Mending Fences

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Suzanne Woods Fisher’s latest release is aptly named as this story is indeed about Mending Fences. Not only figuratively but literally as well. Fans of this author may remember the troubled Luke Schrock from her previous novels that follow the Amish Stoney Ridge inhabitants. Readers follow as he tries to turn over a new leaf and make amends for the pain he has caused. 
The numerous series set in Stoney Ridge, are always a heartwarming reading experience and Mending Fences is no exception. I love the community this author has created and being reunited with past characters from previous installments. 
Although some of the earlier decisions made might have been questionable, there was immense character growth throughout this novel. Not only from our main characters, but in those who were more secondary as well. The connections between different storylines, was well thought out and I enjoyed the different comparisons used in respect to Luke’s journey. 
I am very much looking forward to the next installment in this Deacon’s Family series and would highly recommend Mending Fences.
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I loved getting to know these characters! They were fun and enjoyable as they grew to know one another and figure out God's plan for their lives.
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Suzanne Woods Fisher has written a very thought-provoking, moving story about the path to healing and redemption through grace.  Luke Schrock, once a rebellious young man, in and out of rehab centers, has to come to terms about his past.  Through the generous, loving help of Deacon Lapp and Bishop Stoltzfus, Luke learns how to mend his fences. 

The author interestingly places characters from her previous books in this new series, so we’re able to follow their interactions with Luke as he matures, both mentally and spiritually. 
 
I found this novel to be one of the best Amish novels I’ve read in a while; the author uses Fern Lapp to offer up her hidden nuggets of wisdom woven throughout.  I can’t wait for the second novel in the Deacon’s Family series!

I received an ARC from Baker Publishing Group through NetGalley and was under no obligation to write a positive review.
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Oh my soul what a powerfully moving book.

It has been a few months since I have read a book that totally took me off guard and blew my socks off. This book definitely did that. I am not even sure where to start with this book review.

In today’s world addiction is so prevalent. Almost every family has dealt with it through a spouse, child or other close family members. The effects tear families and communities apart. I deal with it more than I would like in the classroom. Nothing is more heartbreaking than a precious 5-year old kindergartener coming up to you and saying my mommy had to have NARCAN last night. Thankfully I have never had a personal addiction problem and I will be the first to tell you that I do not understand it. Fisher did an excellent job in showing addiction from the person with the addiction. I appreciated it that she also made sure to make that person accountable. 

I also love the lesson of you never know how your (bad) actions can affect another and the rest of their life. You may think you are pulling a harmless prank but in reality, you could be taking something very important from that person. Something I need to strive towards is forgiveness. That is a downfall of mine. I don't forgive easily not do I forget. 

Towards the end is a shocking revelation that will floor you. I actually had to stop reading to process it. No, I am not giving you any hints as I want you to experience the shock I did.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.
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Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an incredible book and I hardly know how to do it justice. Amish fiction fans will be thrilled with this story, but I’ve always said that Fisher’s books have an appeal that reaches far beyond the Amish fiction audience, and that is certainly true with Mending Fences. The reason is simply that her novels are relationship/character driven and filled with complexity. Readers can connect with people just like them – flawed characters who struggle with the same things we do, and who inspire as they grow in their faith and maturity. The heartwarming and sometimes bittersweet Mending Fences entertains, often makes me smile, and challenges what we think about grace, forgiveness and trust. A “best of the best” book for me!

My reading self is nowhere more at home than in Fisher’s stories set in Lancaster. I first met the memorable Luke as a precocious child in The Letters and knew that he would have a fantastic story someday. Well, that day has arrived with this first book in The Deacon’s Family series. Luke, haunted by the guilt of his past, is one of my all-time favorite fictional characters, and the cover art brings out the essence of his nature. And what a strong ensemble cast is found in David, Amos and Fern – people who lived their faith by their wisdom, insight into what could be, and willingness to extend the grace of second chances.

For the longest time, Izzy has a strong defensive wall around her – but oh, how I loved her! When it came to God, she refused to trust that which she didn’t understand, and I could see some of my own reactions in her. And she was so good for Luke because she made him earn her respect.

Some of my favorite parts are the gentle words of wisdom that Amos shares at just the right time. One example is this conversation between Amos and Luke…

“How can I stick around when no one is willing to trust me?”
“Well, Luke, the way I see it, if you don’t stick around, you’ll never find out the answer to that question... And it seems like a pretty important thing to figure out.”

There are a few tear-shedding moments in this story, both of joy and sadness. Mending Fences reflects life and faith in a realistic way, giving much to reflect on personally. If there’s someone around you who needs a second chance, grace, someone who has eyes to see beyond a person’s guilt, then this story just might help you see them through God’s eyes.

