On my way home from visiting family at Christmas, I read another great Amish book -- The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher. This is the third book in Suzanne's Lancaster County Secrets series, and I consider it her best yet. The characters are fun to get to know, and the story has several twists and turns as it develops. Bertha Riehl is a tough lady -- with a soft heart as gentle as the delicate roses she grows. Bess Riehl is a typical Amish teenager who learns and grows and matures in a single summer much more than she could have every imagined. And Lainey O'Toole -- well, she never dreamed her life could be turned so topsy-turvy in such a short amount of time. Reading the inter-related stories of these three and the men and boys in their lives brought at various times tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.
And Suzanne threw into the story some great lessons on forgiveness that really spoke to me. Here are a couple of quotes:
"Jesus was teaching him that we don't live by careful bookkeeping. Through God's mercy, bookkeeping has given way to extravagant generosity."
"I knew I couldn't forgive others without God's help. He said that we fail in the work of grace and love when there is too much of us and not enough of God."
Good stuff! I highly recommend this book. This story does not depend on the previous ones in the series -- but why not enjoy them all!