The Lesson, by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Lesson, by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Reason for Reading: This is the third book in the Stoney Ridge Seasons series. An ARC was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review
Mary Kate (M.K.) has finally reached adulthood and she wants to spread her wings and explore the world. Although she dearly loves her family and friends, she’s not sure the Amish life is for her. However, her big plans grind to a halt when she accidentally crashes into the community’s school teacher, and she has to teach the kids until the regular teacher has recovered. But she is much more interested in playing detective than teaching. She wants to solve a murder and find out more about the mysterious strangers that moved into town. In this third and final book of the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, M.K. matures, but she is also the same fun-loving M. K. She learns to stay true to her nature while learning (once and for all?) that she should keep her nose out of other people’s business. But will she stay in Stoney Ridge, or leave the community to explore the world?

I’m really glad The Lesson gave me the opportunity to tie up all the loose ends on the Lapp family. The book is a quick read, with a light and humorous writing style. M.K. is probably the most complex character in the series, and this exploration of her strengths, weaknesses, and quirks makes for a satisfying conclusion to the Stoney Ridge Seasons series. 

The Haven, by Suzanne Woods Fisher

2012 Book 170: The Haven, by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Reason for Reading: I’m leading a discussion on The Haven for the ACFW bookclub. Discussion starts tomorrow, but it lasts until the end of the month, and anyone is welcome to read the book quickly and join in the discussion! This is the second book in the Stoney Ridge Seasons series.

Review
When Sadie Lapp returns home after several months of living with her newly-married sister, she comes bearing a foundling baby. She wants the baby to remain a secret until she can discover who the  mother might be, but to her dismay rumors immediately start flying around town that she is the mother. On top of all that stress, Sadie is now questioning her own interest in Gideon Smucker, who has been in love with her for years. Does she like him? Or does she prefer Will Stoltz, the city-boy who’s living on the farm as a wildlife intern who babysits a pair of endangered falcons that are nesting in the area? This is a sweet romance about the painful effects of gossip and  the power of forgiveness. I think this was a wonderful follow-up to the first book in the series, The Keeper. Although you could, theoretically, read The Haven as a stand-alone book, I’m really glad I read The Keeper first. Reading The Keeper helped me to understand some issues that would have gone right over my head if I hadn’t read it first. On the other hand, although The Haven continues with themes introduced in The Keeper, The Haven is a very different book because the lead characters are so different. Sadie is a cautious, awkward, unobtrusive girl who (at the beginning of the book, anyway) allows people and circumstances to take advantage of her. She needs to blossom into a more assertive young lady. Although I’ve read reviews which criticized her personality, I rather liked her. She reminded me of myself when I was that age. Fisher did a wonderful job of portraying the tortured shyness of Sadie – and then Sadie’s transformation into assertiveness was very touching. No, her character isn’t perfect, she made mistakes – as everyone else in the book did – but she was a realistic character. And one that I loved. If you like Amish romance, you’ll like this series. 🙂 (These were my very FIRST Amish books, to be honest!)

The Keeper, by Suzanne Fisher

2012 Book 166: The Keeper, by Suzanne Fisher

Reason for Reading: It’s the first book in a series. I’ll be leading a discussion on the second book, The Haven, from 20Dec – 31Dec for the ACFW Bookclub. Anyone is welcome to join, and apparently you don’t have to read the first book to enjoy the second. 🙂

Review 
When Julia Lapp’s fiance, Paul Fisher, postpones their wedding again, Julia blames Roman Troyer, a wandering bee-keeper who isn’t too fond of emotional attachments. Blaming Roman is easier than blaming Paul, after all. Julia keeps herself busy trying to regain Paul’s attention and taking her frustrations out on Roman while at the same time holding together the crumbling pieces of her family’s farm. Her father is having heart problems, and the family needs to stand strong in order to get through these difficult times. This is a sweet and simple romance, with a lot of emotional twists. The entire Lapp family (as well as Roman) are very lovable, and you can’t help but root for them. I’m eager to read the second book, The Haven, which tells the story of Julia’s younger sister.