Again, I really can’t say enough about this story. While I’ve loved all that I’ve read by Suzanne Woods Fisher, there’s something special and unique about Luke’s story. Mending Fences begs to be read slowly, savoring each word.

Very highly recommended. 

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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A powerful tale of past pain and seeking forgiveness, this story delves into the cause and effect of actions, and the truths uncovered will surprise the readers. Can a former alcoholic return to his Amish roots and rejoin his community? Will others truly accept him back or will there always be an element of distrust and fear? When Luke Schrock realizes how profoundly his actions have affected the lives of others, will he continue to change for the better or give up? And what about Izzy, who has found a haven among the Amish and escaped her troubled youth? Can she find complete healing and learn to trust a man? Could Luke’s friendship make a difference if she allows it to? This novel amazed me. The author wove a rich and compelling story with so many threads tied together to make a thought-provoking yet satisfying read. I highly recommend it. Even if you haven’t visited these characters in any of her other books, the strong drama in Mending Fences can be appreciated on its own. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.
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I am super excited that Suzanne has released a new series. I have been a huge fan of hers since I made the switch to Christian Fiction. I have loved EVERY single one of her books. Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher is book one in her The Deacon’s Family series. While the series is new - we do see some familar characters if you have read any number of her books. The theme of healing and redemption was one that I needed to hear as I read this book. Y'all. This book brought tears to my eyes. Suzanne has made broken people the center of this story. We are all beautifully broken - but through HIM we can be restored. I cannot wait until the next book!

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program. All thoughts are my own
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Mending Fences is the start of a new series back in Stoney Ridge. I liked seeing the familiar names and places and getting Luke Schrock’s story. Luke was the bad boy, mischief maker, the one that made everyone groan when he came around. He was a bully; he played tricks on people for his own enjoyment and never thought about the consequences. Luke is now back in Stoney Ridge at Bishop David’s request to make amends, to seek forgiveness.
Luke has just come from rehab and he is wanting to do something more with his life. As he takes his counselor’s and the Bishop’s advice he begins to grow from the boy he once was into the man he needs to be.
It is not easy for Luke to not only seek forgiveness but to ask how his actions have adversly affected each person.  As he finds out the depth that his tricks have affected people he is saddened, grieved, and at times blessed and humbled. It was a humorous read and yet filled with bittersweet moments when Luke tries to make restitution.
Luke is not the only troubled soul staying with Amos and Fern, Izzy is an Englisher that has been in and out of foster care her whole childhood and is seeking a place to belong. And she has found that with the Amish, yet she still aches for her long lost mother. 
Amos and Fern were great parental figures and l liked how they dealt with both Luke and Izzy, very protective, patient, and stern when need be.
This was a really good story that shows forgiveness in a different light with lots of life lessons to be applied. Luke was a fun character and I liked watching him grow. This book is just the beginning of a series that promises to be a good one and I look forward to seeing how the author ties up all the loose ends.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
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I cannot wait until the next book in the series to see what happens next. It does continue in the next book so when you buy this book you will want to keep it. This is the first in the series. Luke goes back to his home town after getting out of rehab. He has such good intentions to make amends but at times it backfires on him. You just never know what to expect. He meets Lizzy there who hasn’t been out of rehab very long herself. A really inspiring book. I really loved Luke, he tried so hard. So much more besides Luke’s story though. Lizzy brings so much to the story also. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. This is my own opinion.
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Deana Dick's review Mar 14, 2019  ·  edit
it was amazing

Wow! That's the first thought I had after finishing this book. The book starts a new series for the author and I already can tell it will be a best seller. I was talking with another author and we both agreed that this is the authors' best book yet. It filled my soul with hope and sprinkled my cheeks with tears. I had a hard time deciding who my favorite character was because two of them I easily related to. 

Luke has come home after a period in rehab. He has worked very hard to change but he knows he has a long road ahead of him. I related to him because I have stumbled and made a mess of my life. I turned away from God and did some pretty awful things to people. Luke is not exactly welcomed home but after reading the story I finally have a better understanding of some of the Amish ways. They are quick to forgive but trusting is something you have to work on. I loved that the Bishop believed in Luke and helped him on his journey. Luke has a list of people he has hurt and will have to go to them and make amends. I loved how the author shows readers the consequences of a person's bad decisions and how devastating it could be to someone. We become so selfish at times that we forget that our actions could affect someone else in a negative way. 

Izzy has had a difficult childhood and still carries the pain of not being wanted by her mother. The feeling of abandonment is strong in her life and she has never felt wanted. I think I related to her because I know that feeling of not being wanted by your parents. They didn't abandon me physically but definitely emotionally. Izzy's desire to find her mother was a roller coaster ride at times. I would wonder if she found out where her mother was, would it heal her wounds or hurt her more. It is hard for Izzy to have a relationship with anyone, but her relationship with God was one I worried about the most. 

