was one of those books that once you begin reading it, you just can't put it down. I recently received my own copy of The Search from LitFuse so that I could read and post a review of this fabulous book. Because I knew this was the third in a series called Lancaster County Secrets, I immediately thought to myself that I should read the first two books before starting this book ... which I did. I even bought an ecopy of the Search although I received a free copy for review.

    Mrs. Fisher again pulls at our heart strings when she has us meet up with Bess Reihl, a young teen who is spending her summer with her grandmother at Rose Hill Farm in an Amish community in Pennsylvania. Bess is living the Amish life already, with her widowed father at their farm in Ohio, where they moved shortly after Bess' mother was killed in a buggy accident when she was an infant. We see the bond between grandmother and granddaughter grow as well as unexpected twists and turns with the reintroduction of Lainey O'Toole to the community that she left years ago when her mother died after birthing her baby sister, leaving her along in the world. As in her other two books in this series, Mrs. Fisher guides our hearts through young love, family bonds, forgiveness and healing ~ wonderful principles that we can all apply to our own lives, no matter what our age. This book is a fabulous stand alone book, the first two books (The Choice and The Waiting) need not be read before this book in order to understand it. Although I highly recommend reading them - they, too, are worth the read!! The Search is a wonderful book for young and old, and all ages in between. Again, a great choice for your book clubs too - I am certainly going to be recommending this to the ladies at my Church, I think they will fall in love with the characters and the themes throughout the book. Another 5 star rating from me!

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  • Posted January 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    great book!

    Bertha Reihl has been carrying around a secret for fifteen years, and a chance encounter in town, makes her realize it is time to break her silence. How she is going to do this is an elaborate plan that only she is privy to, but she feels sure that it will help everyone involved. And possibly might even save the life of her rotten mean brother Simon Troyer.
    Simon Troyer is really where this whole story begins, years earlier he had married a young woman who had a daughter, and his wife had died soon after their baby was born, and Simon took off, leaving his young stepdaughter alone to take care of a baby, when she wasn't much more than a baby herself.
    Young Lainey O'Toole, had done the best she could to take care of her baby sister Colleen, but a horrible accident in front of the cottage she lived in, created an opening that she would have never thought of.
    Now Lainey is back in town, on her way through to upper New York to attend a culinary school, but she knows she needs to speak to Bertha Reihl, about the secret. Unfortunately her little car goes its last mile and decides it can go no further and Lainey is stuck in the town, that she was only hoping to visit.
    Young Bess Reihl is summoned to come spend the summer with her grandmother, unaware that her life is fixing to change so drastically and so quickly that will nearly overwhelm everyone involved in her life.
    I have to say, Suzanne Woods Fisher captured a side of Amish life in this story that I really haven't ever considered before. Each book in this series just continues to improve and you are pulled into the story so deep you feel you know each character. I loved this book!! 295 pages US $14.99 5 stars

    This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
    The Search is available January 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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  • Posted January 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Unexpected plot

    I was drawn in from the first line, and didn't want to put the book down until I finished reading. So many threads. My favorite type of reading. Suzanne has the ability to show me the hearts of her characters. They become real and I care about them. I enjoyed seeing Bess learn that her grandmother was only gruff on the outside. I really didn't want Jonah, the father, to settle for a loveless marriage. I wanted to discover Lainey's secrets. I didn't see it coming but Suzanne tied everything up nicely and acceptably in the end. And I am eager to read her next book.

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  • Posted January 21, 2011

    A Beautiful Book of Love, Forgiveness and Healing!

    started reading The Search and was immediately lost and immersed into this poignant, beautifully written story. Though it is the third book in the Lancaster County Secrets series, it is easily read as a stand alone story. The story is captivating, the characters realistic and the plot keeps you in suspense till the end. I loved reading this book and I can't wait to read the first two books in this series: The Choice and The Waiting! Many thanks to LitFuse and Suzanne for providing me the opportunity to review this book.

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  • Posted January 19, 2011

    Gelati's Scoop

    I have to admit, I am a big fan of good stories written with an Amish backdrop. I don't know if this comes from having lived my entire life about 90 minutes away from Lancaster, PA and enjoying frequent trips there or my envy of a lifestyle that most of us will never get to experience. I am drawn in by the faith, dedication to family and community, natural beauty, and simplicity of the Amish people.
    The words on the back cover of The Search describe this story better than I ever could, "Beautifully written, The Search is a skillfully woven story that takes you through unexpected 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 series Lancaster County Secrets. I have not read the first two, but with the author's great descriptions and attention to detail, I felt as if I was right in the middle of the story. It was as if I knew the characters and their personalities. The feelings of love, forgiveness and especially healing were beautifully portrayed. Throughout are snippets from sermons that really hit home. They pertain to specific situations but could be applied to our lives as well. Here's an example, "But a few years ago, I went to a church service and the pastor happened to be preaching on the difference between divine forgiveness and human forgiveness. I knew I couldn't forgive others without God's help. He said that we fail in the work of grace and love when there is too much of us and not enough of God." That one made me stop and think.
    All in all, The Secret is a really nice blend of a good storyline, likable characters, very detailed descriptions of scenery and personalities, along with many fine examples of how living a life of love and truth will lead to happiness
    "Available January 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."


