Mending Fences

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

“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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I have read a few of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s books and I have to say that this has to be her best one yet! She shows us the the brokenness of the characters and makes it so real! Her characters had to face some really tough situations in this book. There was such a powerful message of forgiveness here! We have to learn to forgive others, but most importantly, we have to learn to forgive ourselves. I loved these characters and can’t wait to see what comes next for them in the next book! This is one book that I know I will have to read again!

I was given a complimentary copy of this ebook from the author, but was not required to write a review. The thoughts and comments are my own.
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Mending Fences is a very well written inspirational romance.  I really enjoyed the plot and the characters as well as the author’s writing.  Fans of Amish fiction will really enjoy this book.  I received an arc from Netgalley and this is my unbiased review.
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Oh my goodness! Suzanne Woods Fisher has done it again! I just might believe her latest book, Mending Fences, is my favorite. In the book, she takes us back to Stoney Ridge, where we get to spend time with all of our favorite characters: Amos and Fern Lapp, David Stoltzfus, Hank Lapp, and Luke Schrock. We also get to meet Izzy, a young girl with a troubled spirit and a childhood that haunts her. I can't tell you how many times I laughed out loud or cried while reading it (which I did in one day by the way!). Written in Fisher's cozy style, this story brings you straight to the heart of God: we are all lovable. We are all precious to Him, or in the words of Amos Lapp, "You're a pearl of great price to God." I am so excited to see where all of our friends from Stoney Ridge have ended up and can't wait to see where they head to in the next book of the series. 
As for this book, it follows the stories of Luke and Izzy, two troubled souls that end up at Fern and Amos' home, Windmill Farm. Izzy is searching for her birth mother; she wants answers to questions long carried within her. Life among the Amish is peaceful and healing for her. She enjoys the stability but she is afraid to give too much of herself. She is constantly worried that she will never be enough. Luke, on the other hand, has a lifetime of mishaps to make up for. When the bishop sends him on a "Mending Fences" assignment, Luke doesn't see the problem. He will apologize to the people he has hurt and then get on with his life. What he doesn't expect is to actually feel what he has done: to see the harm he has caused others or to have a desire to set things right. As God works in both Izzy and Luke's lives, it becomes apparent that they are both on a healing path. That sometimes the fences we mend are actually cracks in our own hearts. 
I absolutely loved this book! I will be waiting with excitement for book two in the series. Hurry Suzanne!!! If you have not read her books, then this is a good time to get started. If you have read others, then this one will also make you smile! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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It’s my first time reading anything by Suzanne Woods Fisher and I’m at a loss for words.

Trust me.  This is a good thing!

Unique writing style.  Beautifully detailed characters and setting.  God’s redeeming love.

The humor!  The tenderness!  The twists!!

Totally did not expect this book to unfold how it did.  To end how it did.

Five Outstanding Stars!!  Loved this!  LOVED THIS!!  Strongly recommend!  I am thoroughly impressed and absolutely looking forward to the next book!

Mending Fences, the first book in a new series called The Deacon’s Family, is available February 5, 2019.  Preorder today –

