A family. A farm. A heart. All in need of repair.
Life on Windmill Farm hasn't been the same since Julia Lapp's father has had trouble with his heart. But that doesn't stop Julia from hoping for a bright future. She has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation. But when Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding--again--she is determined to change his mind. She knows who is to blame for Paul's sudden reluctance to wed: the Bee Man.
Roman Troyer, the Bee Man, travels through the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania with his hives full of bees, renting them out to farmers in need of pollinators. A mysterious man who relishes his nomadic life, Roman especially enjoys bringing his bees to Stoney Ridge each year. But with Julia seriously at odds with him, Windmill Farm is looking decidedly less appealing.
Can Julia secure the future she's always dreamed of? Or does God have something else in mind?
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, The Search, and The Keeper, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Christy Award nominee and is the host of an internet radio show called Amish Wisdom and her work has appeared in many magazines. She lives in California.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is off to a fantastic start with her new series called the Stoney Ridge Seasons. The Keeper is the first book in the series, and it revolves around the Lapp family and their Amish community. I have read lots of Amish books recently, and was almost reluctant to begin reading, as so many seem to follow the same predictable pattern. I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed reading this one.
The Lapp family has had more than their fair share of heartache. Julia is the oldest sibling and she tries to keep the farm running, takes care of her ailing father, her younger siblings, and the majority of the household duties as well. What she really wants to do is get married and start a life of her own, but she knows that her first responsibility is taking care of her family.
Roman Troyer is a mysterious man that travels through the country with his ornery mule and a wagonload full of bees used to pollinate fruit trees. He arrives at the Lapp family farm, and something changes in his heart. Roman doesn't talk about his past, and he doesn't want anyone to get too close.
Family loyalty, redeeming hope and unconditional love are the central themes in this story. However, there are other sometimes controversial topics like organ donations and heart transplants. It was very enlightening to look at these topics from an Amish perspective.
The surprise ending caught me totally off guard, and I definitely want to find out what happens in the next book in this series.
Disclosure: Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.