Book Review: The Devoted

28 Oct

unknownBright, curious, and restless, Ruthie Stoltzfus loves her family but is stuck in a sea of indecision about her future: Should she stay Amish? Or should she leave? She’s done all she can to prepare to go — passed the GED, saved her money — but she can’t quite set her journey into motion.

Patrick Kelly is a young man on a journey of his own. He’s come to Stoney Ridge to convert to the Amish and has given himself thirty days to learn the language, drive a buggy, and adapt to “everything Plain.” Time, to Patrick, is of the essence. Every moment is to be cherished, especially the hours he spends with Ruthie, his Penn Dutch tutor.

Ruthie’s next-door neighbor and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock, is drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame. Rebellious, headstrong, defiant, Luke will do anything to win Ruthie back — anything — and Patrick Kelly is getting in his way.


revellpix4Suzanne Woods Fisher lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Suzanne graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, and was a free-lancer writer for magazines while her children were growing up. A former contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today, Suzanne’s work has appeared in many magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman, Worldwide Challenge, and Marriage Partnership.

Her first novel, Copper Star, a World War II love story, was published by a small press (Vintage Inspirations) and received three literary awards. It opened the door to a literary agent, Joyce Hart. The agent knew of Suzanne’s connection to the Plain People — her grandfather was raised Plain — and introduced her to an editor at Revell, a division of Baker Books. Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World was the result of that first conversation. It was an 2010 ECPA Book of the Year finalist . . . and it is the book Suzanne wants to be buried with.

And that was twenty-five books ago! So it seems things are working out pretty well.


My Impressions:

The Devoted by Suzanne Woods Fisher marks the third book in The Bishop’s Family series. With the Stoltzfus’ large family and many more community members with stories waiting to be told, it certainly will not be the last book set in the Amish community of Stoney Creek, Pennsylvania. In this installment, a young man from outside the community begins a long visit at the Inn at Eagle Hill and brings with him a quiet assurance and insight that challenges more than one of the people living there. Change could be coming to the church at Stoney Creek, but it may not be all for the good.

I love how Fisher makes the people in Stoney Ridge real and relevant for any reader. I have said it before, but it bears repeating: although the characters are Amish, they could easily belong to any community anywhere. There stories are filled with real life struggles and doubts and hopes and dreams. But it is not just the Amish of the community who are featured. Three Englisch characters figure prominently in The Devoted and are positive influences on the story as well as some of the other characters. The Amish of Stoney Creek are not immune from influences of the world, in spite of their commitment to remain separate. Fisher examines the role of wealth in a believer’s life — in bringing blessings and in drawing us away from God. Fisher also does not shy away from showing the deceptions and consequences of a fallen world.

From deep in the heart of Amish country, The Devoted is a story for anyone, a story full of wisdom and wit. Another winner from Fisher, for this reader it is a highly recommended read!

Highly recommended.

Audience: older teens to adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Revell for a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

3 Responses to “Book Review: The Devoted”

  1. Carrie October 29, 2016 at 4:40 pm #

    “they could easily belong to any community anywhere” – yes! I completely agree. This is one of my very favorite series lately!

    • rbclibrary October 29, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

      I’m excited that there’s more to come!

      • Carrie October 29, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

        Me. Too. I just saw that in her newsletter and did a happy dance 😀

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