Still Life in Shadows [NOOK Book]

Overview


It's been fifteen years since Gideon Miller ran away from his Amish community in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as a boy of fifteen. Gideon arrives in the Smoky Mountains town of Twin Branches and settles in at the local auto mechanic's garage. He meets a host of interesting characters -the most recent acquaintances are Kiki, an autistic teen, and her sister Mari. Known as the "Getaway Savior" he helps other Amish boys and girls relocate to life in ...

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Still Life in Shadows

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Overview


It's been fifteen years since Gideon Miller ran away from his Amish community in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as a boy of fifteen. Gideon arrives in the Smoky Mountains town of Twin Branches and settles in at the local auto mechanic's garage. He meets a host of interesting characters -the most recent acquaintances are Kiki, an autistic teen, and her sister Mari. Known as the "Getaway Savior" he helps other Amish boys and girls relocate to life in modern America.

One day the phone rings. On the other end is his brother Moriah calling from Florida.
Of course Gideon welcomes his brother to stay with him and offers him a job. But
Moriah is caught in a web which ends in his death and forces Gideon to return to the town of his youth, with his brother's body in the back of a hearse and Mari and Kiki at his side. He must face not only the community he ran away from years ago but also his own web of bitterness. Will he be able to give his anger over to
God and forgive his father?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802483805
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/24/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 518,652
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


ALICE J. WISLER grew up in Japan as a missionary kid, but now lives and writes in Durham, North Carolina. Her son Daniel died from cancer treatments in 1997 at the age of four. In his memory, she created Daniel's House Publications which offers Writing the Heartache Workshops to help those suffering losses discover the value of writing. She presents these workshops at conferences across the country.
She writes for various grief and loss websites, including Open to Hope, where she is the Death of a Child forum editor. She is a frequent contributor to Christian
Work at Home Moms (CWAHM), WritersWeekly and Writing for Dollars. Alice is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, has a B.S. in social work, and has taught disadvantaged children in group homes and in a refugee camp in the Philippines under a program sponsored by the United Nations. She has been published in Personal Journaling,
ByLine, Carolina Woman, Carolina Parent, We Need Not Walk Alone,
and Living with Grief. She is a member of The Compassionate Friends and Bereaved Parents.
She is the author of four inspirational novels: Rain Song (Christy Finalist),
How Sweet It Is (Christy Finalist), Hatteras Girl, and A Wedding
Invitation
(Bethany House Publishers). Two of these have been translated into
Dutch and Turkish. Visit her website at alicewisler.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 7, 2014

    Bottom Line: Still Life in Shadows is a sad, moving, very realis

    Bottom Line: Still Life in Shadows is a sad, moving, very realistic story that convinced me to check out more Alice Wisler books.




    Lovers of Amish fiction could read this for a gritty look at the intersection of Amish and English worlds.
    Within the bucolic life of the Plain People, how can abuse and despair still flourish like a poisonous plant? Answer: because the Amish are fallen men craving grace like the rest of us, and sometimes parental pride combines with strict religion and drives the children away.
    That's what happened to Gideon, almost two decades before. He withstood the oppression of his father as long as he could, and then he escaped.




    Now he's a reserved, still-waters-running-deep kind of man working in an auto-repair shop, and on the side he's aiding fellow escapees.
    The Getaway Savior. That's what they call him.
    It's a heavy title to wear, and a great responsibility to carry. Helping young Amish people transfer to the outside culture requires patience and wisdom.
    Gideon can usually summon up both, and he earned them through his own hard experiences. He's just now able to look back on his upbringing and realize that there are some parts he doesn't want to throw away. Even while he lives and moves in the modern world, there are some Amish attitudes that are forever built into his soul. He doesn't hate all of it. Just the pain and the shame and the secrets.




    Flitting about on the periphery of his life is a source of joy that he tries hard not to notice. Kiki, a teen girl obsessed with working on her bicycle, and Mari her older sister. Kiki wants a job at the garage and Mari serves the best tea and pie in the state. For a reason he doesn't understand, he begins connecting with both of them, allowing tiny thoughts of Family to slip into his head.
    And then his real brother returns. Oh, Moriah. Why?




    I love the way that Alice Wisler gave every character's story an inherent dignity. That's important... that each one have their space and let the meanings flow from whatever happens, good or bad. This book is beautiful because most of the action is actually internal, inside Gideon and Mari and Kiki and Luke and Ashlyn and Ormund, and Moriah and Della and Principal Pepper. Depending on their role in the story, you get to see various amounts of their growth and faith and thoughts.




    Thabk you MP Newsroom for my copy.

