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Still Life in Shadows Paperback – August 1, 2012
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Alice J. Wisler is a master artist with words. Her characters come alive from the first page, and draw you into their world, holding you a willing captive until you turn the last page. Still Life in Shadows is a unique and compelling story, which Novel Rocket and I highly recommend.
~Ane Mulligan, Senior editor at Novel Rocket
"A touching novel about how an embittered man is forced to face the Amish community he ran away from years ago. Told by a 30-year-old auto mechanic and an autistic teenage girl, Alice Wisler's Still Life in Shadows speaks of the complexities of family, of belonging, and the tricky task of forgiving. . ." - Julie L. Cannon, author of Twang
"Alice Wisler's characters come to life on the pages of Still Life in Shadows as they face real problems . . . . While this book many not be your typical Amish story as it explores what happens when a man leaves the Amish fold, it is one you'll be glad you read." ~Ann H. Gabhart, author of The Outsider
"I'm so excited to read this book! From a theological perspective I'm so glad to see someone tackling this issue. It has really been needed." --Julia M. Reffner
"I figured it out in the middle of the night! You know how you enjoy that very last piece of cake? You are so glad to have it and savor it and enjoy it, but then when you finish it, you're sad because it's all gone and you won't be able to have another taste until another of those cakes is made. That is why I felt sad finishing "Still Life in Shadows!" I have to wait until ? Until your next novel is published!" -- Lisa Gramann, a faithful reader of Alice Wisler
"Check it out!! Now, I never, ever thought I would say this next sentence, but here it is: It's a great Amish story. Well, no. It's a great EX-Amish story and there's none of the typical Amish fluff stuff in it. Alice Jay Wisler did an excellent job portraying some of the anguish that can come of leaving your family and lifestyle; of learning to forgive--both others and yourself. She also created this great little autistic girl that I just loved. It's a good book. You should check it out. Yay Alice!" -- Rachel Overton
From the Author
More About the Author
Now I write, blog, and enjoy crafting fun characters in Durham, NC. My first five novels are set in some part of my state. Rain Song (Christy Finalist 2009) takes place in the little town of Mount Olive, home to Mount Olive Pickles and strong family ties. How Sweet It Is, also a Christy Finalist in 2010, takes places in the Smoky Mountains. Hatteras Girl made her debut October 2010. Of course, it is set in the lovely Outer Banks. A Wedding Invitation, has flashbacks of settings in a refugee camp in the Philippines and also has scenes in Winston-Salem, NC. It arrived in October 2011. For me, this novel represents the need we all have to belong and be accepted, just like my Amerasian character feels. Still Life in Shadows, my fifth novel, takes place in a small mountain town I created called Twin Branches. This is also a story of belonging as Gideon Miller helps dissatisfied Amish youth relocate and find their places in modern society. Under the Silk Hibiscus is my first historical novel, set in a Japanese-American internment camp, during WWII.
In addition to speaking at conferences and retreats across the country, I teach online grief-writing classes---Writing the Heartache---and design and sell remembrance cards. Since my four-year-old son Daniel's death in 1997, I've written articles on coping with grief. Many of these can be read at the Open to Hope website at http://www.opentohope.com. Be sure to visit my website at http://www.alicewisler.com and my blogs: http://www.alicewisler.blogspot.com/ and http://www.writingtheheartache.blogspot.com/
Top Customer Reviews
This book brought to light the "other side" of the Amish world. Christian fiction has an overabundance of books, in my opinion, in which the Amish are portrayed in an overly positive light, one of purity and simplicity. While Wisler's goal is not in any way seeking to denigrate the Amish, she did draw on true-life experiences of those who have "escaped" the Amish culture in writing her novel. I've only read one other novel (Christian fiction) that dealt with the Amish way of life, and frankly, never much considered the negative aspects of it before reading this book. Wisler handles the topic thoughtfully and tastefully, yet honestly at the same time. I appreciate a novel that not only entertains, but makes me think, and this one did just that. Great characters, great setting (small town in the Smoky Mountains, a beautiful place if there ever was one), and great plot all come together to bring the reader a very enjoyable reading experience!
I don't feel her goal in writing this story was to criticize any which way of life. She shows the pros and cons of both sides of the fence. She speaks truth. She doesn't blur the image to make it seem more perfect for one side over the other. But rather she exemplifies the need for moderation in this life. In the end, I believe Alice's purpose in writing this story was not to place blame, but to show how the evil on either side can destroy people when we take our eyes off the ultimate focal point--God.
A huge thank you goes to the author for sending me a sneak-peak of what's to come for her readers. Believe me when I tell you, Still Life in Shadows is worth the wait. You will fall in love with the real-life characters and will be cheering them on the whole way. Their caring support of each other gives the real depiction of what a family looks like, even if it's not what their society says. And with their eyes focused on God, they can't help but to prosper in whatever community they choose to live in.
Gideon doesn't realize how narrow his life is until he meets the exotic but non-flamboyant Mari at his favorite tea shop, and falls in love. Kiki, with her uncanny inability to fit in except when absolutely necessary, and Gideon's brother Moriah, may put a permanent cramp in his style when he decides he wants to date Mari.
This tale of realizing closure and forgiveness make for healthy futures is a spiderweb of secrets, revelations, family dysfunction and family triumphs. Empathize with Mari and Gideon as they face the challenges of adulthood before they were properly prepared, and rejoice at their triumphs along the path to forgiveness.
Kik's autism adds for color commentary to what could otherwise be a simple story with characters rubbed too raw to come out of their shells. Life blooms slowly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not your typical work of Amish fiction. Instead of a romanticized view of the Amish way of life, the author portrays some of the realistic problems that could happen in an... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jane A
Wonderful book well written kept me wanting to keep reading.Published 8 months ago by Marie Smitherman
Excellent Book regarding Amish life. Kept your interest right to the end.Published 10 months ago by Smoggy66
2 1/2 stars. This was not a typical Christian fiction Amish story. I've read many Amish fiction books and have always felt that they tend to romanticize and sugar coat the Amish... Read morePublished 11 months ago by amandainpa
A thoughtful story, imagine leaving everything and everyone you are familiar with and starting over elsewhere. Imagine the effects of doing this at 15 years of age. Read morePublished 17 months ago by shelley hallman