Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Keeper, by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Julia Lapp is once again stunned by Paul Fisher, the boy she has planned on marrying since she was a girl, when he tells her he wants to postpone the wedding again. But she is not taking his change of heart siting down: she will do whatever it takes to change his mind, even confronting the man she knows is behind Paul's decision: Roman Troyer, the Bee Man.

Roman is a mysterious man who never shares information about himself, his family, his life. He travels through Amish communities renting his bees to farmers. Never one to settle down in one place for long, he is now intrigued by Julia, who confronts him for his part in Paul's decision. Will Julia be able to change Paul's mind and have her wishes come true?

This is much more than a love story with sort of a love triangle. This is a story about family, about sharing one's heart and giving ourselves completely for love, about conquering our fears, living in faith and trusting God.

Julia has held on for so long to her dream of marrying Paul that she has lost respect for herself and has lost sight of what God's will is for her. She will grow, she will learn, and she will know by the book's end what real love is.

She has a family in need: a shy sister, a special needs brother, a trouble maker 12 year old sister, a sick father in need of a heart transplant but refusing to have one. The stories of each character are compelling, funny at times, sweet and heartbreaking at others.

However, the way the story is told did not work for me. There were too many different points of view that did not make sense. It was enough with Julia's, Paul's and Roman's.

I did enjoyed it. It was a nice read, predictable but very sweet. The Choice was the first book I read from Suzanne Woods Fisher, and I was actually afraid of how many deaths there would be in this one. One, just one, but, although expected, it is painful to read. It will not distract from the love story or the enjoyment of the book in general, but it's still sad.

The character I enjoyed the most? Fern, a stern, wise, and in her own way sweet woman brought in as a housekeeper to help the Lapps. She has  proverbs (I'm guessing Amish proverbs) for everything and that will make you want to go back in the book just to write them down and memorize them. Excellent character.

This is the first in the series, and it is a very good start.

3.5 stars

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