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    This is not your typical Amish novel. The characters are one ste

    This is not your typical Amish novel. The characters are one step removed from Amish community life, but the values are still there, at least those worth keeping. I like the main character's inner struggle, ability to help while keeping healthy boundaries, and the surrounding characters, who were in themselves interesting, adding to the plot, which was quite "outside the box." The reading level is easy, flows nicely, and there is an economy of simple language that was appealing, too.

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  • Posted April 8, 2013

    Still Life In Shadows by Alice Wisler is a book with many layers

    Still Life In Shadows by Alice Wisler is a book with many layers. There is a thread of romance, but the real theme of the book is learning to forgive, learning to let go, and learning to trust yourself. The very unique thing about this book is that it is written from two very different points of view, and not those that you would expect. Gideon Miller escaped from the Amish community fifteen years ago. He has managed to carve out a life for himself as a mechanic and an upstanding member of his small community. To other Amish wanting to escape their imposed lifestyle, he has also become known as the ‘savior’. The other point of view is that of a thirteen year old autistic girl – certainly atypical, but very believably done. Mari and Kiki are sisters who have moved to the town when their mother, a hoarder, was deemed an unfit parent. Mari works at the local diner, and becomes Gideon’s love interest, while Kiki, the autistic girl, must try to navigate life away from the familiar.
    When Gideon’s younger brother, Moriah, escapes the community he starts making bad choices and getting in with some unsavory people. This part of the story is the major crisis that drives Gideon to question his own choices. This is not a typical romance, with that part of the book taking second place to the deeper emotional issues the characters must face. It is a complex book, with lots of inner discovery on both the part of Gideon and Kiki.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2012

    Totally new theme for an Amish story.

    This is a good fiction theme,great writer, enjoyed the story.

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  • Posted September 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    On more than one occasion, I have had a conversation with Alice

    On more than one occasion, I have had a conversation with Alice Wisler about my book reviews. She has asked me if I ever write any negative reviews. Now, I always try to find the positive in all the books I read and I do like to focus on the positives (not to mention the fact that I like a wide variety of books), but I did tell her that if she wants to read a not so positive review of mine, she should read some of my Amish fiction reviews. Amish fiction is not my favorite. There are some very good Amish novels and a couple consistently excellent Amish novelists, but in general, I don’t care much for the Amish genre.

    Imagine my disappointment when I found out my FAVORITE author had written an “Amish” novel. I thought, “Alice, no, not you too!” But, I knew she would not let me down and when I learned that Still Life in Shadows was about an ex-Amish man who helped the Amish escape, I was certain this book would be different. It was. I was fretting over nothing.

    I became a fan of Alice’s books with her first novel, Rain Song. That book has been my absolute favorite book ever since, even after reading all of her books. I’m not sure I can say that any more. Still Life in Shadows had all the things that make Alice’s books wonderful, but I also found that it had more. It seems to me that Alice has really been refining her writing and bring much more emotion with her when she sits down to write.

    I have gotten to know Alice personally in the years since her debut and one of the things that I love about her books is that she puts so much of herself in her stories. I love that personal touch and it makes her books more sentimental for me as a reader. She really outdid herself in Still Life in Shadows. I really appreciated her including her son Daniel in this story in a very special way. Daniel was just four years old when he passed away on February 2, 1997 and Alice used the date February 2 in a special way in this story and it did not go unappreciated by me. It’s those little details that Alice never misses, and as a reader, I love that she shares so much of her heart with me.

    Alice did not forget about the hopeless romantic in all of us in this story. The developing (and fragile) relationship between Gideon, the ex-Amish man, and Mari was perfectly woven into a story with a deep message of forgiveness in a beautiful way without being sappy.

    This book held a most pleasant surprise for me and her name was Kiki. Kiki is an autistic teenager and I adored her. Among my favorite books are those that focus on young girls who have difficulty fitting in, I can relate to that from my younger days. I loved seeing the world through Kiki’s sensitive eyes. Without her, this book would not have been quite right. She belonged in this story with this group of people who only wanted to know the love of family and belonging. I loved it.

    Still Life in Shadows is a beautiful story. I loved every moment and once again I am reminded why Alice Wisler is my favorite author. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I really can’t believe that I think I have found a book that I liked better than Rain Song, but really any book by Alice is a winner.

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  • Posted September 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This story of a boy who fifteen years ago ran away from his Amis

    This story of a boy who fifteen years ago ran away from his Amish family and lifestyle is somber yet enlightening. Because of the harshness of Gideon Miller’s father and his home life, Gideon doesn’t know how to have fun. Wisler expertly paints a character that is dedicated, responsible, and serious. Gideon is one dimensional until a little girl and her big sister pry away his Amish shell and expose him to smiles, laughter, and God’s forgiveness. Every character is well developed and memorable, and the setting descriptions are realistic.

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  • Posted September 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is the first book that I have read by Alice Wisler. Alice

    This is the first book that I have read by Alice Wisler. Alice was nice enough to provide this copy to me to give me a chance to see if her books would be welcomed by men readers.

