Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Review: The Keeper

I read my first ever Amish fiction title a bit over a year ago...  That book was The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher, and while this has not become my favorite genre, Fisher is definitely an author I watch for.  (You can read my review here.)  Every book of hers that I have read has featured characters who feel oh-so-very-real.  Every books has characters who face real-life situations... good, bad, or painful...

And each book features characters who learn and grow and teach me something in the process.

The Keeper is the first title in a new series... Stoney Ridge Seasons... and it is fabulous.

Here is the blurb from the publisher:
Julia Lapp has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation. When Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding--again--she knows who is to blame. Perpetual bachelor and spreader of cold feet, Roman Troyer, the Bee Man.

Roamin' Roman travels through the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania with his hives full of bees, renting them out to farmers in need of pollinators. He relishes his nomadic life, which keeps him from thinking about all he has lost. He especially enjoys bringing his bees to Stoney Ridge each year. But with Julia on a mission to punish him for inspiring Paul's cold feet, the Lapp farm is looking decidedly less pleasant.

Can Julia secure the future she's always dreamed of? Or does God have something else in mind?

I had a hard time initially getting into this story.  Too much going on in my life, maybe, with car shopping and then illness hitting everyone.  I probably should have started the book over, as maybe the first two or three chapters would have seemed better if I was able to focus...

But once I got past the whole setting up the characters and situations part, I had a hard time putting the book down.

The basic storyline is that Julia -- the oldest in a family of four children -- has a whole lot on her plate.  Her dream-man has "postponed" their wedding again, and she has to handle that hurt along with everything else she is doing.  Her mother died a few years ago, and her father is pretty much an invalid... and not getting better... as he has been for the past year when he suddenly started having problems with his heart.

Julia and her siblings are trying to run the farm and care for their father, but they are barely getting by.  Early in the story, an uncle brings Fern, a housekeeper, into their lives... and the Bee Man returns to Stoney Ridge... and the arrival of these two is really where the story begins.

And where I get lost in the story and feel like I'm watching real people... and even though I don't personal know anyone who is Amish, these "real people" do remind me of people I do know...

There is just so much in here to really chew on.  How often do I spend my prayer life telling God what I want, instead of asking if he had something better in mind? 

Suzanne is hosting a "honey of a giveaway"during the blog tour for The Keeper! During 1/3-1/17 you can enter to win an iPad2 from Suzanne and connect with her on January 17th at The Keeper Facebook Party!

During the giveaway one Grand Prize winner will receive a Prize Pack valued at $600:
  • A brand new 16 KB iPad 2 with Wi-Fi
  • A $25 gift certificate to iTunes
  • A copy of The Keeper
But wait there's more! Just click one of the icons below to enter, then on 1/17 join Suzanne for The Keeper Facebook Party! During the party Suzanne will announce the winner of the "Honey" of an iPad Giveaway and host a fun book chat and give away some fun "honey" inspired prizes - It'll be 'sweet"!

RSVP early and tell your friends!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 17th!

Disclaimer:  I received this book through LitFuse Blog Tour.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.  


Gena Robertson said...

Thank you so much for your review and for being part of this blog tour!

I've always admired the Plain people for their endurance and their simplicity of life. Sometimes I hunger for a simpler way of life myself.

Gena Robertson

Unknown said...

Oh I missed this one and it does sound good.

Suzanne said...

Hi Debra!
Thank you so very much for reading my book and sharing it with your readers. Grateful you were part of the blog tour! Glad you felt connected to the characters. Warmly, Suzanne