Jan 31, 2011

The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Fifteen years ago, Lainey O'Toole made a split-second decision. She couldn't have known that her choice would impact so many.

Now in her mid-twenties, she is poised to go to culinary school when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge, the very Amish town in which her long-reaching decision was made, forcing her to face the shadowed past.

Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm with her large and intimidating grandmother, Bertha. It quickly becomes clear that she is there to work the farm -- and work hard. The labor is made slightly more tolerable by the time it affords Bess to spend with the handsome hired hand, Billy Lapp. But he only has eyes for a flirty and curvaceous older girl.

Lainey's and Bess's worlds are about to collide and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.

"Beautifully written, 'The Search' is a skillfully woven story that takes readers through unexpected twists and turns on the long country road toward truth. Fans both old and new will find themselves immersed in this heartwarming -- and surprising -- tale of young love, forgiveness, and coming to grips with the past."


In no particular order, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a wife, mother, writer, lifelong student of the Bible, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a gardener and a cook ... the latter two with sporadic results.

Suzanne has loved to write since she was a young teen. After college, she started to write for magazines and became a contributing editor for Christian Parenting Today magazine. Her family moved to Hong Kong for four years, just as the internet was developing, and she continued to write articles in a 44-story high-rise apartment, sending manuscripts 7,000 miles away with a click of a key.

After returning from Hong Kong, Suzanne decided to give her first novel a try. For four and a half months, she worked on an antediluvian computer in a cramped laundry room. She didn't even tell her husband what she was up to. When the novel was completed, she told her family at dinner one night that she had written a book. "That's why there's no food in this house!" said her slightly insensitive sons.

Undaunted ... Suzanne found a small royalty publisher for that book and wrote three more (all earned multiple awards). With help from an agent, she now has numerous books under contract with Revell. Also look for Suzanne's Amish non-fiction, Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World, a non-fiction book of stories and examples about the Old Order Amish, as well as Amish Proverbs, and coming in Spring of 2011, look for Amish Values for Your Family. The Choice and The Waiting are the previous books in the Lancaster County Secrets Collection.

Writing, for Suzanne, is a way to express a love of God and His word. With every book or article, she hopes readers get a sense of what faith really looks like in the daily grind. She hopes they realize that life can be hard, but God is good, and never to confuse the two.

Suzanne can be found on-line at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com
Check out the rest of the blog tour
You can buy the book at Amazon.


WOW is the first word that comes to my mind when thinking about The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher. The characters are totally endearing, and I was drawn into the lives of everyone in the closely knit Amish community.

One particular quote from the book beautifully summarizes an important aspect of the Amish lifestyle:

The Amish used time in a different way, Lainey thought, walking back to town after the laundry lesson with Bess. As she had watched Bess work, she noticed that her movements were unhurried. She never seemed to be rushing through a task to she could get on to something else, something better. To Bess, it was all good, all worth her time. Lainey thought of how she and her English friends would jam their schedules full so they could fit in more. And yet they were always running out of time! The Amish had the same amount of hours in a day, lived busy, productive lives, but somehow they seemed to have an abundance of time for all that really mattered. Lately, she felt as if she were on a fence, in between Amish and English worlds. Watching, evaluating. With every passing day, Lainey felt herself drawing closer to the Amish way.

This story was a bit different than other Amish novels. It centered around a young Englisher girl who spent the first ten years of her life living close to an Amish community.  After a tragic accident and a split-second decision, she ended up in the foster care system.  She returned to her childhood roots in her mid-twenties with no idea of how her life would be changed.

Second chances, forgiveness and redemption are key elements in this great story.  It is also filled with great life lessons that can be applied to our lives, namely the importance of faith, family and friends. 

I highly recommend this book, as well as the other books in the Lancaster County Secrets series.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of The Search through Litfuse Publicity Group, in exchange for my honest review.

Click here for more info on this great giveaway.


  1. Hi Janet!
    Thanks so much for your lovely review of "The Search!" So glad you caught that moment in Lainey's life...so so glad! It's one of those points that I feel provides subtle "takeaway value" for the reader. Would you have a moment to post your review up on Amazon/cbd? I would be honored! Thanks for being part of the blog tour, Janet. Warmly, Suzanne Fisher

  2. I felt like this story was a breath of fresh air! Love the quote you highlighted. It really captures the whole feel of the book. (I'm visiting from Doorkeeper at http://reneeannsmith.com/) Blessings!