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Still Life in Shadows Paperback – August 1, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Novelist Alice Wisler creates unforgettable characters in a plot that keeps turning up surprises.  Read it and weep. Or laugh.  Maybe even pray. ~ Eugene H Peterson, Translator of The Message

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

Inspired by Mose Gingerich of  the TV series, Amish: Out of Order, Still Life in Shadows is a tale of yearning to belong.  I hope my readers will know, that like Gideon Miller and Kiki Yanagi, they always belong.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: River North; New Edition edition (August 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802406262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802406262
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,632,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Alice J. Wisler's newest offering, Still Life in Shadows, was a book I'd looked forward to reading upon its release, and it did not disappoint! The first novel the author has written from third person point of view, Still Life allows the reader to understand the plot from both the eyes of Gideon, the ex-Amish main character known as the "Getaway Savior," and a middle-school girl with autism, Kiki. I felt a lot of compassion toward both of these characters: Gideon, because of the hard decision he made to leave behind the Amish world in which he was raised and the very troubled brother who comes to live with Gideon after leaving the Amish himself, and Kiki, because she must learn to cope with her autism in a world where people are not always as understanding as she would like them to be.

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!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thanks for the great read, Alice. I was so drawn into the lives of the people in Twin Branches I found it difficult to put this book down. Relate-able characters dealing with relate-able problems, the need to find love, acceptance and family in a world that so often deals us hurt and circumstances beyond our understanding. And as Gideon, Kiki and Mari find those things they also find the freedom that forgiveness brings. Personally, I hope this is not the last we hear of the people of Twin Branches.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an Alice J. Wisler fan, I was expecting yet another great read; needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. "Still Life is Shadows" is a wonderfully crafted and compelling story. It held my heart captivate from the first page until the very last line. I highly recommend this book. You don't want to miss this one!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Alice Wisler's latest book, Still Life in Shadows, captures a clear glimpse into the Amish life. Every beautifully placed word written on Alice's pages has a purpose for being there. Each scene leads up to the overall meaning of the story, which I believe is the cleansing power of forgiveness. She is in no way devaluing the Amish way of life, but rather shedding light on the pain that some endure.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Readers will experience another side of this author's writing talent as Alice pens a pretty sober look at an Amish run away, Gideon Miller, aka the Getaway Savior, in Twin Branches, N.C. Gideon is willing to help boys who desire to leave the Amish life style and enter the world of the English. Gideon helps them adjust to a new life, new rules and a modern society.

Alice's character, Kiki, an austic teen, stole Gideon's heart and mine as well. "Gideon wondered how in the world Kiki was always able to make him smile even at the most sentimental times. Sometimes people looked at her and muttered that she wasn't right. But they were incorrect because most of the time, Kiki was the only one who was right. Her honesty, her openness, her ability to forgive, and her freedom to be Kiki and no one else was what she offered to all she met. And to Gideon, that seemed like the right way to live."

Moriah, Gideon's younger brother surprises him. Both boys are held hostage by their unforgiveness toward their father. The pain and memories are eating them alive. This author shows how both boys deal with their pain, from one extreme to the other.

Maire, Kiki's sister has secrets of her own. She's determined to make a good home for herself and Kiki. She struggles at paying the bills and getting her sister what she needs all the while dealing with the pain of unforgiveness herself.

Change will occur when the hurt in the heart is greater than the fear of change. Could Morriah, Gideon, Marie and Kiki trust God with their heart, pain and life?

I enjoyed how Alice dealt with real people, real issues and the cleansing power of forgiveness in a natural way. Everyone experiences pain in life. How we deal with the pain is the key to freedom in this life.
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