Mending Fences

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

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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There has to be another book in this series.  I just read the last page and said "what" ?
I can't believe I have to wait to find out Izzy and Luke's future.  

I enjoyed reading of Luke's growth and his journey of asking for forgiveness.  It clearly was not easy.  We might not have a list of people to ask for forgiveness.  But is there one person?  What would you say?  How would it make you feel if your apology was rejected?  Or if you were actually forgiven?

Suzanne Woods Fisher is one of the authors that I eagerly look forward to reading.  She has a special talent to take me on a journey of discovery.  This Book was about Izzy and Luke and what they discovered about themselves and others.

I received this free from Celebrate Lit to review.
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"Mending Fences" is the most recent book from Suzanne Woods Fisher and it is the first book The Deacon's Family series.  I have enjoyed all of Suzanne's Amish novels and this one is no exception!  It is a unique story line that immediately drew me in as Luke is returning home a changed man and needs to make amends.  Luke has had to deal with struggles and he feels like the hard part is over; however asking for forgiveness and proving he is a changed man is going to be harder than he first anticipated.  Izzy is living the life she has always dreamed of, she has a home and a place to fit in and she has a flair for the work she is doing; however one thing is lacking, her mother.  Luke is shocked to meet up with Lizzy once again and is determined that if and once he can find Izzy's mother his list will be complete.  However, will it?  And we all know there are consequences to every action...
 I loved this return to Stoney Ridge and reading more about some of the characters from the previous series as well as meeting so many new ones.  This is a great start to this new series and I cannot wait to see where the characters' stories go and who else we get to meet!
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"Mending Fences" is about Luke Shrock, & Izzy Miller in Stoney Brook post-rehab. I liked that the Rehab Center was run by Amish & Christian individuals. God has been slowly drawing Izzy into a relationship, in the year since her rehab. I feel that Susanne Woods Fischer sensitively shaped Izzy's character & storyline. 
     I liked that Luke came to see how truly destructive his former behavior had been, to his Stoney Brook neighbors. But God used Luke's perseverance too.
    I'm so glad SWF created these very believable characters, & this unique story. I'm eagerly awaiting Book 2 in this Series. I Highly Recommend this Wonderful Novel from a Master Storyteller! I was able to read this book through NetGalley.
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Luke Schrock is fresh out of rehab for the first, second, make that third time. Fern and Amos have agreed that he may live at Windmill Farm. In the barn, to his dismay. Well, Fern convinced Amos to agree. Everyone remembers the 'old' Luke who pulled many a prank on many persons. Luke is going through the AA twelve steps and has to apologize to each person he hurt and ask how his prank had affected that person. Difficult task for someone who is not humble, at all. Luke is surprised, as well as humbled, and shamed by the damage some of his pranks caused. Arrogant, good looking, mischief maker, Luke Schrock. Everyone remembers him by his pranks and earning the community's trust is a big job for Luke.
Luke was quite surprise to see Izzy at the farm and to learn that she lived there, for she had previously been at the rehab Luke was in. Izzy is not impressed by Luke's charms. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him, which comes as a surprise to Luke.
Izzy finally has a place to call home and isn't about to do anything to jeopardize it. She loves Amos and Fern and their farm. She is dressing Amish and loves the quiet, peaceful life. Izzy is so easy to empathize with and love. Oh my soul!
I loved Fern Lapps' phrases with words of wisdom. She was such a lovable character!
I do so look forward to the next book in this series!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Amos and David are amazing people who are willing to help those less fortunate. Fern acts like a mother to all the kids who they try to help. The way Luke and Izzy are helped by these people is truly wonderful and inspiring. Luke’s adventures with Bob the buggy horse will have you laughing. You will feel God working throughout this wonderful book. I had the honor to review this book for the author for a honest review. I would give this book a higher rating than a five star review if I could.
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Mending Fences
The Deacon's Family #1
By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Luke Schrock is back home in Stoney Ridge and life there has gone on while he was in rehab. His past has made a definite impact on those who had to live through his pranks and jokes. And as part of his continued healing, he has been encouraged to mend fences with those he hurt over the years.

But mending these fences is more than offering an apology and receiving the expected forgiveness the Amish are known for. No, Luke is supposed to ask just how his careless and cruel antics have impacted each person's life. And with Luke's history, it is a long list to work through.

With trust at an all-time low, Luke has been offered a bed at Windmill Farm in exchange for helping Amos Lapp with a variety of chores. Another young person in need has been taken in by Fern and Amos and to Luke's surprise, Izzy Miller is immune to his charms. Worse Izzy seems to despise him and his ways. Izzy is making a new life for herself and she's known enough guys like Luke to not get caught in his trap of charm.

