BookReview Along Wooded Paths by Tricia Goyer

12/16/2011

BookReview Along Wooded Paths by Tricia Goyer
Marianna Sommer knew Aaron Zook her whole life. She knew he was the one she would marry - until her family moved from Indiana to Montana. Everything started changing after the move. For one thing, she became friends with Englishers. Back in Indiana, the Amish didn't mingle with the English. In Montana, it was not uncommon to have English
friends if one was Amish. Neighbors helped neighbors, regardless of their upbringing.

Marianna met an Englisher named Ben Stone. He helped her dad and other Amish in the area. Because of Ben, she discovered God in a whole different way. Ben believed in Jesus and knew he was going to heaven. Back in Indiana, Marianna was always taught that a person had to be Amish to go to heaven. She was also taught that dress, good deeds, and traditions were the most important things to God. The bishop never spoke of a personal relationship with God. One didn't ask God for forgiveness on their own, they went to the bishop. One didn't read the Bible on their own. They heard it in church. Marianna didn't live for Jesus because of who He was, she did it because that what Amish people do, it's their tradition. Their parents did it, their grandparents did it. Marianna discovered that traditions were an important part of Amish life but took a back seat to a relationship with Jesus.

The more time she spent with Ben, the more she began to fall in love with him. He was also in love with her. They both struggled inwardly because they knew neither one of them would leave their life as they knew it. They couldn't be together. Things got really confusing for Marianna when Aaron showed up. To make matters worse, he stayed at her parent's house, where she also lived, for six weeks because he was in a car accident and needed to recover. She struggled between loving him and loving Ben.

While Marianna was away from Indiana, Aaron started spending time with Naomi. Marianna found this made her a little jealous, which was ironic because Aaron could see she cared for Ben. Marianna's brother, Levi, also had courted Naomi..

Marianna's parents were having their own struggles. They left Indiana because their son Levi left the faith. They could not bear to see him not be following his Amish upbringing. They were still struggling with the deaths of two of their daughters many years ago. They also were hiding a secret or two. One secret is discovered in this book.

Marianna had to talk herself into loving Aaron and talk herself out of loving Ben. She wanted to do the right thing but her heart was getting in the way. At least she felt her heart is where it should be with God. She was praying and reading her father's English Bible and learning so much about God in ways she never knew.

Marianna finds out that Naomi is pregnant and Levi is going to marry her. Marianna wonders if it is Aaron's child. When Aaron heals, he returns to Indiana. Marianna also returns to Indiana to help care for Naomi and prepare for the her and Levi's wedding

The book ends with Marianna returning to Indiana. Make sure to read sneak peek chapter one from Beyond Hope's Valley, book 3 in The Big Sky Series at the end of this book. You will be surprised to find out who is not Naomi's baby's father,

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest review.

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