Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Imposter!

Recently I received a copy of The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher from Revell to review. I was eager to begin as the story is set in Stoney Ridge Pennsylvania as are so many of Suzanne's books. The Imposter is the first in her new series, The Bishop's Family.  As I began to think of the story I wondered who the imposter might be. Would it be just one person and would I guess it right off the bat as an easy mystery?  No, not so quick. The book is a good study in human nature and the reader will be surprised to learn about the characters in the story and perhaps a little bit about themselves.

theimposterKatrina Stoltzfus had not been happy since her family moved to Stoney Ridge.  She was in love with John who came into her life after her recuperation from the terrible accident that killed her mother.  Encouraged by Bishop Elmo Beiler to come preach at Stoney Ridge, her father David pulled up stakes in Ohio and moved the family there for a fresh start.

Our story begins after Katrina's recent breakup with John, the boyfriend she unwillingly left in Ohio.  she is despondent, not feeling well and just not bouncing back like she should be. Bishop Elmo has died suddenly leaving his wife Thelma who is on the brink of  recreating her livelihood by growing commercial moss.  Katrina agrees to help Thelma, thus forging a strong relationship between the two that will last a lifetime.  When Katrina goes to Thelma's she meets Andy Miller, the handsome new handyman. He seems to know a lot about the moss business but appears nearly every time Katrina turns around and is full of admiration for her.  His interest in her is flattering but she can't let herself trust these feelings; not after John so recently broke her heart. Besides, nobody knows anything about Andy and she is not sure whether he is who he wants everyone to believe he says he is.

Katrina is a powerful part of this story of forgiveness and resilience.  However, she is not alone in her struggles.  Her father is facing many challenges as the church, under Bishop Glick is about to make some sweeping changes. Many families are leaving the area for newer Amish communities in Montana where land is more plentiful and the prices are much lower. He is also under fire for some of his teachings to the young members in his baptism classes. Can he survive the stresses of the changes, some of which counter his Amish faith or will he able to find strength necessary to wait out these storms.

I recommend this book not only as a good example of Amish fiction but as the first in a promising new series.  Sometimes we find lessons in the  most unlikely places from people we don't expect to teach us a thing.  With characters like Hank Lapp and Birdy Glick in a story you just never know what you might find. Reading this book was like visiting old friends and for this I thank Suzanne for writing her many books and Revell for publishing this and so many good books.

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