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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 (129 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: 412 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: #124,592 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 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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12 of 12 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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6 of 6 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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and passionate Amish fiction September 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
What if your birth marks the day of huge tragedy in your family?! How would it feel to share your birthday with mixed emotions of a day marked with great loss? This is the reality for Marianna. She was born on a day of a massive tragedy in her family and struggles every day to please her parents in hope that she'll be the joy in their sad lives. Marianna is excited when her crush Aaron finally declares his interest in marrying her but then she is uncertain of her future when her parents decide they want to move to Montana for a fresh start and new beginning. Marianna is torn between staying and pursuing a life with Aaron or following her family to Montana to help. She decides on a temporary stay in Montana - just long enough for her parents to settle. However, Marianna soon finds amazing things to love about her new home. The people are friendly, the Amish are more conservative, her family is finally smiling again and she struggles with whether or not to stay or go back to Aaron!

What an amazing story!! Beside Still Waters made my list of favorite Amish books of all time! I loved this story and it was so unique and different to all the other Amish books I've read. One of the most common things you read in Amish stories is the young person struggling with wanting to leave the Amish ways and seek the worldly ways but this was not the case for young Marianna. She loves her Amish beliefs but it's when she moves to Montana that she begins to see God in a new and exciting light!

I loved the amazing descriptions and details about the Amish faith in comparison to the English ways.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series!!
Tricia Goyer writes a very convincing book and I loved the story of a struggling young woman whose desire was always to do the right thing and follow the church rules. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Joyce
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this book!!!
Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars finding God
The book "Beside Still Waters" is a lovely example of people knowing about God. Going through religious practices,yet not knowing God in an intimate way. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Lou
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I am reading it now and I love it.
Published 1 month ago by pjpainter
This is a very different life style of Amish life. I think it really lets them to be free in the way they communicate with our Lord. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dorothy Hendrickson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great...
This novel kept me intrigued. Hated to put the Kindle down, so what did I do...finished the novel. I would recommend your reading it.
Published 1 month ago by Virginia Vance
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - can't wait to read book two!
The book was awesome and the ending a total surprise. I can not wait to read book two to see where the story goes.
Published 1 month ago by Barbara L. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by David L. Matthews Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Enjoyed this e-book! It was an easy read,
Story line was great and I lived the twists and turns of this Amish family.
Published 1 month ago by Beverly Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written!
Goyer draws you in and you fall in love with the characters. You wonder which way the story is going instead of knowing the ending, for sure, at the halfway mark. Read more
Published 1 month ago by StaceyB
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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 Tricia is also on the blogging team at, 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, sharing ideas about simplifying life. She also hosts the weekly radio podcast, Living Inspired. Learn more about Tricia at

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