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Customer Reviews for B&H Books Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1

B&H Books Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1

Marianna Sommer believes she knows where her life is headed. Nineteen years old and Amish, her plan is to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and live in the only community she's ever known. When Marianna's family moves from Indiana to Montana she discovers life and faith will never be the same. As she builds an easy friendship with local guy, Ben Stone, Ben not only draws her heart, he also gets her thinking about what loving God and living in community is all about. As Marianna struggles to find "home", she also encounters God in intimate ways.
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Customer Reviews for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Review 1 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Marianna has a strong faith and love for her famil

Date:July 21, 2013
Customer Avatar
wfnren
Location:St Cloud, FL
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Marianna Sommers was born early due to a freak accident that killed her two older sisters, Marilyn and Joanna. Her parents and older brother survived but her mother went into premature labor and her dad named her Marianna after the older sisters that were killed. She lived her life in Indiana and planned on marrying Aaron Zook once they started courting and both joined the church.
The family was blessed with three more boys and a daughter. Levi, her brother that survived the accident, left the Amish when he got older. Marianna spent her life taking care of the younger siblings, doing chores and working for a neighbor taking care of kids. She had little time to herself and always seemed sad but kind, didn't express any anger over her situation. She did wish she had been able to know Marilyn and Joanna to know what they were like and wondered how her life would be different if the accident never happened. Even though she and Aaron weren't courting she knew that he planned on marriage too and was even starting to build a house for them.
Things changed when her dad decided to move his family to Montana, she thought about staying in Indiana with her Aunt, after all she would be 20 in about a month. When she was told that her mother was in the family way again, she decided she didn't have any choice but to go with them. She couldn't explain to Aaron why she had to go, it wasn't her place to tell that news. Her mother was reluctant to move too but her dad wouldn't let her talk him into staying in Indiana.
How do you think you would handle thinking that you weren't good enough your whole life? Your birthday brings back the memory of two dead sisters that you're named after and your parents always talk about how 'good' each of the girls were. Would you feel like you were forgotten yet you're right in front of them, like you don't even mean anything to them? The whole community seems to look at you with sympathy because they know the whole story and see how it's affected your family throughout the years.
What a good book this was and Tricia makes you feel the sorrow within Marianna's heart. Through it all she stays true to her faith. I've had this book for quite some time and finally pulled it out of my 'to read' pile and have started the second one, Along Wooded Paths, as I'm anxious to move ahead in Marianna's life with her. There is one more book in the series, Beyond Hope's Valley, I now have to get that so I'll be able to finish her story. Tricia did a wonderful job.
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Review 2 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Read!

Date:March 13, 2012
Customer Avatar
rp1wife
Location:Montana
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I loved this book! I don't typically care for this type of book, but Tricia did a great job in keeping me interested!
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Review 3 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Unique and Charming

Date:March 9, 2012
Customer Avatar
Lesa Brassette
Location:Grand Junction, CO
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
What a wonderfully pleasant surprise! A tale of the Amish that ends up taking place mostly in Montana was a breath of fresh air to me ... one who reads all things Amish. This was the first book of Tricia Goyer's I've read and I have to say that I really, really enjoyed it.
After hearing her interview with Suzanne Woods Fisher on her radio blog, this book was high on my list to read. I'm not sure how much is based on truth and how much is fiction, but it is truly a story that will take old of your heart and give you a hard time about putting it down.
I love the characters and the setting(s). I love the style of writing and the commitment the author shows to the integrity of the story and its details. I found myself vested in what Marianna would do and hoping my daughter would one day find her "Ben".
I love how human these "characters" are as well. I do find myself often forgetting that while our faiths are lived out differently, the Amish are just as human as I am and just as vulnerable in the world as anyone.
It will be a week or so before I can start book two but I am eager to get to it and simply can not wait! Highly recommended as a great read!
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Review 4 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

This is a great read!