Mending Fences is the first book in The Deacon's Family series and it promises to be the first offering in some potentially momentous changes in Stoney Ridge. There is an unexpected link to the past which is tied to painful events is several character's lives. And most importantly we are shown the potential of what Luke's life might become. Those who have visited Stoney Ridge in the past will enjoy another visit with some old friends.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations but that I offer my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.
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In my opinion this is a wonderful story about having an opportunity to go back and fix many things that one has done wrong. Luke King has caused great harm in the Amish community he grew up in. Bishop David Stolzfus and others give him a true gift to make amends while it is their belief to forgive, he has a larger responsibility to learn of how he marked the lives of those he tormented.
It's a real journey for Luke to attend to the stipulations given to him as he works for the Deacon, Amos, and his wife Fran on their farm. He also encounters a hurting soul in Izzy who wants nothing to do with him. She works hard but does not truly share of her inner being with anyone.
Both characters grow and change during their struggles while they are nurtured by the community. This book by Suzanne Woods Fisher has another of her heart touching strong plots that I look forward to. There is a great cast of characters here too. Amos is one of my personal favorites. There are moments of sweet humor along with reminders of the power of God's love.
This book makes me want the next story in the series now. Thanks to Revell and NetGalley for this most enjoyable read.
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Mending Fences is the first novel in The Deacon’s Family series.  While it is the first book in a new series, it is based on characters and setting from The Inn at Eagle Hill, Stoney Ridge Seasons and The Bishop’s Family series.  Personally, I found it helpful to have read The Inn at Eagle Hill series prior to picking up Mending Fences.  I thought Mending Fences was well-written with good flow and steady pacing.  It contains developed characters and a lovely setting (I especially liked Windmill Farm).  I was drawn into the story right away and wanted to keep reading to see how Luke would fare with his “mending fences” list he received from Bishop Stoltzfus.  Luke never realized that his pranks (as he called them) had a harmful outcome, but he soon learns that his actions had devastating consequences for some people.  While Luke is outgoing and charming, Izzy is withdrawn and thoughtful.  She is wary of Luke thanks to her upbringing in the foster care system and her time on the streets.  Izzy came to Windmill Farm and reveled in the peace of the farm.  Izzy enjoys the Plain lifestyle and wants to remain with the them.  Luke and Izzy both have obstacles to overcome and growing up to do.  With the help of Amos, Fern, David and God, they just might succeed (I do not want to spoil it for you).  Suzanne Woods Fisher created wonderful characters.  You cannot help but wanting to know more about them.  Fern is a caring and compassionate woman who has faith that Luke will change.  Amos is a hardworking farmer who wants to protect Izzy.  It took them a long time to earn her trust and Amos does not want Luke messing up the progress Izzy has made.  Amos is wary of Luke and not sure if he has the ability to change his ways.  Bishop David Stoltzfus has endless patience and remains calm during trying times.  There is humor in the story thanks to Bob, Amos’ buggy horse and a peanut butter loving racoon.  It was interesting how certain events and people can touch so many lives. Two of my favorite phrases in the book is “love is not finite” and “God is love”.  I thought Mending Fences was a thoughtful, heartwarming and inspirational story.  I am eager to read the next installment in The Deacon’s Family series.
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I love this author's books for the deep themes she deftly explores. Normally I want romance to be the focus of a book, but the author did such a fabulous job showing the redemption journey of Luke and how he changes. I love the balance of subtle nudges and more attention-getting epiphanies that contribute to the opening of his eyes, the development of his conscience, and compassion for others. It was so thought-provoking and I appreciated that it was not an instant or overnight change, but a more realistic shift over many experiences and talks with mentors. He learns from the wisdom and examples of several people in the community- David Stoltzfus, the bishop, Amos, Fern and Izzy who he lives with at Windmill Farm, Teddy Zook and Annie Smucker who he works so hard to make amends with. Even though the story begins with Luke full of flaws and a flawed perspective, he wasn't completely unlikeable, and it helped that David had faith in him. I was really rooting for him and it was gratifying to see him get in touch with his emotions, comprehend the consequences of thoughtless choices, and experience the sweetness of forgiveness. There is some romance with his challenging friendship with Izzy, and I'm hoping we will see more of them in the next book!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
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This is the first book in the Bishop’s Family series and I can’t wait for the next one!  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Luke’s road to redemption.  Luke had been a trouble maker and did some harmful when he was young.  