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  • Posted January 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Powerful Story Of Reconciliation And Forgiveness

    Suzanne Woods Fisher in her new book, "The Search" Book Three in the Lancaster County Secrets series published by Revell returns us to the Amish Community of Lancaster County.

    Lainey O'Toole is on her way to attend the Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York. This has been a dream of her life since she was eighteen and now she is headed there early to get a room and a job to make some extra money while she attends school. Lainey's plan was to make a quick pass through Stoney Ridge after a fifteen year absence but God has other plans. Her car dies right in front of the bakery so she winds up with a job in that bakery and a room to rent so she stays on in town.

    Fifteen year old Bess and her father Jonah live in Ohio in an Amish community. Jonah moved away from his father and mother after an accident between his buggy and a truck caused the death of his wife and a trial that put him in the spotlight which he was uncomfortable with. Bertha, his mother and Bess's grandmother, writes to ask that Bess come stay with her for the summer because she needs her help. It turns out there is more behind her request than might have been expected.

    Suzanne Woods Fisher writes an interesting story that moves along at a remarkably brisk pace. The Bible says that what we hide in the dark will be brought to the light and that is so true in this story. Secrets that these characters are keeping are working against them and God means to reveal these secrets so that He can bring a healing to their lives. "The Search" is a good read and a powerful story of reconciliation and forgiveness. While this book is the third book in the Lancaster County Secrets series you do not have to have read the other two books to enjoy it. I liked this book and recommend it to your reading list. While I am waiting for Ms. Fisher's next book I think I will go out and read the first two books to keep me busy.

    If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.

    To listen to 24 hours non-stop Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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

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  • Posted January 17, 2011

    3rd in Lancaster County Secrets is poignant and entertaining

    The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the third book in the Lancaster County Secrets series which takes place among the Amish in the late 1960s-early 1970s. Fifteen-year-old Bess Riehl has been summoned home to Stoney Ridge where her grandmother Bertha lives for the summer to help her with her rose farm. At first Bess thinks will be the worst summer of her life, until she meets Bertha's farmhand Billy Lapp, and the summer starts to look up. Lainey O'Toole spent the first several years of her life in Stoney Ridge until a tragedy took away her mother, forcing her to make a terrible decision that has haunted her for fifteen years. Now she's returned to discover the consequences of her choice, but what she finds is far more than she ever expected, especially if Bertha has anything to do with it. I always enjoy reading Fisher's Amish lit novels, because they are a fresh breath of air in the crowded genre. I appreciate how she doesn't fall into the habit of many other bonnet fiction writers, of writing a phrase in Deutsch and then having the character repeat it in English for the reader's benefit. Nobody really speaks that way! But it's Fisher's characters that really raise her above the rest of the crowd, and Bertha is evidence of that talent in The Search. Bertha is nothing like the average Amish maami (grandmother). She's nearly six feet tall, almost as wide, mangles English unapologetically, and isn't above breaking the law if that's what it takes to get her way. Bertha is an utter delight to read because Fisher restrains her just enough to keep her from becoming a caricature, creating a thoroughly enjoyable character. The story is heartfelt and compelling. I look forward to the next in the series!

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Relationships are universal

    I was curious about this series of books so when I read that Lit fuse was offering this one as a blog tour I put my name in and was lucky enough to be selected. I had submitted my name for one of the prior books but was not selected that time around to participate. It is interesting to get a peek into the lives of the Amish people. The only other fiction book I can recall reading recently about an Amish community was Jodi Picolt's Plain Truth. I enjoyed this book more than Plain Truth.

    Fifteen year old Bess and her father Jonah live in Ohio in an Amish community. Jonah moved away from his father and mother after an accident between his buggy and a truck caused the death of his wife and a trial that put him in the spotlight which he was uncomfortable with. Bertha, his mother and Bess's grandmother, writes to ask that Bess come stay with her for the summer because she needs her help. It turns out there is more behind her request than might have been expected. Lainey has returned to Stoney Valley (??) after a fifteen year absence. Her mother and baby sister died fifteen years ago at the same time as the accident and her step-father disappeared so she was taken into foster care and has been working to save money to go to culinary school. Her car dies in town and she winds up with a job in a bakery and a room to rent so she stays, becoming friends with Bess and getting reacquainted with Bertha.
    I really enjoyed seeing how these lives fit together and where they went from the beginning of the story to the end. It was also heartening how much the characters trusted in God for the paths that opened or closed in front of them. Lainey has some tough decisions to make based on things from the past that she trusted to God. Once I started reading I had a difficult time putting the book down. Even Bess at fifteen seemed to have more trust in her direction than many adults I've met.