Date:December 22, 2011
Customer Avatar
Eleanor Anders
Location:USA
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
My Look:
Marianna Sommer is a young Amish girl who plans to stay in the Amish faith, marry, and be content. Nevertheless, family issues need her to change directions.
After loosing one child to the Englisch ways and realizing another child could be heading in that direction, Marianna's parents decide they need to move from Indiana. Her parents have already suffered enough tragedy, losing two of their girls through in accident on the same day her mother gave birth to Marianna. How could they lose her too?
A whole lifetime she's been striving to help her parents through their losses. However, this is a ruling that Marianna would not have to follow, but her mother is expecting. What should she do now?
To help her family settle in their new home, Marianna goes to Montana temporarily. But Marianna struggles anew with either going back or staying because she's liking this life in Montana. It's so much different here. The rules are less strict, and Marianna even has a job at an Englsher's store! Almost daily here, she marvels at the beauty God creates, and she has grown in her faith too.
However, her cousin's wedding is coming up in Indiana, and she's supposed to attend. Should Marianna go back to an uncertain past, back to Aaron? Alternatively, does she stay in Montana to find out where her friendship with an Englischer man named Ben Stone goes?
My Take:
BESIDE STILL WATERS by Tricia Goyer is a title that I recommend. But be forewarned, this book is unlike other Amish fiction titles that you may have read before. And that's a great thing!
Tricia Goyer's exhaustive research into the Amish community not only shows in how she crafts these characters, but it's seen in how she showcases the Amish culture. She almost does a contrast and compare, without judgements, for us readers to understand the differences and the similarities in everyday life events, and she even gives us taste of the Amish in the back of the book. You'll want to fall in love with this author's characters, their challenges, and their futures in the next THE BIG SKY NOVEL SERIES titled ALONG WOODED PATHS (B & H Books October 2011). ***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***
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Review 5 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
This review is fromBeside Still Waters - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 28, 2011
Customer Avatar
Debbie
Location:Pittsburgh PA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Great book -- I enjoy all of the Amish books I purchase from Christian Books.
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Review 6 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
This review is fromBeside Still Waters - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

I recommend this book!

Date:December 26, 2011
Customer Avatar
Eleanor Anders
Location:USA
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
My Look:
Marianna Sommer is a young Amish girl who plans to stay in the Amish faith, marry, and be content. Nevertheless, family issues need her to change directions.
After loosing one child to the Englisch ways and realizing another child could be heading in that direction, Marianna's parents decide they need to move from Indiana. Her parents have already suffered enough tragedy, losing two of their girls through in accident on the same day her mother gave birth to Marianna. How could they lose her too?
A whole lifetime she's been striving to help her parents through their losses. However, this is a ruling that Marianna would not have to follow, but her mother is expecting. What should she do now?
To help her family settle in their new home, Marianna goes to Montana temporarily. But Marianna struggles anew with either going back or staying because she's liking this life in Montana. It's so much different here. The rules are less strict, and Marianna even has a job at an Englsher's store! Almost daily here, she marvels at the beauty God creates, and she has grown in her faith too.
However, her cousin's wedding is coming up in Indiana, and she's supposed to attend. Should Marianna go back to an uncertain past, back to Aaron? Alternatively, does she stay in Montana to find out where her friendship with an Englischer man named Ben Stone goes?
My Take:
BESIDE STILL WATERS by Tricia Goyer is a title that I recommend. But be forewarned, this book is unlike other Amish fiction titles that you may have read before. And that's a great thing!
Tricia Goyer's exhaustive research into the Amish community not only shows in how she crafts these characters, but it's seen in how she showcases the Amish culture. She almost does a contrast and compare, without judgements, for us readers to understand the differences and the similarities in everyday life events, and she even gives us taste of the Amish in the back of the book. You'll want to fall in love with this author's characters, their challenges, and their futures in the next BIG SKY NOVEL. ***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***
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Review 7 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Tricia's venture into Amish fiction is a success

