This is a sweet story of an Amish girl with her first experience in living among and working with the Englischers. Marianna Sommers has moved with her family from Indiana to the remote mountains of Montana. Things are very different in her new home. The Amish community there has much more contact with the Englischers. Marianna becomes enamored with a friendly Englischer who has fallen in love with her. She finds that, even though he is not Amish, he has a closer relationship with God than she has ever known. She begins to see that an intimate walk with God is not dependent on keeping strict rules but rather seeking Godís voice.
When her boyfriend Aaron, shows up to persuade her to come back to Indiana with him, Marianna is torn between lifestyles. Should she return with Aaron, whom she has always planned to marry or should she pursue a relationship with Ben, the Englischer who is kind and talented and exciting. Marianna must make a decision Ė whether to keep her traditions and live as her family wants her to or leave all that behind for the new way of life that is drawing her.
Unlike most romance novels - but more like real life romance - both Aaron and Ben have great qualities. They are both good men, loving, God fearing, and handsome. Marianna is confused as to which path to take and I would have been too. Marianna displays realistic indecision and frustration. Her emotions toss her from one side to the other before she can discern the path that God wants for her.
This is Amish fiction but it stands apart from that which I have read previously. The traditional life depicted by Ms. Goyer is far from the bland and often uninteresting life portrayed in other novels.
Tricia Goyer has a smooth delivery for weaving factual information into the story. As the story goes along, the reader learns about the Amish way of living, what the Amish believe and why they believe it without stalling the action.
This is the second book in the Big Sky Series. I didnít read the first in the series but found this to be an excellent stand- alone book. I am anxious to go back to book one in order to find out where the story began and then on to book three to find the answers to some questions left unanswered in Along Wooded Paths. Whether you are an Amish fiction fan or not, I recommend Along Wooded Paths for quiet, pleasant reading.
Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-six books including Beside Still Waters, The Swiss Courier, and Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from American Christian Fiction Writers. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. She is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions.
I purchased this book with my own money and was not paid to write the review.