The author has written a book that deals with forgiveness, acceptance, making amends and finding your way back to God. The journey is hard for these two characters but along the way they have a chance to change their lives and experience unconditional love.

"You're a pearl of great price to God."

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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What a great start to a new series! I liked how the characters are reappearing from other novels by Susanne.  Many of the "pranks" that are mentioned appear in the Bishop's Family series, so it may be beneficial to the reader to pick up that series first, but not necessary.



With the help of the Bishop, Luke was able to make a list of those he wronged and make amends. It was truly nice to see Luke grow and change from his past. 



I look forward to reading the rest of the series!
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Oh my, the places this book went. Can you imagine having to make a list of the wrong things you’ve done to people, then go apologize and ask questions so you understand the damage you did? Yikes! But that’s what Luke had to do and it was as difficult and emotional as you can imagine. However this story wasn’t heavy at all. In fact there were many moments where I was laughing, completely drawn into the story.

Author Suzanne Woods Fisher deals with the subject of alcoholism and rehab, as well as health issues in one of the main characters. She doesn’t shy away from these things, but makes it clear that God is in the middle of our messes and heartache. That there can be forgiveness, redemption, and hope.

I truly enjoyed every page of this book and highly recommend it.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
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Oh my! I need some people willing to practice some of what's shown in this book. While I love this author's books, this one had some extra impact on me at this time in my life. This book is grounded in forgiveness and has wise things embedded throughout the book. Luke has so much work to do to repair multiple relationships, but those whom he seeks to reconcile with have to be willing to trust again. This book has so much depth. I am so looking forward to the next books in this series.
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I absolutely loved this book by Suzanne. Each character is dealing with problems from their past but in the end they each learn new things about each other and the best part is forgiveness for themselves and each other. I eagerly await the next book in the series as the characters in this story have drawn me in and had me cheering for each one.
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Mending Fences was a spectacular read.  As Suzanne Woods Fischer takes readers back to Stoney Ridge, we get to see how life continues for Luke.  If readers have not read her other books, this book can still stand alone on its own, which I always enjoy.

The story shows the process of two characters, Luke and Izzy, as they travel different paths towards a new path for their lives.  As a family member of someone who struggles like these characters do, it was insightful to see more of the inner struggles.  The book also opened my eyes to have more compassion like David did.  

My favorite character was David because of his wisdom and big heart.  He always seemed to know what to say and how to offer just the right amount of support.  I also enjoyed watching the Luke’s journey towards growth and forgiveness.  The story line weaves how he learns the effect of his choices which was thought provoking. 
 
Although my comments seem rather heavy, the story is written with humor and light heartedness.  It makes you think while still enjoying the humor of the story line.  I began the book and had a hard time putting it down. My only disappointment was that I turned the last page of the chapter and realized it was the end!  I look forward to more from Suzanne Woods Fischer.

 I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not required to leave a positive review.
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Hardest, most gut-wrenching thing he'd even done in his life. Best thing he'd ever done in his life
My rating is 4.5 stars

When Luke played ""pranks"" on the people of his community, he gave no thought as to how his actions would affect them. After all, he didn't really mean anything by them, did he? Yet he discovered as he set about ""mending fences"", that his actions had much deeper consequences than he had imagined.

In this touching, humorous, and insightful story, Luke goes through a transformational journey as he attempts to change his life, the community's perception of him, and figure out what to do next. I really appreciated the fact that the author didn't have me loving Luke from the start. She kept a great balance of showing his faults and making him just likable enough that I wanted to keep reading to learn more about him. Don't worry, though. I did end up liking Luke a lot by the end!

I loved watching Luke become a man I could admire. His blunders as he attempted to set things right were humorous and sweet. His heart was pricked when he saw the damage he had done to others and he truly had very good intentions. . .

Luke's interactions with Betty the librarian were great! As were his attempts to keep Bob the horse in his stall at night. And who could blame him for trying? Being wakened out of a deep sleep by horse breath wouldn't be something I would be passive about either!

Izzy was taken from her mother by the State when she was very young and she had a difficult childhood, never feeling accepted and always waiting to be told that she could no longer stay. Her life had been hard and she saw some ugly things. The opportunity to stay in the Amish community was such a gift to her. Amos and Fern were so thankful for her gentle nature and the compliant way that she followed their instructions.

The contrast between Izzy and Luke was similar to the one between the Prodigal Son and his older brother. While the younger son clearly displeased the father with his wasteful and indulgent living, the older brother appeared to be righteous and yet harbored pride and resentment towards his brother. And like the elder brother, though her actions were all as the community desired, she had some heart issues that needed to be addressed. I enjoyed seeing who noticed this problem and the way it was handled.