Date:November 7, 2011
Customer Avatar
Rachel Ropper
Location:Scotland, UK
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
GENRE: AMISH
PUBLISHER: B & H PUBLISHING
PUBLICATION DATE: APRIL 15, 2011
RATING: 10 OUT OF 10
Born on the day of the buggy accident that took the lives of her two older sisters, Marianna Sommers has always felt that she never measured up to her lost siblings in the eyes of her parents. She has consigned herself to the fact that once she leaves her family home and marries the man God has intended for her, she can start her life anew, a life in which she isn't constantly being compared to her deceased sisters. Hopefully this life will be with Aaron Zook, who has recently asked her to take a buggy ride home from a singing with him. But before they get the chance to start courting, Marianna's father announces that the whole family will be moving to Montana, in an attempt to avoid losing any more of their children. With two daughters gone to be with the Lord and a son left to join the English world, her parents are desperate to hang on to their remaining children. A trial period living in Montana appears to be a viable solution, no matter how much Marianna objects. And although she is given the option of remaining in Indiana with her extended family, Marianna knows that her mother is expecting another child and decides to move to Montana, at least until her new sibling is born. But after an argument with Aaron over her choice to leave, and his failure to reply to any of her letters, Marianna starts to settle into her new life in Montana. Despite initial reservations about the lack of discipline in the Bishop-less community and the close relationships her family begin to forge with English neighbours, Marianna finds herself drawing closer to God in Montana. When the opportunity arises for her to return to Indiana and Aaron, will she take it, or choose to remain in the new life she has made for herself in Montana?
Although I've been long aware of Tricia Goyer's presence in the Christian fiction market, Beside Still Waters was the first of her novel's that I'd personally read. I was intrigued to see that she was straying from her usual historical writing and making a foray into the world of Amish fiction, and I'm pleased to report that this venture has been a definite success! Beside Still Waters has to be one of the most original Amish novels that I've read this year, in a location that has previously been unexplored in this genre. In observing the Sommer family moving from Indiana to Montana, readers are able to understand the nuances and differences that are present in Amish communities. While one community may shun all non-business relationships with Englishers, another may be open to friendships with their non-Amish neighbours. It was fascinating to see how the small, rural community in Montana differed from those often featured in popular Amish fiction set in Pennsylvania or Ohio. Even Marianna's home community in Indiana had distinct differences. In a genre that is already becoming saturated, new Amish authors need to make their work stand out from the crowd, which Tricia has succeeded in doing through placing her characters in a new setting and a more liberal community.
One of Marianna's main problems with life in Montana is the closeness to the English, particularly young Ben Stone, whose relationship with his Lord and Saviour challenges her pre-existing views of Englishers. Back in Indiana, she would never have been allowed to work and live so closely with outsiders who might cause her drift away from her Amish beliefs, but Ben actually ends up helping Marianna to develop her personal relationship with God. Although her friendship with Ben sometimes confuses Marianna and causes her to reconsider some of the rules she has always followed in her stricter community back home in Indiana, a connection begins to blossom between them. Her family and friends are cautious about her spending too much time with a young English man, but since the community is in such close, daily contact with local Englishers, their relationship does not seem too strange. Tricia's observations on the ways that the Amish treat outsiders were particularly interesting. While some books focus purely relationships within Amish communities, and others show Englishers who come to "find themselves" in Amish country and end up converting to the faith, I felt that Beside Still Waters showed something completely different. Because their community is so small and rural, the Sommers' nearest neighbours are Englishers and they often have to call on Ben for help in a crisis, rather than their Amish friends, because he lives closer and has transport. But it is also acknowledged that their home community in Indiana is much stricter, and Marianna's friendship with Ben would never have been allowed to develop there.
In discussing this novel with my book group, my friends and I found ourselves considering which male protagonist we hoped Marianna would end up with - were we Team Aaron or Team Ben? While Aaron is your typical young Amish man, building a house for his future wife and family and attending singings, he fails to understand Marianna's need to be with her family in Montana, and the two of them end up parting not on the best terms. I found his behaviour rather immature, and some of the events that transpired later in the book made me even more wary of him and his commitment to Marianna. On the other hand, Ben isn't Amish but displays many of the qualities often displayed in Amish men. I personally found him to be a much more appealing character than Aaron, even if he lived a different lifestyle from Marianna. But considering that there are two more books in this series, will Marianna and her potential beaus come to mature in future instalments? I'm looking forward to discovering whether Aaron will grow up a bit, and whether Ben's closeness to the Amish will make him consider becoming one of the community.
I'm pleased that Tricia Goyer has decided to begin penning novels for the Amish genre. If Beside Still Waters is a good example of her work then I believe that readers of this genre will quickly be adding her to their list of favourite authors. Tricia will be revisiting Montana in October 2011 with Along Wooded Paths, and I'm sure that many readers are eagerly awaiting this instalment in order to find out where the wooded path takes Marianna next in her life.
Review title provided by B&H Publishing.
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Review 8 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great example of Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother

Date:October 28, 2011
Customer Avatar
Its About Time Mamaw
Location:Houston, Texas
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This story begins when the Sommer family are on there way home from a church meeting. They are an Amish family traveling by way of horse and buggy. They cross a busy road and are in a terrible accident that will change their lives forever. Two of their little girls are killed in this accident and a baby girl is forced to come into this world under harsh circumstance. Their young son also survives.
Marianne was that baby and she has been trying walk in the shoes of her two sister ever since day of that tragic accident. She thought if she worked hard and played the dutiful daughter it would ease the loss of that day. Her brother feels as if he should not have survived that day and has left the Amish to live among the Englisch.
The family is reminded of the accident everyday by the stares and whispers of the Amish Community. So they decide to relocate to a new Amish community forming in Colorado where they are not labeled by tragic day. Marianne agrees to go with her family leaving behind a fiance and the hope of a new life. She only plans to stay until her family is settled in their new home.
She starts to fall in love with Colorado and God's amazing hand at such beauty. Then she reaches a relationship with God she had never imagined possible. She begins to question whether to stay or go back to her fiance and the life she left behind. Wanting to make sure she does whatever is God's will.
There are so many beautiful other characters in this story that I will let you discover on your own. I feel as if I have said too much already.
I read this book before I read book two, Along Wooded Paths in the series. I am glad I did. I highly recommend them both.
I give this book a rating of 5 out of 5.
Disclosure:
I got a copy of this book from the author on NetGalley. I was in no way compensated for this review. This is my own opinion.
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Review 9 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Beside Still Waters

Date:July 12, 2011
Customer Avatar
Kimberly
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I thoroughly enjoyed this first novel in the Big Sky series. I found Marianna's struggles to be perfect, to fill the void her sisters left behind, compelling. How many of us strive for perfection, only to fail time and again? I do wonder if all of the questioning of the Amish ways that Marianna and her father do in the last half of the book will lead either of them into a faith crisis. It'll be interesting to see whether Marianna chooses Aaron or Ben as her spouse in the next book in the series.
Beside Still Waters is available at Amazon or Christianbook.
With thanks to NetGalley and B&H Publishing for my review copy.
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Review 10 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Following Your Heart

Date:June 12, 2011
Customer Avatar
MaureenT
Location:Syracuse NY
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
What a great book, couldn't put it down. Marianna Sommer's world is turned upside down when her Dat decides to move the family to Montana. Marianna has been hoping Aaron Zook would start courting her, and wants to join the church. She is torn about what to do!
Loved the descriptions of the beautiful Montana countryside. Sounds like a beautiful place to live. All of the people there seem to be so kind, and now Marianna has started to develop a personal relationship with God. One that seems to surprise her and make her wonder if she is going against her Amish upbring.
Loved that there is going to be a sequel to this book....it also includes some yummy recipes.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and B&H Publishing Group, I was not required to give a positive review.
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Review 11 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Only peace can make one feel at home

Date:June 6, 2011
Customer Avatar
schoolmarm
Location:Heber Springs, AR
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Marianna feels her life is being turned upside down when
her family leaves for Montana. She goes to help her mother
who expecting another child, but plans to return in 6 months.
But maybe God has other plans for her that will make her
feel at peace in Montana.
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Review 12 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
This review is fromBeside Still Waters - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Different Type of Amish Story