    Gideon has run long and hard away from his past, but he still manages to hang on to a piece of it by helping Amish kids relocate from their Amish world to modern America. Gideon becomes involved in the life of autistic Kiki due to damage she had done to his gas station. In the process, he becomes involved in her sister, Mari. Out of the blue he gets a call from his brother, Moriah, who wants to come live with him. Gideon learns that Moriah's reasons for moving in weren't clear and honest, as he finds Moriah is into drugs. As the tension between them grows, we find out the reason Gideon has run away from his family for so long. When Moriah is found dead, Gideon now must return to the Amish life that he had left behind. What happens when he confronts his dad over issues from their past? Is forgiveness in his future? Take the time to buy this book and find out!

    Ms. Wisler has created a very mysterious, yet likable character in Gideon. He has so much hidden in his past, but yet he appears to be open to sharing his experiences with Mari. The story that Ms. Wisler has created is very believable and one that keeps you interested from the start. There is so much depth to her characters, that you end up rooting for them as the story progresses. This book is heavy on forgiveness, it was to me, the main theme that ran throughout this book. The forgiveness that Gideon had for Kiki, for his brother, his father and even himself. As he notices later in the book, "the Almighty's arms are wide and merciful enough to forgive even the most guilty of creatures".

    Is this a "guy's book"? There isn't alot of "action" in the book, but this is a story that all men need to read. Between the emotions that Gideon is trying to hide, and the history that we find out between him and his dad, this story reminds us that we need to be more open with our communications. As I read this book, I reflected on my own relationship with my dad. I have been blessed to have a very close relationship with him and I know that I am who I am because of my relationship with him.

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  • Posted August 22, 2012

    The prose of this story fits with the premise. It moves from a s

    The prose of this story fits with the premise. It moves from a
    sparseness that captures the main character's life and slowly grows into
    a rich and full story. I loved the characters, especially Kiki. This
    story is intriguing and different than other books I've read. Well worth
    the buy!!

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  • Posted August 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    As an Alice J. Wisler fan, I was expecting yet another great read; needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. "Still Life is Shadows" is a wonderfully crafted and compelling story. It held my heart captivate from the first page until the very last line. I highly recommend this book. You don't want to miss this one!

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  • Posted August 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An Eye-Opening Read: Alice Wisler's latest book, Still Life in

    An Eye-Opening Read:

    Alice Wisler's latest book, Still Life in Shadows, captures a clear glimpse into the Amish life. Every beautifully placed word written on Alice's pages has a purpose for being there. Each scene leads up to the overall meaning of the story, which I believe is the cleansing power of forgiveness. She is in no way devaluing the Amish way of life, but rather shedding light on the pain that some endure.

    I don't feel her goal in writing this story was to criticize any which way of life. She shows the pros and cons of both sides of the fence. She speaks truth. She doesn't blur the image to make it seem more perfect for one side over the other. But rather she exemplifies the need for moderation in this life. In the end, I believe Alice's purpose in writing this story was not to place blame, but to show how the evil on either side can destroy people when we take our eyes off the ultimate focal point--God.

    A huge thank you goes to the author for sending me a sneak-peak of what's to come for her readers. Believe me when I tell you, Still Life in Shadows is worth the wait. You will fall in love with the real-life characters and will be cheering them on the whole way. Their caring support of each other gives the real depiction of what a family looks like, even if it's not what their society says. And with their eyes focused on God, they can't help but to prosper in whatever community they choose to live in.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    I'm not sure why the previous reviewer rated this book 1 star wh

    I'm not sure why the previous reviewer rated this book 1 star when the free version was clearly labeled in block letters : SAMPLER.
    Too many readers nowadays expect free books. What about the time and effort it takes a writer to write a full-length book? "A workman is worthy of his wages..."

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  • Posted August 13, 2012

    I've always been interesting in the Amish as one of the subcultu

    I've always been interesting in the Amish as one of the subcultures here in the United States so I thought this book would be interesting. And it was, Gideon is known as the "Getaway Savior" in the Amish community and he is often contacted by young boys who want to break out and learn how to become "English." Gideon is an interesting character, even though he has "become English" his Amish roots are definitely a part of his life and in some ways, he has not been able to move on as well as much as he thought. It made me happy to see his character come about.
    This book as other interesting characters and a good story line. It was a bit thin in some places and a little thick in others but over all, it was a good read and well written. I will say there were a couple places where the name "Gideon" was used in place of "Moriah" which was confusing, and should have been caught in the editing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012

    This review is for the SAMPLER only. Don't bother. The descri

    This review is for the SAMPLER only. Don't bother. The description isn't clear, but you only get the first 5 chapters, not 304 pages. Get the full book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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