Monday, May 2, 2016

The Quieting by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Stoltzfus family faces serious problems, both in the church and at home. Everyone in the community expects minister David Stoltzfus to fix things–fast. But David doesn’t work fast. He prefers to wait for God to work in individual hearts. However, even he is left wondering if the solution to their most pressing problem might be a Quieting.

When David’s mother arrives, uninvited, more upheaval is in store. She has matchmaking plans for everyone in the family, including David and her eligible granddaughters–and especially for David’s niece Abigail. When Abigail stumbles onto a curious connection during her genealogical research, it could help David solve one problem–but will it create another?

Excerpt from back of book

A few months ago I found myself drawn into the The Imposter the first book of Fisher's latest series The Bishop's Family. At the time I found it to be a solid Amish fiction and one that would be well liked within that genre's fans.

With the coming of book 2 The Quieting, I was pleasantly surprised to see that, not only has Fisher managed to recapture all of the strengths and charm of book 1 but expanded the Stoltzfus family in such a way to make them even more real, relatable, and readable. I'll certainly be recommending this book to friends, starting with you ;)

For a little twist, I'll start with what I didn't like. The characters I fell in love with in The Imposter (namely Katrina and Thelma) were hard to find in this book due to space. So the continuity lover in me found myself longer for more than just the occasional pop in to update us on the baby.

Otherwise I loved this book.

Jesse (another favourite character from the first book) featured heavily in book 2 and is well set up for a feature book of his own down the road (which I'm already eagerly hoping for since book 3 is about Ruthie). His character development has been so real and beautiful that I find myself smiling over his predicaments and wondering how much of that charm I may see out of my youngest down the road (better to prepare early ;) )

Abigail was another highlight in this book. She reminds me, to be honest, of some people I know on the upper end of the autism spectrum, although I can't say that was the intent of the author. Still I love her unique perspective and how that didn't hinder her from carrying this story. Again, Fisher seems to excel in highlighting the painful ins and outs of coming of age in a way that makes her characters beautifully human and so easily connectable to a wide range of readers.

Also drawing on Fisher's strengths in this series is the ongoing romance of David and Birdy. Most Amish fiction seems to have some romance in it and The Quieting  has more than enough for readers to find at least one couple to root for, that said, I appreciate how the relationships have struggles and may not fit the norm. There were more than a few times I marveled at Birdy's strengths and David's cluelessness but, again, just made the story more believable. Honestly, I'll read book 3 just to make sure these two are doing okay.

Amish fiction is not for everyone. But if you're looking for a book about family, coming of age, or life with great character development and relationships, give this series a try and see if you don't just become the next person to find yourself at home in Stoney Ridge.

4.5 out of 5 stars

I received this book as part of the Revell book tour in exchange for my honest opinion. The views expressed are my own