Cover Image: Mending Fences

Mending Fences

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Member Reviews

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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Fresh out of rehab, Luke wants to make amends for the bad things he's done in the past - but the people of Stoney Ridge aren't exactly encouraging when he returns. Then his mentor, the bishop, gives him a list of things he's done that he needs to make right - and rather than containing only the major things, it includes all the pranks he ever played, coming to several pages! But he is determined to mend his fences in Stoney Ridge, and works gradually through the list, hard though it is. The exercise teaches him more about himself, those around him, and following God than he could ever have imagined...

Set in a town that I gather has already featured in multiple series by the author, I was a bit concerned at the start that I might not be able to follow it because I haven't read them - but it wasn't a problem. Though I would definitely like to read more about the people, I was able to enjoy this small segment of their lives without feeling lost. And it really did feel like a segment of life in the town. Sure, the focus was largely on Luke, but others were always around, and there was the feeling that the town life had been happening before he arrived and would continue on indefinitely after the last page was read - and as a result, most things in the story were left unfinished. The only real part of it that was complete was his fence-mending list - no romances, nothing with lost parents, etc. I found that a bit disappointing, but enjoyed it all so much overall that it still rated a definite 4.5 stars.

The idea of the fence-mending list was great, and I was glad to see that his pranks had had both surprisingly good and unexpectedly bad effects - and that he really did try to fix things. I particularly enjoyed watching Luke grow over the course of the book - from a not particularly pleasant person to be around, into a person one would be glad to call a friend.

Characters: Well managed, a good mix and all felt realistic.
Storyline: Great, with the exception mentioned above of leaving a lot unfinished - hopefully ready for the next book.
Content and language: Clean, no issues noted.
Message: Our actions may have major effects on others that we don't realise and certainly don't intend - so be careful, and ready to try to make things right if we do inadvertently make them wrong.

Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.
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MENDING FENCES is the first book in an outstanding new series by one of my favorite Amish authors Suzanne Woods Fisher. Those who've read her books know all -- or most of the characters in this new series and I quickly fell in love with bad boy Luke and hurting Izzy and was glad to reconnect with many old favorites.  Like Bishop David. Such a wise man. And Amos. I was praying for him in this book. 

I couldn't keep from laughing out loud of some of Luke's mistakes. Drunk cats. A snake, lose in a woman's house. An escapee horse and oh, the elusive rattler. Luke certainly knew how to pick his challenges. 

There were some twists in the story I never saw coming, but this is an awesome story of hope, of forgiveness, of facing your past and finding your future. And so much more. 

Highly recommended. Must read. Book one in a series. 

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
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This book is such a great book. The characters are so endearing and funny. I found myself laughing aloud in some places. The message behind this book is that you can come home again, meaning you can overcome your obstacles. 

Amos and Fern Lapp live on Windmill Farm and they have a heart to take in people and give them a chance. Izzy Miller has been living there and she has been working to rebuild her life. She loves the Amish ways but she has some issues in her past that she must comes to terms with. She is trying to find her biological mother who she has not seen since she was very young. None of her attempts have been successful. 

Luke Schrock returns to the community and begins to reside at Windmill Farm. He comes there and really is humbled by his living arrangements. Things have always come easy for him, but not this. He begins to "mend fences" by making amends for all of the things he has done to people. He saw them as pranks but they had lasting effects that he had not anticipated. You get to see Luke really develop and along the way deepen his relationship with Christ. 

His attempts to befriend the beautiful Izzy has not gone well. But once he earns her trust, he also is a key to her finding her mom. The two also begin to fall for one another. 

The book is so good, it ends on a cliffhanger and you can be sure I am ready to read the next one. I received an ARC of this book and this is my honest feedback.
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(This is a spotlight Post I did for this book on my blog. It did not make the cut for a full review for this month. But I still acknowledge every book on my possible list. Thank You. Descriptions of posts are on my sidebar.)

Mending Fences (Deacon's Family - Book 1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Publication Date:02/05/2019

Publisher:Baker Publishing Group


Genre: Christian Romance (Amish)

Pages: 336

ISBN-13: 978-0800727512

(Received for an honest review from Revell via NetGalley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Book Depository

Suzanne Woods Fisher on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Excerpt from Mending Fences, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.

Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him.

Amos and Fern Lapp allow Luke to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, Luke must make a sincere apology to each person he's hurt--a four-page, single-spaced list. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused. 

Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused . . . that isn't so simple. It's gut-wrenching. 

And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm. Luke's clumsy efforts to befriend Izzy only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge. 

Bestselling and award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher returns to her beloved Stoney Ridge for this brand-new series featuring some of her readers' favorite characters.

