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BOOK REVIEW OF THE CALLING BY SUZANNE WOODS FISHER
The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell) is a multi-dimensional novel that really delivers an impact. The Good Lord’s message and wondrous works are interspersed liberally throughout the book in such a way that readers can’t help but feel the joy of knowing this loving God. The Calling is the second book in The Inn at Eagle Hill series. Although The Calling could stand alone as an individual book, readers will have an easier time understanding all the characters and situations if the first book, The Letters, is read beforehand.
The story begins with Bethany Schrock cleaning for five elderly Amish sisters. The elderly sisters own a home that is stuffed and cluttered with all sorts of junk; Bethany is trying to clean up and organize the home but the sisters don’t make it easy. Later we discover why the elderly sisters’ home is so cluttered and a beautiful lesson in not judging others is learned. The elderly sisters hide their charitable side from Bethany. When the full extent of their charitable work is uncovered, readers may find it sweetly emotional.
Jimmy Fisher, is a 23 year old Amish man, who loves Bethany’s spunky, spirited ways but isn’t used to having a girl spurn his attention. Jimmy has to work hard to get Bethany to appreciate him. He is willing to put the time and effort in to get Bethany’s attention, but she has other concerns to figure out before she can get serious about courting Jimmy.
Geena, a recently out of work youth pastor, takes time to regroup at The Inn at Eagle Hill. She befriends Bethany and gives Bethany a new way to view her world. Geena’s kindness and willingness to engage sullen teenage girls at a Group Home gives Bethany a new perspective. Geena explains to Bethany that the rough teenage girls just “want to feel understood, accepted, and heard . . . that is what everybody wants and what everybody finds so hard to do.”
Suzanne Woods Fisher has written a fresh, appealing, and very readable Amish novel. It contains multiple thought provoking storylines with some romance, humor, and a sprinkling of mystery that all tie together effectively. In addition, the topic of mental illness is dealt with in a sympathetic and honest way. Both main and secondary characters grow within the pages and chapters and turn into real, engaging friends that readers will care about.
The novel serves up a comforting message of wait and listen for the voice of God and His inner prompting when in doubt and praying for direction. Bethany goes through many difficult situations but ends up learning and growing throughout the book. Additionally, Bethany discovers helping others when she is troubled can help to put her own problems in perspective. The Calling is a must read for new and old fans of Suzanne Woods Fisher and will leave the reader counting the days until The Revealing, the next book in The Inn at Eagle Hill series is released. The Calling was published January 14, 2014.