Date:July 7, 2011
Customer Avatar
Jan Drexler
Location:Rapid City, SD
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
In Beside Still Waters, author Tricia Goyer takes the reader on a journey into an aspect of Amish life that few people consider: What happens to the people of such a tightly knit community when tragedy strikes?
Born on the same night her two older sisters were killed in a buggy accident, Marianna Sommers has tried to replace them in her parents’ lives. Marianna is caught between her duty to honor and respect her parents and her own desires to enjoy the courtship of the man she loves. If she refuses to relocate to an Amish settlement in Montana with them, Marianna would disappoint her parents and cause yet another loss to their family, something that she can’t bear to do. And yet, Aaron Zook has built a cabin on his land; a cabin for her if she’ll just stay and be his bride. As Marianna seeks to find peace with her decision, she finds something else that she never even knew was missing: the peace that she finds beside still waters.
I enjoyed this story immensely. The characters were presented realistically, with a lot of variety in personalities, which is something that is often missing in books with an Amish setting. Marianna is compelling as she seeks to understand the nuances of her life and the affect that the tragedy of the night of her birth had on her, and continues to have on her family. I also enjoyed the setting, since as readers we don’t often see Amish outside of Pennsylvania or Ohio.
This is the first of Tricia Goyer’s books I have read, but I will certainly look for more of them. A sequel to this book, Along Wooded Paths will be published in October, 2011, and is available for pre-order.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for my review.
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Review 13 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The BEST new author I have read in a long time!

Date:May 10, 2011
Customer Avatar
Georgene Pettygrove
Location:Whiting, NJ
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I am an avid Amish CBD reader, and this new author has a real calling on her life! This book took me to Montana and I sensed the various feelings involved in a family starting a new life far from their relatives. The best part was that this book told how knowing the Lord personally is key - no matter what label your church wears.
+2points
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Review 14 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

1st in Big Sky series is great Amish fiction

Date:May 9, 2011
Customer Avatar
Anonymous
Location:Oconto Falls, WI
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer is the first book in the Big Sky series. Marianna Sommer has lived every moment of her nearly nineteen years knowing that she had to make up for the two sisters who died in a tragic accident the night she was born. Despite the children born after her, there is still a heavy grief that lies on the Sommer family. And it has only grown since eldest son Levi has left the Amish faith. Marianna has always known that she wanted to marry Aaron Zook and he has finally made his move to let he know he cares for her, but it just may be too late. Marianna's father has decided to uproot the entire family to Montana in hopes of making a new start and breaking free of their tragic past. Marianna is furious at her father's decision, but once in Montana, she sees a happiness on her mother's face that she's never witnessed. She finds a job at an Englisch store, and quickly makes friends with an Englisch man that she can't seem to get out of her thoughts, despite missing Aaron and desperately wanting to return to Indiana. Marianna has to decide whether to live in the past or finally move into her own life. This is Goyer's first Amish book, and she does a remarkable job of interpreting their culture and faith. Marianna is a empathetic character that readers will ache for as she tries to make up for two lives lost in just her one person. Goyer's love for her home state of Montana is evident in the beautiful and lush descriptions of the scenery, as well as the different culture of the people who live there. Ben and Marianna make a fascinating couple, and I'm interested to see where Goyer takes them in the next book.
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Review 15 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

This book 'hooked' me!

Date:April 27, 2011
Customer Avatar
Hooked On Reading
Location:Michigan
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I really enjoyed this book - it was so different from many Amish stories. My only problem was: IS THERE A SEQUEL??? So many questions left hanging at the end there has to be another book to answer them!
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Review 16 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer

Date:April 22, 2011
Customer Avatar
Digging4Pearls
Location:Shippensburg, PA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer is the story of Marianna Sommer, a 19-year-old of Amish girl from Indiana. She is ready to join the church and marry Aaron Zook, except for one problem. Her parents plan to move to Montana and desire Marianna to move with them.
She struggles with being a dutiful daughter, but also wanting to soon start a family of her own. Will Aaron wait for her during the months of separation? Upon arrival in Montana, Marianna meets Ben Stone. Even though friendship with an Englischer is frowned upon, Ben draws her heart and also shares his love for God. Marianna begins to question what being in community really means.
This is the first book in Tricia Goyer's Big Sky Amish series. I found this story to be a delightful read. The story interweaves Marianna's struggle to accept the circumstances of her birth, and the weight she has carried since then.
This book was provided free for review by B & H Publishing Group.
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Review 17 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Beautiful Setting

