Beside Still Waters

Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer  Publisher: B&H Books Paperback:320 pages

Book Description (from Amazon)

Raised among the Amish of Indiana, 18-year-old Marianna Sommer plans to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and set up life in the only community she has ever known. But when her older brother chooses the world’s path following his rumschpringe, and a younger sibling begins showing interest in Englisch ways, Marianna’s parents move the family to Montana.

Although she is also in her rumschpringe years and not obligated to move, Marianna makes the journey to dutifully help her mother who is expecting another child. Surprisingly, from strangers on the cross-country train ride to the less rigid stance of the new Montana community, many Englisch influences awaken within Marianna—and even her father—the desire to pursue a deeper kind of joy and love for God.

After an accident, Marianna tells her friend Ben a defining story about the Sommer family, and his response further illumines the active relationship God seeks with His followers. In due time, she learns the move from Indiana was not about losing anything, but finding out who God really is. Despite all the shake-ups, Marianna feels a sweet peace, like still waters, in her soul.


I enjoy reading stories about different cultures and religions and Amish traditions are interesting to me. I admire their love of family and hard work. “Beside Still Waters” is the story of an Amish family and in particular nineteen year old Marianna Sommer. Marianna thinks she has her life planned but is thrown off track when her Amish family moves to another community. God tends to do that to people, because challenges cause us grow and learn His plans for us. I like that theme of the book. Women can relate to Marianna because she is a fully developed character with realistic flaws. Her relationship with Ben is central to the book and another reason I enjoyed it. He also challenges her to find a fresh perspective in her relationship with God. Amish books are very popular in Christian fiction and the author manages to find a fresh perspective in her novel. Beside Still Waters is the first book about the Sommer family and I look forward to reading the next one.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mothertalk  and received a gift card as a thank you for my participation.”

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