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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 (202 customer reviews)

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As Waters Gone By by Cynthia Ruchti
As Waters Gone By by Cynthia Ruchti
Check out the newest book by Cynthia Ruchti Learn more | See related books

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: 655 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Publishing Group (December 2, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SBPF52
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,157 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Typical Amish Romance Novel - Hooray! April 3, 2011
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Amish Books Yet! April 15, 2011
By mtnmom
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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5 of 5 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
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 Five Stars
Loved it reading book two now
Published 25 days ago by jannut 70
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful
Started out balling my eyes out. Over all it's a lovely story I couldn't stop reading. Love Tricia's writing style. So glad I got the 2nd and 3rd books so I can keep reading. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Wen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series of Three, I loved them
This is one of three book in the series. I just got reading all three and could not stop at book 1, had to keep reading book 2 then 3. I think you will enjoy these very much. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rosezella Daulton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love reading the Amish books
Published 1 month ago by Regina Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Sky Series
When I read this book I immediately bought book 2 and 3 so I could find out the ending!!! A gifted writer!!!
Published 1 month ago by Ruth
5.0 out of 5 stars ... read the Big Sky Novel series and can unreservedly recommend all...
I have read the Big Sky Novel series and can unreservedly recommend all three books. Tricia Goyer writes with such integrity. Read more
Published 1 month ago by teolewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !
This was a very well written book. I can't wait to start book 2 in this series. You really got to know the charactes. A very very good read. I didn't want to put it down.
Published 2 months ago by Margaret Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Being Amish from a young girl's perspective...
Very pleasant & interesting story of an Amish family and some of the challenges they face daily. A quick read.
Published 2 months ago by Smedra
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
These books are a great read
Published 2 months ago by Irene G. Crumbie
4.0 out of 5 stars A peaceful place
I would recommend anyone reading this book, especially, ones that are interested in the Amish and their ways of living.
Published 2 months ago by Pat King
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More About the Author

To find out more about Tricia Goyer go to:
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Tricia Goyer is a homeschooling mom of six, grandmother of two, and wife to John. A bestselling author, Tricia has published 50 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. Tricia is also on the blogging team at, and other homeschooling and Christian sites.

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, also blog at, sharing ideas about simplifying life.

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