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Beside Still Waters (A Big Sky Novel Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Tricia Goyer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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.


Product Details

  • File Size: 399 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1433668688
  • Publisher: B&H Publishing Group (December 2, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SBPF52
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,690 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Typical Amish Romance Novel - Hooray! April 3, 2011
Format:Paperback
This is not your typical Amish romance novel. Hooray! In Beside Still Waters, Tricia Goyer looks beyond the usual Amish-story stereotypes. Rather than contrasting the Amish and Englischer differences, with the Amish being "good" and the Englischers being "bad", it shows the likenesses shared by the two Christian communities. I found the positive contrasts quite refreshing.

Marianna, the story's main character, went from upholding the tradition of her faith simply for tradition's sake, to scrutinizing her values and beliefs and coming to terms with why she believes the way she does. Marianna also had to decide whether or not she could be Amish while living in a primarily Englischer community. To me the romance in this book was not whether Marianna would choose Aaron or Ben, but whether or not she would choose a close and personal relationship with God.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story, inside and out... May 30, 2011
By Tara
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've never really been one to follow trends, so when an author ventures into such a "popular" genre as Amish fiction I tend to be a bit skeptical. What a pleasant surprise to read Beside Still Waters and find something quite extraordinary! Along with Tricia Goyer's main character Marianna Sommers, we journey from a traditional Amish story set in a typical Amish community like we've all seen and read about to a small mountain community in Montana, full of beautiful scenery and new possibilities. Goyer's characters are seemingly so real, each with a personality a result of an earlier trauma and sorrow buried under years of grief. This story is more than a literal journey of finding a new life, it gives us a glimpse into the heart and soul of people finding their way back from pain and loss, through the mercy and grace of a loving God.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Amish Books Yet! April 15, 2011
By mtnmom
Format:Paperback
Having grown up amish I usually have a gripe with how most authors depict the amish in their fiction books. So much of their stuff is not current or is exagerated. Tricia Goyers book are the most acurate amish fiction books that I have ever read. And I love how she can take me back to my roots with her stories. You have got to read this series!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good December 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
3.5 Stars

Marianna was born the night her two older sisters where tragically killed in a buggy accident. She has grown up always feeling like she can't measure up to her dead sisters. Now as a young woman she is excited to hopefully marry Aaron and start a family of her own and get out from under the shadow of her sisters memory. Before she can though her parents decide to move to Montana for a year. Marianna's mother is expecting a baby so Marianna agrees to go alone for 6 months to help. While in Montana she meets an Englisch man named Ben who makes her look at her life and spirituality differently. Will she return to Aaron to start the life she has dreamed of or will she stay in Montana with her family?

This book was a good opener to the series. Since all three books are going to be about Marianna there is lots of time for character development. I do wish there had been a little more time spent on both Aaron and Ben. Considering they will be main characters for all three books I felt we really did not get to know them very well. They both got a few short pages here and there but not near as much development. This book leaves you wondering in the end about Marianna and her romantic choices. I admit half way through the book I had already picked the one I want her to end up with and I have to wait till book three to see who she does indeed choose.

I think this series would be better to have Marianna's story in book 1 followed by her older brother for the next book etc. I really like the storyline but feel three books is dragging it out a little. I am interested to see if book two and three will be as interesting as the first. I am looking forward to the rest of the series to see how things pan out for this family.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A life overshadowed with the weight of tragic events, Marianna tries to be the perfect daughter and perfect Amish child. This is an astounding book and offers a new view of the Amish community. Never had I realized the weight of what it must feel like to have to follow such strict rules (the ordnung) or how this would stifle ones spirit. Until reading this book the Amish had always been presented as dealing with tragedy with grace and mercy and love. However, in this story one sees the effects of the law on these people. There is no grace to be found only watchful eyes on every move. The Sommer family leaves their community for the Montana mountains seeking the truth and peace. This is the beginning of a redemption that only the realization of God's grace can bring. For the first time in her life Marianna is faced with decisions that will alter forever the course of her life. She must choose to follow God or to stick to the familiar life of her old Amish community - to embrace a personal relationship with the Creator or continue in the laws of the Amish. Absolutely beautiful! I can not wait for the second book in this series to be released. I want to see how this story continues to unfold!

An added surprise is the recipes in the back of the book. A lover a new recipes - this really appealed to me. My family loved the Amish casserole.

Thank you B&H Publishing for this review copy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beside Still Waters
An enjoyable read from a new author for me. I've always loved reading about the Amish people and their different communities. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Sandi Rogers
4.0 out of 5 stars Beside Still Waters
Really good to read. I really like AMISH CULTURE. Can't wait to read the other books in the series. It is hard to find a book these days without sex. Refreshing.
Published 1 day ago by Cindy Mohat
5.0 out of 5 stars Since I like reading about the Amish this book was very good
Since I like reading about the Amish this book was very good. I had already read the 2nd book so it gave me information on what I had read in book 2, "Along Wooded Paths",... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Nanny
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed a different side of Amish
I enjoyed a different side of Amish. The story line was full and thoughtful. The characters were real and had feelings any denomination or person could have. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Amish reading
Loved it...couldn't put my Kindle down....have read all 3 in this series now !!!
Published 3 days ago by Judy Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very good story, hated to see it end. Was interesting all the way through.
Published 5 days ago by ruth
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving Tricia Goyer's Books!
A great read and quite different from the regular Amish stories. It kept me up too late reading for more than one night! Read more
Published 6 days ago by Mimi's Store
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good light reading
Published 8 days ago by Dona Best
5.0 out of 5 stars Beside Still Waters
This was another story I just couldn't stop reading until finished. I really liked the underlying tone of the personal relationship we can have with Jesus Christ our Lord. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Wanda Keylon
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent writing.
Very we'll thought out.
Published 10 days ago by Ruth Umphress
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More About the Author

Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of one, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published thirty-three books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com. Tricia is also on the blogging team at MomLifeToday.com, TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites.

In addition to her roles as mom, wife and author, Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR. Tricia, along with a group of friends, recently launched www.NotQuiteAmishLiving.com, sharing ideas about simplifying life. She also hosts the weekly radio podcast, Living Inspired. Learn more about Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com.

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