I went through a time when I would read any Amish fiction, then I kind of got tired of it and wouldn't read it at all--for one, I didn't think what I was reading was true-to-life; and for another, a lot of the early Amish fiction was a bit smarmy. Suzanne Woods Fisher changed my mind about that. She is easily joining that elite group of my favorite authors.
The Calling is her latest contribution to the genre and I must say, it's worthy of the time it takes to read it. Suzanne chronicles Bethany Schrock's journey into adulthood and into a world that doesn't feel really comfortable to her. She's lived through her father's business failing, his suicide, a broken heart from a faithless boyfriend, and trying to help her stepmother hold onto the family farm. She is employed by five sisters who are part of a quilting group, who hoard everything,who are becoming rather forgetful, and who live out not letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing. Bethany grows up right before the reader's eyes and finds her place in the world.
Suzanne also writes an integrated, parallel story of the English youth pastor, Geena, who has been fired from her last church because she's not much of a preacher, even though she's a wonderful youth pastor. Geena comes to Eagle Hill, the bed and breakfast run by Bethany's stepmother, to regroup and to listen to God and hear His desires for her life.
Suzanne knows how the Amish fit technology into their lives, yet keep it from polluting them; how the Amish community works to reach out even to the English world as much to others in the Amish world; and she knows how to weave a seamless story that grips the reader from the very first page and engages every single emotion the reader has. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a word from God.