About the Author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Phoebe's Light, Minding the Light, and The Light Before Day, as well as the Amish Beginnings, The Bishop's Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.
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Stunning. Amazing. Intense. Words cannot describe this fabulous Amish Christian novel! It is about repentance and seeking forgiveness, grace and acceptance. It shows how alcoholism and substance abuse are often family diseases. We see the model for recovery in the twelve steps, how a person in recovery is helped with love that is tough, and how the Lord works through His people to bring healing to those who want it.

Luke spent most of the past year in rehab, the last stint being six months. He was raised Amish in Stoney Ridge and has not yet been baptized. His pranks have frustrated and frightened many, and who doesn’t want to return to the scene of his crimes. His bishop, David and Luke’s counselor believe it is best for him to return to his hometown to face everyone, make amends, and become a man.

Amos and his wife Fern will take Luke in. He will get meals and space in the barn in exchange for his work on the farm. It isn’t his first choice, but possibly his last chance. The church paid his way through rehab, as the Amish do for most of their people with medical bills. David stuck with Luke, visiting him regularly, because God doesn’t give up on people.

When Luke arrives, he sees a young woman who he saw at rehab the first time. Izzy doesn’t remember seeing him. She is a hard worker who has been at the Lapp’s for about a year. She is planning to embrace the Plain life, and dresses as a young Amish woman would. She sees him as arrogant, getting through life on his good looks and charm, and he is very disappointed with her response.

Luke’s counselor and David agree on many things, including something unique when he makes his amends to people.  When he apologizes, Luke is to also ask how his “prank” affected the people he is making amends to. For him, making amends becomes a way to mend broken fences and relationships, see the people he harmed as real people. Those pesky fences take a lot more work to rebuild than they did to bust down!

Luke is very well-defined; it is interesting to see inside his heart as he goes about daily life and his amends. He has little impulse control, evidenced even through how what goes through his mind, whether nice or critical, falls out of his mouth. I like Izzy, also, even if she is much more of an enigma. We see much of what Luke sees of her, learning little about her until Luke does.

The plot is non-stop, making this hard to put down. I would have been horrified to have to ask the questions of people that Luke did – and worse, to hear the truth of his actions. Izzy has a closely-held past that only a couple people know a little bit about, Amos and David. They aren’t aware that she is still looking for her birth mother who made her a ward of the state when she was very young. When she finally asks Luke to help her, she doesn’t hold out much hope. More twists than I could imagine are part of this story. I highly recommend this remarkable novel to fans of the author, those who appreciate Amish Christian fiction and the earlier Stoney Ridge series, and drug and/ or alcohol addiction.

From a grateful heart: I received a copy of the e-ARC from the publisher and NetGalley, and this is my honest review.
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This is a wonderful new series by this talented author, but some of the characters are old friends, or ones that I had an opinion of previously, and I was quickly engrossed in this book!
There is an old saying that “for every action there is a reaction”, which I believe is attributed to Newton, but in this case where forgiveness is asked for and according to Amish faith, is freely given, a second request of how the action affected the lives of those accosted, and there are surprises here both good and bad.
As this story unfolds I loved the surprises that happen, some good and some that blew my mind. I personally cannot wait for the next book in this series!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give positive review.
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Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the first book in The Deacon's Family series and I could not put it down!

Luke Schrock has just been released from rehab and has like the title suggests, a lot of "fences to mend." He is sent to live at Windmill Farm, where Fern and Amos have also taken in Izzy Miller, a young girl who, like Luke, was lost herself and she begins to find her way through the love and support of her Amish friends. But even though Izzy has been at Windmill Farms for a year, she still has a lot of emotional baggage weighing her down. While Luke begins to make amends to those he hurt, and in the process starts to change for the better, Izzy seems to be stuck in her hurt. A problem Luke is determined to tackle.

I loved the characters of this book and can't wait for book two! There are so many layers to it and surprises that it kept me up until the wee hours of the morning. I simply couldn't put it down. 

