Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Review: "The Waiting" by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Jorie King has been waiting for Benjamin Zook to return home to Lancaster County so they can marry. When news arrives that Ben has been killed, Jorie finds comfort in the friendship of his brother Caleb. That friendship ripens into love, and it seems that they are meant to be together. But when the unexpected happens, their worlds are turned upside down once more. Will Jorie trust God to lead her into the arms of a new man?

I was confused when I started reading the book. The previous book in the series took place in modern day. This book however takes place during the Vietnam War. There was no indication either in the first book or this book that this was going to happen. Therefore I didn't see any ties at all between the two stories except that maybe they took place in the same town. The first book really intrigued me about the faith of the Amish as it was questioned. However that's not brought up at all in this book so I was quite disappointed.

When I first read that there was an African American character in the book, I was VERY excited. There has never been any Persons of Color in any other Amish book I read so I was excited to see how he would be used in the story. Well, my excitement died down fast. What could have been a very interesting addition to the story was pretty much avoided and this character was pretty much just background filler. What could have been a great opportunity to bring multiculturalism to Amish fiction was missed out completely.

I don't want to spoil the story but the one other issue I had with the book was the reaction to depression caused by the war. I just did not like the way the Amish handled it. I know they have their beliefs about medicine and interacting with the outside world. However, they have never really had to deal with war before and therefore didn't know the all the side effects caused by it. War is harsh and leaves an impact on the person that is hard to understand by those who did not see combat first hand. Just going back at home and relaxing is not going to cure a person. If this had been something more common, I could have understood the reaction. However because they didn't really know how to handle post traumatic stress disorder, the story made me feel as if medical attention to it is wrong. I felt as if I was being preached at.

Now I did like Jorie's character very much. She is the one person in the entire book who I felt for and wanted to read more of. Even though she's Amish, she's obviously had enough education to be able to teach and her thinking is more forward than most of the other members of her community. She isn't a rebel but she's not completely traditional either. She appeared to be more open minded as well. However except for her, I really could not gel with the rest of the characters or the entire story. While others may like this book, it just wasn't for me and I am not sure if I am going to continue with future books in the series.

The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher is published by Revell (2010)

This review copy was provided by the publisher

1 comment:

  1. Hi Deborah--
    So sorry you didn't enjoy this book. Amish fiction is different than other kinds of books--I can tell you wanted certain things to have happened. But the Amish aren't like us--they have their own way of viewing and interpreting the world.
    Anyway, you can't please everybody! Oh well. Thanks, anyway, for being a part of the blog.


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