Sunday, July 21, 2013
Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer - Review of the first book in A Big Sky Novel series
Marianna Sommers was born early due to a freak accident that killed her two older sisters, Marilyn and Joanna. Her parents and older brother survived but her mother went into premature labor and her dad named her Marianna after the older sisters that were killed. She lived her life in Indiana and planned on marrying Aaron Zook once they started courting and both joined the church.
The family was blessed with three more boys and a daughter. Levi, her brother that survived the accident, left the Amish when he got older. Marianna spent her life taking care of the younger siblings, doing chores and working for a neighbor taking care of kids. She had little time to herself and always seemed sad but kind, didn't express any anger over her situation. She did wish she had been able to know Marilyn and Joanna to know what they were like and wondered how her life would be different if the accident never happened. Even though she and Aaron weren't courting she knew that he planned on marriage too and was even starting to build a house for them.
Things changed when her dad decided to move his family to Montana, she thought about staying in Indiana with her Aunt, after all she would be 20 in about a month. When she was told that her mother was in the family way again, she decided she didn't have any choice but to go with them. She couldn't explain to Aaron why she had to go, it wasn't her place to tell that news. Her mother was reluctant to move too but her dad wouldn't let her talk him into staying in Indiana.
How do you think you would handle thinking that you weren't good enough your whole life? Your birthday brings back the memory of two dead sisters that you're named after and your parents always talk about how 'good' each of the girls were. Would you feel like you were forgotten yet you're right in front of them, like you don't even mean anything to them? The whole community seems to look at you with sympathy because they know the whole story and see how it's affected your family throughout the years.
What a good book this was and Tricia makes you feel the sorrow within Marianna's heart. Through it all she stays true to her faith. I've had this book for quite some time and finally pulled it out of my 'to read' pile and have started the second one, Along Wooded Paths, as I'm anxious to move ahead in Marianna's life with her. There is one more book in the series, Beyond Hope's Valley, I now have to get that so I'll be able to finish her story. Tricia did a wonderful job.