After an extended stay in Montana, where Amish traditions are different than in her home state, Marianna Sommer returns to Indiana for two reasons, first to help her brother and his girlfriend prepare for a baby and their wedding. Second, to plan her own wedding to Aaron Zook -- a marriage she’s been dreaming about ever since childhood. And yet, although she had missed the idyllic farms and families of her upbringing, Marianna is surprised that Indiana is somehow making her long now for Montana.
As months pass, secrets that were hidden in winter’s frozen grasp thaw and take on a life of their own. The truths about a child, about a past relationship, and about God’s plans are being revealed. Walking through a valley of questions, Marianna must hold on to hope as she decides where and with whom her heart truly belongs.
Page Count: 320
Publication Date: April 2012
Tricia Goyer is an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines including Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family while authoring more than twenty-five fiction and nonfiction books combined. Among those are 3:16 Teen Edition with Max Lucado and the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Award winners Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights. She has also written books on marriage and parenting and contributed notes to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia lives with her husband and four children in Arkansas.
First there was Along Wooded Paths, then Beside Still Waters and now there is Beyond Hope's Valley, the latest book in the "Big Sky Novel" series. Each story follows the life of Marianna and her family as they move from a traditional Amish community in Indiana to the rugged and picturesque mountains of Montana.
I have read all three books in this series, and couldn't help but fall in love with Marianna and her extended family and friends. When the family first moved to Montana, they had no choice but to become friends with the Englischers in their new community. They worked with them, they played with them, and they worshiped with them. What really surprised them was how their eyes were opened to new ways of doing things, and new ways of thinking. They started to question some of the rigid Amish rules they were familiar with, such as not being able to read the Bible in English.
In Beyond Hope's Valley, Marianna's heart is torn between her new best friend Ben, an Englischer ... and Aaron, her childhood friend from the old Amish community where she grew up. Some things were not exactly as expected, and her relationship with God, her family and her friends were tested.
As with previous books I have read by Tricia Goyer, I give this entire series a huge thumbs up. This is an exceptional series that I highly recommend for all lovers of Amish fiction.
Disclosure: Ebook received through Net Galley courtesy of B&H Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review.