If you have read other Amish stories, you will have noticed they are often filled them with Amish terms. I was surprised not to see that here. It gave a different feel to the story than what I expected.

Rich spiritual truths are shared in a poignant manner. In several places where I was moved almost to tears. If you like your fiction to challenge your walk with the Lord, Mending Fences will certainly fit the bill.

Thank you, Richard Spillman, for this very moving story that has me longing even more for the time I will be face to face with my Savior evermore!

The Awakened will appeal to wimpier readers like me who still like action and some drama. It will also appeal to those who like a fast-paced, inspirational thriller with a hint of the paranormal added in.


Read with a Preview at AmongTheReads.net


I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
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This is an insightful look at the road to redemption!

I’m talking about redemption in the eyes of man not God. The characters are incredibly well developed. Luke has caused a lot of people a lot of heartache and very deep wounds. They are just as varied as the characters themselves. 

I was completely captivated by the journey that Luke had to go on to bring healing to himself and others. He is helped along the way by two very wise and Godly men. I love the fact that everything is done with an attitude of prayer and seeking God. We can all learn an awful lot about this from this wonderful book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
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This was one of my favorite Amish fiction books I have read lately.  This had a lot of twists and turns.  Both Luke and Izzy had a lot of growing up to do.  This shows that anyone can get addicted to many things and must work things out to get better.  I loved how different this book was.  I am so looking forward to the next book in the series.  I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
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Another masterpiece from the master storyteller, Suzanne Woods Fisher!! This author is a true wordsmith who never disappoints!!! I was captivated from the first page of the book to the last!! Of course, this is no surprise , as this is the case with every book this author creates!! This novel will not allow itself to be put down, at least that was my excuse, when I read long into the night! 

This book is the first in Suzanne's new series, "The Deacon's Family". I loved revisiting Stoney Ridge and my many friends who I have met in some previous stories. New characters appear and draw the reader immediately into their lives. An Amish "Bad Boy" is a an example of the unique problems that this author addresses with understanding and grace. Who would ever dream of a young man from the Plain People having a problem with addiction. We tend to think of this peaceful community being exempt from problems of the world. The reality is that they are no different from you and I!! The problems and aftereffects of addiction, abandonment, dealing with a troubled past filled with grief are described in such depth that the reader feels the pain and confusion alongside the characters. The theme of dealing with these by learning to trust in God's love and forgiving  and healing power is present throughout . How does one learn to trust , self and others??  Can a relationship develop between two hurting people both attempting to recover from such a painful past??  

The book is not without humor. Just when you need a moment to process the serious challenges, the author uses her talent to"touch your funny bone". And it is done is a way unique to Suzanne!! 

The plot moves rapidly with unexpected twists and turns at every corner. I must admit that I was glued to my chair. I could NOT put this book down. 

My favorite quote from the book says it all, "Every saint has a past and every sinner has  a future." What a deep thought! And, how true it is!! God works in the lives of every single person!! We, as humans, often reject His plans! What  a mistake that is!

This is definitely a five star book!! Now, comes the anticipation and wait for the next in this fabulous series!!

Suzanne, can you write a bit faster, please?????
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I love a fictional trip to the little community of Stoney Ridge. I've been reading about these characters from the beginning and always look forward to seeing what they have been up to since my last trip. When you read long series like this there are always characters that you wonder whatever happened to them. Luke Schrock is one of those people.

We first encountered Luke in The Inn at Eagle Hill series. His story continued with The Bishop's Family series. He was a mess and last we heard he was off to rehab. Well he seems to finally be finished after the third shot at it. But will he be different?

Amos and Fern Lapp have been known to take in troubled kids that need a bit of guidance. With great reluctance they agree to give Luke a place to stay in exchange for help on the farm. 

There's a new girl in town and her name's Izzy. She's a mystery to all of us but it was a joy to see her story unfold. Her character has so many layers. Just when you think you know all there is to know about her something else is revealed.

I don't think that I've ever read a book by Suzanne Woods Fisher that I didn't like. But I am going to say that this book has got to be my favorite so far. There are some things that are revealed at the end of the story that tie several previous events from previous novels together. And guess what . . . I didn't even realize that they were loose ends when I was reading those stories! You would think that after all of these books/series set in the same place with mostly the same people would become monotonous. But you would be wrong. I find them just as fascinating as I did with the first book. 

This is the beginning of a new series but it is also the continuation of a previous set of series. You can of course read this book without having read the previous books, but you would sorely miss out on some very good fiction. I say treat yourself and start at the beginning!

I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
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