I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley.  A positive review was not required.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a delightful contemporary Amish novel about healing and new beginnings. It is the first book in a new series, The Deacon’s Family and I cannot wait for the subsequent books.
Broken people are at the heart of the story. Some are broken due to poor choices, others have been broken and shaped by childhood. “God does His best work with messes.” Events have coloured our view of ourselves. We need others to point out our true worth. “You’re not just a girl on the streets. You’re a child of God… a pearl of great price.” We need to turn to God and believe what He tells us. God loves us and His love “wasn’t finite… It was limitless.”
There are some huge hearts for people in the novel that believe that we all deserve second chances. She saw “troubled people… as if she could see the diamond inside.” Kindness, patience and even tough love can all help to transform the troubled soul. Once transformed, hearts want to pay it forward and help others in need.
The novel shows the destructive power of addiction. We need help to overcome and there needs to be a desire for change.
Every action has a consequence. So called pranks may have devastating effects. A misspent youth sees a character hoping to make amends.
We all carry burdens we were not made to carry. “There is no burden so great as that which is self-made.” We are our own worst critic. We need to hand our burdens to God and live in the freedom for which He has made us.
Baptism is important. It is an outward sign of an inner transformation. We need to check our motives for baptism, to make sure it is because we want to know God more.
The novel has a lightness of spirit. There are some highly amusing moments involving a cunning racoon. There are serious lessons to be learnt but in a very personable way. 
I loved Mending Fences. I always enjoy Suzanne Woods Fisher’s stories. They entertain and amuse as well as pointing us to God.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
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Mending Fences is sort of like a 12 step program for the Amish. After rehab from alcohol, an Amish man returns to his community to apologize and make amends for all the stupid things he did. It's not an easy task, and the story is well written to show the struggle of this. The characters grow and learn. They are thoughtful and kind and refreshing. I enjoyed this story of redemption. Fans of Amish fiction will enjoy this one. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Mending Fences is a unique story that takes an interesting approach at examining how the Amish live out forgiveness and reconciliation. As far as I can recollect, this is only the second story I've read that broaches the topic of alcoholism in the Amish community, however Luke's trouble-making  is what's dealt with in the story more than the struggle with alcohol. Just out of rehab (for the third time), Luke is sent to live with another family in the Amish community due to his own family being away to help his uncle. Because they have another young woman living with them, Amos and Fern tell Luke that he will be sleeping in a room in the barn. While he's not thrilled with his sleeping arrangements, he learns to live with them.

It was so refreshing to see a Bishop painted like David Stoltzfus. Although not in all cases, often in Amish Fiction the Bishops are characters to be feared and viewed more as disciplinarians than shepherds. David not only visited Luke in rehab, but he counseled him, encouraged him, and corrected him. His goal was clearly not just to punish Luke, but to see him grow as a man and follower of Christ. His hope was that Luke would not only change from his past, but learn from it. He came alongside Luke and encouraged him in his walk towards reconciling with those he'd hurt in the past and helped him process the changes in himself that came from those conversations. He was absolutely one of my favorite characters.

In the beginning of the book it says that while this is the first book in the series, many of the characters were introduced in previous books by the author. While I've read some of her other books, I haven't read the ones that the other characters were present in. I didn't have any issues reading this book as it is, but I won't lie I wish I'd read the others first so I could have learned the pasts of some of the other characters. I really love the depth of development Suzanne puts into each of her characters, and it really makes them come to life in your mind. I just might have to go back now and read the other books they're found in!

Another piece that I liked in this story, is that when Luke was supposed to be "mending fences" with those he'd hurt in the past by his immature actions, he was challenged to not only apologize, but ask how they'd been affected by them. I won't spoil any responses, but it was interesting to watch him learn that while he thought a "prank" might not have been a big deal, it could actually have a huge impact on someone else in ways he didn't consider. He grew not only through apologizing, but through understanding the damage he'd caused and seeking to make things right. The apology was just the first step.

I really enjoyed this story and will be keeping my eyes out for more releases in the series. I highly recommend to Amish fiction fans.

*I received a copy of this book through CelebrateLit and NetGalley. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
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Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher is book one in her The Deacon’s Family series. This series is new but many of the characters are old friends from previous series. Stoney Ridge is the setting for these series, and it feels like home. 

Luke Schrock is returning to Stoney Ridge after his latest trip to rehab. Due to unforeseen circumstances, he finds himself boarding with the Lapps, who own Windmill Farm. As part of Luke’s recovery from alcohol addiction he’s working on the Twelve Step Program. Amos Lapp and the district bishop encourage Luke to complete Step 8: Make a list of all persons you’ve harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all. Luke’s list is very long. 

Isabella “Izzy” Miller is a recent addition to the Stoney Ridge community. She’s also boarding with the Lapps. Izzy is dealing with her own demons, but has fully embraced the Plain lifestyle, if not the religion. 

Luke and Izzy are attracted to each other, though they do their best to deny and ignore it. They both come to realize that actions can have consequences far beyond what is seen on the surface. You may never know what’s going on beyond the obvious. Tearing down may be easy, but mending fences can be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. 