Ms Fisher gives us a wonderful story of second chances, making amends and finding your way back to God and community.
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Consequences. All of our actions have consequences. Although I felt a lot of those quoted in the book seemed to be exaggerated – surely that much trouble could not have been caused by just one thoughtless boy(!) - still, it makes us consider consequences.                                                                                                                                             I must admit I began this book not particularly liking the main character : I remembered him from previous volumes, & didn’t warm to him at all. But then the book moved on. Redemption. And what a storyline that proved to be! Whammy after whammy after whammy. Oh, & I found that boy was growing on me. Must have been as he started to grow up. I really didn’t think a person could change as much as he did – maybe there is hope for the most renegade of us all. And maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to judge others.                                                          There were heavier themes than I anticipated, but maybe they need to be addressed : I trust this author.                                                                                             I’m glad things were not neatly resolved by the end of the book : life’s like that. (And it means we can look forward to another volume...)
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I loved Mending Fences!  This book is a wonderful debut of a new series by one of my favorite authors.  This story is so good, I couldnt put it down.  Whether you are reading your first Amish book or your 100th, this is a book you should read.  I am grateful to Revell and netgalley for the gift of the arc in exchange for my honest review.
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When I looked at the cover and the title, Mending Fences, I got a whole different idea of what the story was really about. Actually Luke had fence mending to do that included sincere apologies, introspection and forgiveness. Unlike the typical Amish I’ve read about, Luke was an alcoholic that had been in rehab three times. After his third release he was invited to live at an older couples farm in his community. He got lots of cold shoulders and snubbing. But his stipulation for staying was to help around the farm, make a list of all the people he had hurt in the past, seek each one out and offer his sincere apology. The hardest part of all was to ask each how what he did affected them. That was a tough pill for Luke to swallow and brought him lots of shame and heartache.
Izzy was a young woman, former alcoholic that was also living with the older couple. She loved the Amish way and was strongly considering joining the Amish church. She questioned God’s love a lot because of what happened to her growing up. She also had lots of hurts from the past she had to deal with.
These two needed lots of love and understanding and Fern and Amos, the older couple that were helping them, gave an abundance of both. It’s interesting to think on what our pasts and growing up years can influence what we think of ourselves and how it can determine what we become as adults. This was a deep thought provoking read for me. I enjoyed how the characters went about doing their retrospection and their looking forward into a better future. There was a surprise in the latter part of the book and a mischievous raccoon that keeps reappearing. I’m sure we’ll hear more from him....
I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through Netgalley but was not required to write a review positive or otherwise.
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“Mending Fences” by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the story of a troubled young Amish man, Luke Schrock, who found himself addicted to drugs and alcohol.  As a youngster in his home town of Stoney Ridge, he was the proverbial bad boy.  He thought he was just being mischievous, but some of his exploits cause irreparable harm to those he targeted.  After his release from a rehab home, he came back to Stoney Ridge and under the guidance of the bishop was encouraged to right the wrongs he had committed.  In each instance, he was either forgiven or decided to undo the damage he did to various community members.

This was a good book in that it showed how our actions may look different to other people from how we imagine them ourselves.  Actions that are meant to be funny or witty can sometimes cause much chaos and harm.   In the end, Luke Schrock was a different person, likable to himself and others.
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I received an ARC copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion of it. I absolutely loved this book. What a wonderful start to a new series. When a writer can out you through so many emotions--laughter, tears and love, you know that you are reading an amazing book. I could not put it down. The only downside, I have to wait for more books in the series. Highly recommend
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"Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future." When Luke Schrock finishes his second, (or is it third) stint in rehab, the last place he expects to be welcomed is his home district. From the time he was a boy, Luke had terrorized nearly everyone in the district - four handwritten pages worth of people - and he had a lot of amends to make. Can he really turn over a new leaf in this place where everyone expects the worst from him?

Izzy Miller has come to the home of Amos and Fern Lapp following her own stint in rehab. Homeless since she ran from foster care at 14, Izzy's life has been filled with uncertainty, so when Amos begins feeding her each week, then offers her a way off of the streets, she is skeptical at first. So far, men have looked at her beauty and seen an object to be used, but Amos looks at her completely differently. Can she trust this Amish man to care for her without expecting anything else? 

As Izzy acclimates to the Amish lifestyle, and to the Lapp household, she realizes that she enjoys feeling like she has a family. She makes friendships, becomes a good quilter, and can cook with the best of them. Only one thing remains. Izzy wants to find her mother to ask why she gave her up as a child. When she puts Luke on the case, she doesn't expect him to succeed where she hasn't been able to. What Luke finds is completely unexpected, and leads to the biggest twist in the story. Enough said, but if you've read Fisher's two previous series, The Inn at Eagle Hill, and The Bishop's Family, you've already met many of the characters in Mending Fences, and you've read about some of Luke's exploits.

I loved the concept of Luke making amends to each person he had wronged through the years. Big deeds and small, he works through the list, asking each how his actions had affected them at the time. Some of the effects are pretty heart-wrenching, and it takes a few times to break Luke's heart. The concept of forgiveness is HUGE in this novel, and some of the things that are forgiven, not just for Luke, are major. 

With humor and grace, Fisher writes Luke's story, with a side note of Izzy's story. You'll laugh when Luke, sleeping the the barn's tack room, is awakened repeatedly by Amos's buggy horse. That whole situation is pretty hilarious as it's happening. I also loved all of the "grace notes" in the story - places where grace showed up to bathe the situation. 

Amish fiction readers will love this new story from Suzanne Woods Fisher, book one in a new series, The Deacon's Family. While not technically an Amish romance, there are some romantic moments in the story. I look forward to Book 2, whenever it comes out!
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Wow!  Incredible book on the subject of messing up & dealing with consequences, but also on grace and forgiveness.  Add a touch of romance and friendship and Amish, & you've got a book that is difficult to put down!  Really well written, great story line.  Luke learns more lessons than he expects.  I can't wait to read the next book in this new series!  Fans of Suzanne Woods Fisher books will recognize several characters from previous series which adds depth and enjoyment to the read, but this book can easily stand on its own for new readers to Suzanne Woods Fisher.
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