Mending Fences

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

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

Imprint:Revell

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



Synopsis:



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 www.suzannewoodsfisher.com 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.” 
and, 
“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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A wonderful story with an uplifting redemptive theme!
The Amish community of Stoney Ridge warily welcomes back its local 'bad boy', fresh out of rehab. Luke has a lot of personal challenges to face in order to win back their trust and move on in his own life. 

"Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”
This well written story never lagged, and the character development was perfectly paced, with some humorous moments to balance out the serious side. Addiction, abandonment, dealing with grief and loss, forgiveness and learning to trust in God's love were some deeper themes. An added side mystery rounded out the plot to finish Izzy and Luke's stories on a hopeful high note. 

“...God does his best work with messes.” 
I loved Izzy and cheered her on as she had so much to overcome. She was a strong, focused, hard working young woman, determined to keep her life on a positive new path, one that leads her to real faith and healing. Luke's character went from the charming troublemaker given his last chance, to a sincere, contrite man of faith, finally reaching out to help others as prompted. I liked the wisdom and grace that Fern and others show the struggling young people she has taken in. Seeing ourselves as flawed and in need of forgiveness like Luke, and how God doesn't give up on us, was a great encouragement. 

A good start to a new series, a story with faith, hope and a bit of humor, any reader of Christian fiction would enjoy. Some connections to other series are listed in the beginning for reference. This book easily reads as a stand alone.
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Mending Fences is such a wonderful faith based book. The inspiration read is based on Luke and Izzy who are so far from each other yet so close. Fate has its way and the story ends on a very happy note!
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5 stars 
Holy buckets, this is a good book! Mending Fences is unlike any Amish fiction book I have ever read. I devoured it in one day. The characters are real, brutal and fascinating. What an amazing writer Suzanne Woods Fischer is, I cannot believe I have never read a book of hers before. She wrote characters I instantly connected to, feel in love with, got irritated with and wanted to know more about their lives. I loved the ending; however, I really hope this is just a set up for a new series. I want more from Luke and Izzy. I was deeply drawn to all of the characters, even the peripheral ones like Alice and Big Teddy.
I highly recommend this book!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. The views given are my own. #MendingFences #NetGalley #Revell
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“Mending Fences” is the perfect title for this book and also the perfect start to this new series by Suzanne Woods Fisher.  If you’ve read some of her other Amish series,  you know that Luke Schrock has been Stoney Ridge’s chief troublemaker for several years.  Luke’s charming ways have finally failed him, and after a rehab stay, he’s ready to return home to Stoney Ridge to “mend fences” with each person he’s hurt through his careless actions and thoughtless destruction. Luke finds that although forgiveness may be granted, trust takes a long time to restore.  

This book has an entertaining side to it.  Luke at first still relies on his ability to be charming, and while it’s sometime painful, it’s fun to see Luke change as he works through his list of all the folks he’s hurt in the past.  Even with good intentions, not everything goes as Luke originally plans and some of his troubles as he tries to make things right will make your smile.  I also loved the character of Izzy, a lovely, sweet young woman who is finding love and acceptance in Stoney Ridge.  Izzy is having nothing to do with Luke or his charm, and resists Luke’s offer of friendship. Their story is a special one, and their budding romance is a sweet part of the book.

However, there’s also a very thoughtful side to this book.  There are themes of abandonment, forgiveness, and redemption in the stories of Izzy and Luke.  Both have struggled with those issues and sought relief from pain through alcohol abuse.  As they both attempt to make a new start, they must come to terms with and acccept God’s unconditional love for them. 

Many of the characters that we have loved from the other Stoney Ridge books make appearances in this story.  Even if you’ve never read the other series, you can pick this book up and easily start from there. If you love books about strong community and friendships, you’ll love this one.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.
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ending Fences took me on a emotional ride and I mean that quite literally. One moment it seemed I was heartbroken and crying and the next minute I was laughing along with Izzy.  I loved the descriptions of the countryside, imagining myself there and hearing the clip clop of the carriages going down the road.  

So many memorable characters!   Amos and Fern stood out with their hospitality and love, the pastor stood out with his  tough love and his generosity, and Luke and Izzy stood out learning how to deal with their past and trust people again.  Each had to lean on God to help them deal with their pain.  A deep hidden pain that manages to surface again for each one of them.

There never was a dull moment with this book and I wanted to savor every moment.  There were surprises of joy, love, forgiveness, and sometimes deep sadness that I couldn't imagine around every bend.   

This book ended so well but yet I want to know more.  I can't wait for the next book.  I just have to find out about everyone.   
A wonderful, wonderful read!  
I received this books for free. I was not required to write a positive review.
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Suzanne is Queen for writing about the Old Order Amish. I have learned so much from reading her books. She has a way of evoking all of your emotions. I had a hard time putting this one down. Family's can be many things. It's not just your biological children or parents. Mending Fences shows us this through Amos and Fern Lapp. A beautiful Amish couple, you can't help but fall in love with. 
Fern was not able to have children but that did not stop her from helping Amos raise his son and daughters after losing his first wife. Fern is one with so much love to give. It doesn't matter who they are or where they came from, she always welcomes children of all ages into her home. This novel has so many life lessons entwined throughout this book. It's about family, forgiveness, faith and love.

Luke Schrock and Izzy Miller are two of these grown children that Amos and Fern have opened up their home to. Both have just come from a three month stay in an Amish Rehab home. Luke's biggest lesson is, you can gain forgiveness from someone for the foolish thing you may have done in the past. But there may have been great hurts or consequences not so easily over looked. 

This  is a book that kept me guessing until the end. Then left me wanting more. This is the first in Suzanne's new series The Deacon's Family. I can't wait to see what is coming next.

I received a copy of this book through Interviews and Reviews through Net Galley. The opinions in this review are my own.
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Mending Fences is the first of a new series, The Deacon’s Family.  

In this series, the author brings back many characters we have met in previous books.  It was delightful to catch up with them and see the role each one plays in this book, predominately centered around “Bad boy”, Luke Schrock, who has returned to Stoney Ridge after his third stint in rehab!  He finds that returning to the Amish community, normally known for readily forgiving and accepting those asking forgiveness is not what he finds this time.  People are very wary of his continued bad choices and he learns that he has to come to terms with himself, his relationship with the people, and most importantly, his relationship with God.  He finds that his behaviors were much more than just the childhood “pranks” he believed them to be.  They actually caused deep mental anguish for several of those he had offended.  He soon learns that he needs to apologize to each person and learn how they were affected by his actions.  Forgiveness and reconciliation are predominant in this story.

This is one book you won’t want to put down until you have read it in its entirety.  New characters and twists and turns to several of the plots keeps this book very interesting.  I can’t wait to read the next one in the series and see how each character’s life progresses.   

I was given a copy of this book by Revell publishers, through Netgalley.  I was not required to give a review.  The opinions expressed are my own.
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