Date:April 18, 2011
Customer Avatar
Anonymous
Location:Savannah, GA
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
I’m struggling to describe what I thought of this book. Overall, I liked the story, but parts confused me. One relationship didn’t seem real. And when one person’s motivations were revealed at the end, helping to resolve the most major issue, it didn’t seem to me that the resulting actions and motivations would have really gone together as explained.
To be fair, though, I am reviewing an advanced unedited reader copy. That means the publisher didn’t send me a final draft. This copy had a lot of grammatical errors and typographical mistakes—even editor questions and comments to the author as footnotes. It was a work yet in progress, so readers of the final work may not see the issues that confused me. (I’ve received ARC’s before, but they’re usually closer to complete.)
I loved the book’s setting—a small town in Montana, a blended community of Amish and non-Amish who get along well causing other Amish people to question these for not keeping to themselves.
I was frustrated that the major issue of the book started with a tragic buggy accident. Except for Beverly Lewis, I don’t read very much Amish fiction, but since I’ve been reading for review, this is the third I’ve received that depended on that scenario, and Lewis has one that starts that way, too.
"Beside Still Waters" is the first book in the Big Sky Amish Series. As a result, the one major issue of this book was resolved, but readers will have to watch for the sequel to have many questions answered. I know how I hope Marianna's story will end, but I'll have to wait to see if Tricia Goyer agrees with me.
The LitFuse Publicity Group sent this book for my honest review.
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Review 18 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

resonating!

Date:April 16, 2011
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ppreacherswife
Location:Weaverville, NC
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Since my unfortunate lack of gainful employment, I’ve had a lot of reading time on my hands, well that and all the Dr appointments I’ve had, lots of waiting and lots of boredom equals lots of reading. Luckily this book was one on my list to read, Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer.
I’ve read my share of Amish books, but this one resonates with me more than any other Amish book has. Beside Still Waters follows the Sommer family as they make an unexpected move from one amish community to another trying to get passed the past. Marianna Sommer is a conflicted but dutiful heroine. I could feel her turmoil as she followed as the “perfect daughter” to care for her family instead of staying behind and following her dream of marrying Aaron Zook. My heart ached when she realized there was more to life, more to God and knowing him than what she had been taught from birth. I understood the conflict she felt what trying to reconcile what her Ordung had told her was right and wrong, with that of what felt right and wrong.
Marianna’s journey to a relationship with God that was hers and hers alone is one that I have taken myself. I know what it is like to find that my relationship with God has nothing to do with that of my parents, my church or anyone else. It is tough to realize that everything “taught” is not always true. Tricia delves in to this topic in an amazing way. She presents it to you in a story that is not only believable but that pulls you in and makes you think about your own relationship with God, how it came about and how it needs to grow. I can’t wait to read more about the Sommer family in the next Big Sky novel by Tricia Goyer.
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Review 19 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

What is Marianna going to do

Date:April 14, 2011
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Dady
Location:PA
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Not finished .I was in hospital Buy so far very good,
I read as fast as I can. Going slow now. Can't wait to see what happens,
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Review 20 for Beside Still Waters, Big Sky Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

All the markings of a new epic Amish series!

Date:April 13, 2011
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KavR
Location:Canada
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Goyer fills each page with emotion and does an amazing job of depicting Marianna's conflict. I could feel the angst! Actually woke up this morning at 3:15 contemplating her dilemma! (I know, I know, I have to get a real life!) This is the kind of book that would work wonderfully well in a book club because there are such rich issues that we all deal with.
I think part of my love of Amish fiction comes from being able to parallel their struggles to remain unique and apart from the world with my own Christian journey. In essence I am trying to do the same thing. Marianna's personal growth presses her to both question and defend aspects of her faith once she is removed from the close-knit Amish community she has grown up in. I think it's her struggle to find a balance and the wonder of opening herself up to God that resonated most with me.
Truly a remarkable book. I am eagerly looking forward to reading the book two of the Big Sky series which comes out in October 2011.
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