“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future”, one of my favorite quotes, is a resounding theme throughout the novel. There are surprising twists to the story. The characters are rich, and I found the complicated, but intriguing, character interrelationships added depth to the plot. 

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a master of Amish fiction and Mending Fences continues her legacy in the genre. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and look forward to the next in the series. Fans of chaste romance and/or religious fiction, especially Amish fiction, will enjoy this novel. Those bothered by religious themes may want to skip this one. 

My thanks to Revell and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
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I was drawn into this book immediately. The character of Luke was so compelling, that you could not help but cheer for him as he started to learn the meaning of selfishness, jealousy, consequences, and forgiveness. Luke is challenged by his bishop to go back and apologize to all those he hurt in his life. When he does, it opens his eyes as to how one small prank can cause years of heatache. Luke lives on Amos and Fern's farm. Amos doesn't believe Luke will change his ways. Another "hopeless" wanderer, Izzy lives on the farm too. She has proven to everyone she has given up her old ways and is now accepting Amish life. She is very wary of Luke. Together the two work separately to overcome obstacles and become servants of God.
It is a great story and the book leaves you hanging as to what happens next!
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A touching story of forgiveness and redemption. Would you be able to find people you have hurt in the past and ask for their forgiveness? Could you reach out and ask for a second chance? In this story, an honest vulnerability is found when Luke finally hits rock bottom and is given a choice to begin again. Each one of us can learn from this story. Great read. I received a complimentary copy of this book. This is my honest personal opinion. No review was required.
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Mending Fences begins with the unique plot of Amish Luke Schrock returning to his hometown after a stint in rehab to make amends for his past pranks.  He ends up sleeping in the barn on the farm of Amos and Fern Lapp where he meets Izzy Miller, a young woman the Lapps are also sheltering. It was interesting watching Luke try to make friends with Izzy, but she was a little too street smart for the handsome smooth talking Luke. Luke is rooming at the Lapps in exchange for helping Amos on the farm while working his way down his long list of people he needs to make amends to for past tricks and pranks. 

The story really started pulling me in as more of Izzy's history was revealed. Her circumstances were so heartbreaking.  I love how Amos was so gentle in his befriending of her, giving her time to see he only wanted to help her any way he and Fern could. I love all the insight into the Amish way of life, their traditions and their deep faith in God.
I had mixed emotions when a third of the way through the book the story took a turn of sorts, giving me the feeling I was reading two different books. Luke comes to the name Alice Smucker on his "make amends" list, a lady he pranked with a snake thrown into her buggy. My least favorite creature, but no problem, a few pages and the story will move on. Such was not the case. The entire middle of the book, over a hundred pages worth, dealt off and on with snakes, more than I ever wanted to know about them. This may suit others fine, but was a bit creepy for me

The last portion of the book had a good number of shocking reveals that took me by surprise,  These revelations were fascinating and solved several mysteries the reader had no idea about I would have enjoyed reading more about these secrets, as this is where the book really came together. 
The spiritual thread that has Luke seeing the error of his former ways and trying to become a better man was very touching. There were also a good number of Amish quotes and beliefs that were thoroughly charming. I appreciate Revell for providing a complimentary copy of Mending Fences for review.
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This contemporary Amish story was very good reading.  Luke Schrock is recovering after 3 times in rehab.  Living with Amos and Fern he becomes a useful hand on the farm.  However, he has obligations to fulfill.  That is to apologize to each and every person that he hurt or in someway did something to which he should not have done.  The list is long... And then he is to find out how what he did to them affected them and how he can rectify that for them.  He lives on the same farm as Izzy, also recovering and under the care of Amos and Fern.  There are some underlying story lines that will keep you totally engaged.

The storyline is very interesting and a good story of repentance, forgiveness, human feelings and issues in people's lives to overcome and deal with.

Luke is a very likeable character despite his flaws. Izzy too!  I was completely immersed!  I hope it's not too long of a wait for book 2!  It was a wonderful book!  You will want to read this one!

I received an ebook copy from NetGalley.  All thoughts are my own.
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