    One of the things Lainey notices about her Amish friends is that they accept each task for what it is and don't rush on to finish it, but value each for the worth it has. Bess shows Lainey how to wash sheets using a hand wringer. It is much harder than going to the Laundromat or using a washing machine at home, but instead of trying to hurry through this chore Bess accepts it and does it until she is done. So often I find myself rushing through something because I have more to do. Laundry for my family of 6 can be overwhelming and it seems I am always rushing to get all the chores done. I never really stop to appreciate each task for what it is. Maybe we as a non-Amish society would find more joy in things if we saw the value in them, doing laundry supplies your family with clean clothes and grocery shopping keeps your family from going hungry. That there really is a value to all the little things one does in a day.

    The other thing I really noted in the book and thought was of value was how willing neighbors were to help each other out and to put their resources together for the good of the whole. Two characters get married in the story and the whole community pools there glasses and chairs and plates so there is enough for the celebration. So often people are unwilling or afraid to share with others, but these people valued each other more than their possessions and really connected with one another.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Search

    Bertha Reihl of Rose Hill Farm, is a bit intimidating, as tough as boots on the outside, but on the inside she is really an old softie.After the death of her husband, Samuel, a few years back, she slowly started converting her pastures into a place to plant her roses. She does a pretty good business selling salves, roses and her rose petal jam, so well in fact that she has hired 18 year old Billy Lapp to help her.

    Its been a few years since her son Jonah and her 15 year old grand daughter Bess has come from Ohio for a visit, so she sends them a letter stating she needs help recovering from her women's surgery. Bess decides to go spend the summer with her grandmother. While picking roses isn't something she really relishes, when she meets Billy she thinks he is the most handsome boy she has ever saw, and things might not be so bad on her grandmothers farm.

    Lainey O'Toole was Bertha's neighbor 15 years ago, and while traveling thru on her way to New York as fate would have it, her car breaks down in Stoney Brook in front of a diner, who was looking for a baker, she decides to stay for the summer, wanting to reconnect with Bertha, the lady who was so kind to her in her youth. There is a secret that Lainey has kept for 15 years, something that will affect several people. What will happen when the secret is out in the open?
    Another great story from Suzanne Woods Fisher. A story about how the truth can free you from your past, and of course the value of forgiveness. I enjoyed the characters in this story, and think my favorite was Bertha, for an Amish grandmother she had a wacky sense of humor. The story was very well written, the author grabs and holds your attention, keeping you wondering how things will turn out.
    While this is the third book in the Lancaster Co. Secrets series it can easily be read as a stand alone work. A a fan of Amish fiction I have read all three in the series and would say fans of Amish inspiration, or someone just looking for a good clean read would enjoy this series. There are also discussion questions included at the end of the book.

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    lots of twists to keep things interesting!!

    Bess Reihl goes to Rose Hill Farm to spend the summer with her grandmother, Bertha. Her father is hesitant to send his daughter because of his strained relationship with his mother but Bertha claims to need Bess' help while recovering from "female surgery." The surgery turns out to be a having a tooth pulled but Bertha had an ulterior motive for wanting Bess to come for a visit.

    Lainey O'Toole has decided what she wants to do with her life: go to culinary school. After saving her money she has enough for tuition but when her car breaks down Stoney Ridge, she must put her plans on hold. She takes a job at The Sweet Tooth to make some money in order to fix her car and back to her plans. But the longer she stays, the stronger the pull for her to join the Amish community she's found herself standing on the edge of. Can she finally find where she belongs?

    Suzanne did a great job in blending Bess and Lainey's stories. I think my favorite character would be Bertha - I loved her honesty and the fact that deep down, she was very sweet and trying to take care of those she loved. There were several unexpected twists to keep the story interesting and I like the ending. It seemed fitting and I wouldn't be surprised for Bess and Lainey's story to continue in a fourth book in the Lancaster County Secrets series.

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  • Posted January 7, 2011

    Highly Recommended!

    Suzanne Woods Fisher is at it again, writing an incredible book filled with delightful characters and a plot worth following. Suzanne does not slow down for her third book in this series, and it is just as good as the ones it follows. You will love these characters, and relate easily to them. You will adore Bertha, and if you are like me, nod your head as you realize you too have a relative who is just like that. The Search will wrap you up and leave you wanting more, which I do believe is coming. The Search is a beautiful story of how truth brings about freedom, and the value of forgiveness. Sometimes, we must do the uncomfortable and the unnatural in order to bring about God's grace and mercies. To walk in obedience is more worthwhile than walking in comfort, which this book shows over and over. Sit back, relax, and dive in. You will love every page.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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