Sometimes books surprise you even more than you might hope. The Quieting by Suzanne Woods Fisher is one of those, in my opinion.
The publisher’s blurb:
From the Back CoverIt was a well-laid plan–but it wasn’t her plan . . .
It’s all her grandmother’s fault. For the last few months, Abigail Stoltzfus has helped her father with his genealogical research, hoping that breaking through a client’s brick wall would also break his melancholy. But now her intrusive grandmother has set her sights on marrying off Abigail and insists she come to Stoney Ridge, where there is a plethora of eligible bachelors.Except that Mammi is mistaken. There are no eligible bachelors in Stoney Ridge, barring one, and he’s all wrong. Dane Glick has the wrong last name and the wrong relatives–including the bishop who is at odds over a church matter with Abigail’s uncle, minister David Stoltzfus.
As the conflict grows, setting family against family, it’s becoming clear that the path to a solution may lead to a Quieting–a removal of a church leader. But for which one? And when Abigail stumbles onto a curious connection during her genealogical research, it could help David solve one problem–but will it create another?
What did I think of the book?
Again I’ve found myself reading a book that’s the latest installment in an ongoing series, but I couldn’t tell that at all. This is a completely stand-alone book. Much gratitude to the author for this!
I know there have been many Amish fiction books in the past few years, but I’ve never picked one up. People can tend to romanticize the Amish and the Mennonites, and I can see that happening in fiction, too. Suzanne Woods Fisher knows the Plain folk, though – her grandfather was raised that way. The result? I was reading a story about a close-knit community, members who have the same hopes, desires, bad judgments, and mistakes we can see every day around us. They weren’t romanticized – they were real.
The story itself is well-paced, weaving its way around the Stoltzfus family, neighbors, and friends. I found myself laughing at quirky happenings, and cringing at Abigail’s matter-of-fact responses to things. (She’s not the most socially adept person, and I could see a bit of myself in her.) Abigail is a very literal person, one who feels much more comfortable dealing with the ancestors in the genealogies she helps her father with than dealing with live people in front of her. Then there is Tillie Yoder Stoltzfus, who her children and grandchildren call “Mammi the Meddler” amongst themselves. Mammi knows what is best for everyone (so she believes) and nothing will keep her from achieving her goals. She has heard about the problems in the community church and had decided that she will help set things right. Oh, and at the same time she will find a husband for the increasingly reticent Abigail.
There are so many good, well-written characters that I felt I was in the midst of a group of real people, sharing this point in their lives. I want to pick up the first book of this series, The Imposter, as soon as I can, and will definitely watch for the third book, The Devoted, this fall.
I was sent this copy from Revell Books in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.