About the BookBook: Mending Fences
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Genre: Christian fiction, Amish, Mennonite
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.
Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him. He has been allowed to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, he must make a sincere apology to each person he’s hurt. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused.
Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused isn’t so simple. It’s gut-wrenching.
And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm, and Luke’s clumsy efforts to befriend her only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge.
“A funny, heartwarming story of friendship, love, and the possibility of happily ever after.”—Amy Clipston, bestselling author of Seat by the Hearth
“Suzanne Woods Fisher has written a sweet and poignant story you won’t want put down. Definitely a must read!”—Kathleen Fuller, bestselling author of the Amish of Birch Creek series
Click here to purchase your copy.
Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an incredible book and I hardly know how to do it justice. Amish fiction fans will be thrilled with this story, but I’ve always said that Fisher’s books have an appeal that reaches far beyond the Amish fiction audience, and that is certainly true with Mending Fences. The reason is simply that her novels are relationship/character driven and filled with complexity. Readers can connect with people just like them – flawed characters who struggle with the same things we do, and who inspire as they grow in their faith and maturity. The heartwarming and sometimes bittersweet Mending Fences entertains, often makes me smile, and challenges what we think about grace, forgiveness and trust. A “best of the best” book for me!
My reading self is nowhere more at home than in Fisher’s stories set in Lancaster. I first met the memorable Luke as a precocious child in The Letters (reviewed here) and knew that he would have a fantastic story someday. Well, that day has arrived with this first book in The Deacon’s Family series. Luke, haunted by the guilt of his past, is one of my all-time favorite fictional characters, and the cover art brings out the essence of his nature. And what a strong ensemble cast is found in David, Amos and Fern – people who lived their faith by their wisdom, insight into what could be, and willingness to extend the grace of second chances.
For the longest time, Izzy has a strong defensive wall around her – but oh, how I loved her! When it came to God, she refused to trust that which she didn’t understand, and I could see some of my own reactions in her. And she was so good for Luke because she made him earn her respect.
Some of my favorite parts are the gentle words of wisdom that Amos shares at just the right time. One example is this conversation between Amos and Luke…
“How can I stick around when no one is willing to trust me?”
“Well, Luke, the way I see it, if you don’t stick around, you’ll never find out the answer to that question... And it seems like a pretty important thing to figure out.”
There are a few tear-shedding moments in this story, both of joy and sadness. Mending Fences reflects life and faith in a realistic way, giving much to reflect on personally. If there’s someone around you who needs a second chance, grace, someone who has eyes to see beyond a person’s guilt, then this story just might help you see them through God’s eyes.
Again, I really can’t say enough about this story. While I’ve loved all that I’ve read by Suzanne Woods Fisher, there’s something special and unique about Luke’s story. Mending Fences begs to be read slowly, savoring each word.
Very highly recommended.
I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
About the Author
She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish.
She lives in California.
Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.
More from SuzanneA Friend in Need
“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” –Walter Winchell
Luke Schrock was nearly friendless. He returned to Stoney Ridge in Mending Fences after a stint in rehab only because his bishop, David Stoltzfus, strongly encouraged him. And everybody knows you didn’t say no to your bishop.
But nobody else in town wanted anything to do with Luke. They forgave him for the trouble he’d caused in his last downward spiral, the one that went too far. The one that even scared Luke. Forgiving him was the easy part. The Amish of Stoney Ridge were intentional forgivers. It was their trust—that’s what he would have to earn. Trust was a fragile thing. Once broken, it wasn’t easily mended.
Somehow, David was still able to look past the behavior to see the best of Luke Schrock. He didn’t stop there. He found a family who was willing to take Luke in, and he spent hours with him—at times as a mentor, at times as a father figure, but mostly as a friend.
A loyal friend can have a powerful impact. Consider those friends in the town of Capernaum, who carried their paralyzed friend to Jesus for healing—so determined to get to Him that they dragged his stretcher up onto a roof, broke through the roof tiles, and lowered him down. Can you imagine being in the crowd, listening to Jesus, as straw and tile pieces and branches and bugs started to drop down from the ceiling? A shocking display…of devoted friendship. And what a miraculous outcome for that paralyzed man!*
I won’t tell you how Luke’s story ends—only that he works hard to find ways to make amends to those he hurt, to regain trust. Especially the hard-to-earn trust of a brown-eyed beauty named Izzy.
Do you have a real friend like David Stoltzfus, who walks in when the rest of the world has walked out? Or maybe the better question, for you, for me, is to ask ourselves if we are friends to others like David Stoltzfus was to Luke Schrock. I know I want to be.
*This miracle is reported in three gospels: Mark 2:1-12, Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26.
To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of an Amazon Kindle!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the image above or the link below to enter.
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