Do yourself a favour pick up this book! You won't be disappointed.
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Mending Fences begins a whole new Amish series by Suzanne Woods Fisher, The Deacon’s Family. Luke Schrock finds he is having to prove himself after in is town that he no longer the same man before entering rehab. He is no longer that person and struggles to find forgiveness from those who hurt in the past. Amos and Fern Lapp gives him a chance to redeem himself by allowing him to live with them. As long as he makes things right. Izzy Miller, also, lives with the Lapps. Luke tries his best to befriend her but when doing so, it leads to a shocking discovery.
I enjoyed Mending Fences. I think so many readers could relate to Luke and his struggles. I honestly was not sure about Izzy at first but she grew on me by the end. The story had some twists that I had not expected. 
I give Mending Fences four stars. It is a good story of redemption, faith and inspiration. I recommend it. I look forward to reading the second installment from The Deacon’s Family series. 
I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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I've read a lot of Amish fiction, but I've never seen one where the main character has served three stints in rehab for addiction and is now going through a 12-step program!  Both Izzy and Luke's characters are so raw, and so real that they're almost unreal, that you just want to jump in the story and give them your support.  One of my favorite characters was Bishop Stoltzfus, who doesn't come across as the commandeering disciplinarian often seen in Amish fiction, but actually goes out of his way to be a gentle guiding force.  I didn't realize until going back and looking at the cover that this is the beginning of a new series.  Many of the supporting roles are carryovers from other books by the author, and it's nice to see their continuing stories.
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Mending Fences ( The Deacon’s Family-Book 1 )
By; Suzanne Woods Fisher
Mending Fences is book one in a brand new series The Deacon’s Family by Suzanne Woods fisher. This is by far the best book I have read by Ms. Fisher. She has herself a winner. I absolutely love the story and the characters ,both were well written and realistic. The author pens about selfishness, jealousy, healing, redemption, and second chances. Have you ever did something to someone in the past that you wish you had not done? Mending Fences is the perfect title for this book. Ms. Fisher carries you on a roller coaster. There was times when I was laughing so hard and other times when I was crying so hard the tears were rolling down my face. I had to stop and wipe my eyes so I could see to read. I also loved the spiritual parts running throughout the story. I could just see God working throughout the story. I highly recommend Mending Fences to anyone who loves a good read. 
I was given a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley and the Publisher, Revell, but was not told that I Had to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.
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Suzanne Woods Fisher has become an author whose books I snatch up as soon as they are available. She is such a wordsmith that one’s whole being is drawn into the worlds she creates. In Mending Fences, Fisher combines a couple different series as Luke Schrock returns home to Amish Stoney Ridge after his third stint in rehab. 
This is a novel of second chances; caring for the unlovable; longing for what one doesn’t have, while perhaps missing what is offered one; discovering that one’s foolish actions can have both negative and positive consequences. And the laughter!! Fisher knows how to present serious truths in a hilarious setting.  
I felt my heart sympathize with quiet Izzy who is learning to be plain. I wanted to like bad boy Luke who is trying to reform, but still carries a bit of an attitude. I especially liked the characterizations of Amos, Fran, and Bishop David Stoltzfus. Each is more than they initially appear. David is unlike many of the bishops one reads about, very caring, respected, thoughtful, and wise. 
Since it is forbidden to quote the whole book, here are a few quotes I liked: 
“Like I said, forgiveness, that comes naturally for us. It’s trust that’s hard to restore. Trust is a fragile thing. There’s no such thing as a little violation of trust, especially if you are the one who was betrayed.” 
“He was a pity party of one.” 
“at any given moment, your life is going to be determined by your view of you, or God’s view of you.” 
I can’t wait for the next installment, book two of The Deacon’s Family.  
This book can be read without benefit of the other series, as enough backstory is revealed. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I was not required to leave a positive review.
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What a great read by Suzanne Woods Fisher!!! I think that this will be by far my favorite one by her!l
She never disappoints me with her stories!!! Her writing style is impeccable!! I love it!!!
I think this is the perfect title for this book.
She has written some humor into this one too. 
Poor Amos and David!! I love these kind and bravehearted souls. 
There were times when I wanted to shake Amos Lapp until his teeth rattled. I'd love to it for Fern who has a big heart of her own! Fern who rarely cries. 
I think in a lot of ways I relate to her. I rarely get upset but when I do watch out!! Especially when I get mad tears. 
Men are just so stubborn at times especially mine!! Oh how I want to strangle him for some of his ways!! But there is one trait I admire in him and that is the reason I love him so much!! Maybe that is what Fern saw in Amos. ( I have an uncle named Amos) He's nothing like the Amos in this story though.
Amos is certainly the most stubborn man I've ever met but deep deep down he is hurting. 
David is hurting too Especially since a certain woman showed up. 
I admire those men because they believed in 2nd chances. They believed in this woman even tho she caused them a lot of pain. 
I like to think God is like that. His Love is sooooo big that He gives us 2nd chances until the big door closes and then that is it. There will be no more when the end time comes. 
If I had a father I'd want him to be like David. He's the coolest man around with his everlasting patience and love.
Izzy is a stinker towards Luke. I think they're perfect for each other!!
Doesn't our Lord have a wonderful way of working things out? I like to think so!!
I was so happy to return to my friends in Stoney Ridge! 
I always wondered what happened to Luke Shrock!
This is his story to tell if you want to know what happened to him
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley. No compensations were received and all opinions are my own!!
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