Book Review: The Keeper

4 Jan

Julia Lapp has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation. When Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding–again–she knows who is to blame. Perpetual bachelor and spreader of cold feet, Roman Troyer, the Bee Man.

Roamin’ Roman travels through the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania with his hives full of bees, renting them out to farmers in need of pollinators. He relishes his nomadic life, which keeps him from thinking about all he has lost. He especially enjoys bringing his bees to Stoney Ridge each year. But with Julia on a mission to punish him for inspiring Paul’s cold feet, the Lapp farm is looking decidedly less pleasant. Can Julia secure the future she’s always dreamed of? Or does God have something else in mind?

Suzanne Woods Fisher‘s interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised Plain. Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world. In both her fiction and non-fiction books, she has an underlying theme: You don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate many of their principles–simplicity, living with less, appreciating nature, forgiving others more readily– into your life.

When Suzanne isn’t writing or bragging to her friends about her first new grandbaby (!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne’s way of thinking, you just can’t take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth. Suzanne can be found on-line at:

My Impressions:

Suzanne Woods Fisher became one of my favorite authors when I read the first book in her Lancaster County Secrets series, The Choice.  Every book I have read since then I have deemed the best yet.  Well, I have another favorite in The Keeper.  The Lapp family is a close knit, loving and sometimes quirky family. But life on their Amish farm has gotten harder due to father Amos’ heart condition. As the oldest, Julia has taken over much of the responsibility for running the farm, but even with her younger siblings and eccentric Uncle Hank helping out, Windmill Farm is declining.  And unfortunately Amos’ health is declining as well. He needs a heart transplant, but refuses to consider it.  Enter two wonderful characters from Ohio, Roman Troyer aka the Bee Man and Fern Graeber. Although their personalities could not be more different, these two make their way into the home and hearts of the Lapps (and the reader).

One of the strengths of Fisher’s novels is that though the setting is among the Amish, the reader never feels like an outsider looking in.  The characters and plots are always realistic for both Amish and English.  In The Keeper, you feel like you are among friends.  And the story flows naturally; not too slow or too rushed, just right.  I was most impressed with the insertion of the characters’ faith.  Many of their statements concerning God’s ways and scripture felt like prayers.  In fact, sometimes I would go back and repeat them to God.  This is not to say that the book was preachy.  If anything, The Keeper shows faith as a natural part of life.

And just as delightful are the characters.  My favorites are youngest daughter Mary Kate (M.K.) and her money-making schemes and schoolyard trials and Fern (dubbed Stern Fern by M.K.).  Fern is the most surprising of the characters, a true case of you can’t judge a book by its cover.

So you’ve read my review, what are you waiting on?!  Go out and get The Keeper.  It’s a keeper!  (Sorry couldn’t resist)

Highly Recommended.

(I received The Keeper in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To read what others are saying, click HERE.

It’s a “honey of a giveaway”!

Enter to win an iPad2 from Suzanne and connect with her on January 17th at The Keeper Facebook Party!

During the giveaway one Grand Prize winner will receive a Prize Pack valued at $600:

  • A brand new 16 KB iPad 2 with Wi-Fi
  • A $25 gift certificate to iTunes
  • A copy of The Keeper

But wait there’s more! Just click one of the icons below to enter, then on 1/17 join Suzanne for The Keeper Facebook Party! During the party Suzanne will announce the winner of the “Honey” of an iPad Giveaway and host a fun book chat and give away some fun “honey” inspired prizes – It’ll be ‘sweet”!

RSVP early and tell your friends!

Tell your friends on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Good luck and we hope to see you on the 17th at 5:00 PM PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST, 8:00 EST)!

5 Responses to “Book Review: The Keeper”

  1. wall-to-wall books-wendy January 4, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    I loved this book too! Come read my review.
    I am a huge fan of Suzanne Woods Fisher as well, I think she is my favorite Amish fiction writer!
    Nice review. “Its a Keeper”, Hahahaha wish I had thought of that!

  2. Lane Hill House January 5, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    We had our very own Bee Man too, twice removing the bees from inside a wall section under the eaves of our 1940s home we purchased. He had long-standing customers and we didn’t get any of the honey. I thought it would have been neat to put up plexiglass and watch them but they would have sealed it away. I would like to read The Keeper!

    • rbclibrary January 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      Be sure to check out Suzanne’s giveaway. You just might win a copy!

  3. Gena Robertson January 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Gosh, I’m so happy to hear another great review! And find another wonderful blog to follow =)

    Suzanne is a new to me author – so I’m really happy to find out she has a back list of book to go check out!

    Thank you for being part of the blog tour!

    • rbclibrary January 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by. Suzanne’s books are wonderful. Start with The Choice — you will love it.

Comments are closed.