Beyond Hope's Valley by Tricia Goyer

4/09/2012

Marianna Sommer knew she had changed from living in Montana. She was no longer just following traditions that were passed down from one generation to the next. She had a personal relationship with Jesus. She was reading her Bible and praying on her own. She experienced a closeness with God that she never thought possible. Now she was back in Indiana wondering how she was going to fit in again. Here, rules and traditions were above all else. One of those rules hit her square in the face the moment she arrived back in Indiana.

At the train station, a little English girl had gotten hurt. Marianna quickly went over to help her. She saw the staring eyes of the Amish around her looking in disbelief. The Amish didn't associate with the English in Indiana like they did in Montana. At least she had Aaron Zook with her and the life they planned to spend together. They would be married soon. Marianna came back to Indiana to be with Aaron and help her brother, Levi, and his girlfriend, Naomi, with their wedding plans. She also was there to help Naomi throughout her pregnancy and after the baby was born. Levi had left the Amish, but returned when he discovered that Naomi was pregnant.

Aaron had also dated Naomi. They had a short lived relationship when Levi left the community and Marianna and her family left the state. But Aaron loved Marianna more than anything. He was happy Marianna agreed to be his wife. He would do anything to be with her. Aaron had already built the house where they would live. He was glad to back to the life he knew in Indiana. He was an upstanding member of the community.

Marianna longed for Montana, her family and English friends still there, and mostly for how she felt so close to God. Marianna loved Aaron but she still couldn't shake thoughts of Ben Stone. He was an Englisher that she met in Montana. He helped her see following God as more than just rules. She was also very attracted to him. Ben had recently went on tour. The song that he wrote about Marianna had topped the charts. He would be famous again.

Beyond Hope's Valley is about Marianna and her relationship with God and the other people in her life. There are other stories also going on in this book. Aaron winning over Marianna's heart. The relationship between Levi and Naomi. Marianna's mother, Ruth, facing her past. Marianna's parents dealing with the grief of their dead daughters. Ben and his struggle to be a Christian example while being on tour. 

Throughout the book, there are several letters to different people, but mostly to Marianna. The last letter in the book is the one that puts everything together - but you discover that things aren't as they seemed. I really liked Marianna and felt bad she was struggling with so much. Aaron, Levi, and Ben wanted to honor God with their actions, but one failed by the end of this book. I enjoyed reading Beyond Hope's Valley, I would recommend it to all fans of Amish fiction.

The Big Sky Series
#1 Beside Still Waters
#2 Along Wooded Paths - read my review here
#3 Beyond Hope's Valley

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

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