Long ago, I grew tired of Amish fiction, and now I rarely read it. But I always, always, always make time for Suzanne Woods Fisher's Amish novels. I can't get enough of them! A heart once deceived should not be easily fooled again . . . Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. But as her plans crumble before her eyes, she struggles to face an uncertain future. When a widow asks for help starting a new business, Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose. What she doesn't need is attention from Andy Miller, a farmhand who arrives at the widow's farm just when help is most needed--and who always seems to say the right thing and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy for real or too good to be true? She's been deceived once before, and she isn't planning on experiencing it again. Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Stoney Ridge for a tale of love, uncertainty, and trusting God to write your story.
When it comes to reviewing Suzanne Woods Fisher's novels, sometimes I feel like a broken record, always talking about relatable characters, spiritual lessons that aren't preachy, and laugh out loud moments. The thing is, it's true—her novels always contain these elements. The Imposter is no different. In fact, I was only about four pages into the novel when I laughed for the first time. Many more laughs followed, most due to the beloved Hank Lapp, who has appeared in many of Fisher's novels.
The Imposter is the first book in the new Bishop's Family series, which is set in the familiar Stoney Ridge Amish community. This first novel focuses on titular bishop David Stoltzfus (who isn't actually a bishop in this book—I'm guessing that's to come later), a widowed minister who recently moved to Stoney Ridge, and two of his children, Katrina and Jesse. Katrina is reeling after the breakup of a relationship she thought would result in marriage; Jesse is a 16-year-old boy who means well but has a lazy streak and a knack for getting in serious trouble. Jesse reminded me very much of Jimmy Fisher, who, like Hank Lapp, frequently pops up in Fisher's novels. Since Jimmy Fisher is only present in a small portion of The Impostor (though he's mentioned more frequently), I enjoyed having another Jimmy-esque character to take up the mantle of wayward, well-meaning boy.
While I loved these characters (and others), the plot is what really hooked me. You won't get this from the book summary, as it speaks only of Katrina and her possible romance with Andy, but much of the plot is focused on the pull within the Stoney Ridge Amish community to modernize and give up some of their long held traditions. Basically, it's a war within church leadership, and I found that fascinating—and not something I've ever before encountered in an Amish novel.
Fisher's long-time readers will enjoy checking in with beloved characters (and finally seeing Hank's love life take a giant step forward), and new readers will discover what those of us who have long been on this ride already know: Stoney Ridge is a special place, and it's always worth a visit. 5 stars.
Read my reviews of Fisher's Inn at Eagle Hill series: The Letters (3-1/2 stars), The Calling (5 stars), The Rescue (novella: 4-1/2 stars), The Revealing (5 stars); her Stoney Ridge Seasons series: The Haven (4-1/2 stars), The Lesson (4-1/2 stars); her Christmas books: A Lancaster County Christmas and Christmas at Rose Hill Farm (4-1/2 stars), and her Amish Beginnings novel: Anna's Crossing(4-1/2 stars). Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna's Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as 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 Twitter @suzannewfisher. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell through the Revell Reads program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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