Thursday, October 13, 2011

Along a Wooded Path

The colors in Northeastern Wisconsin are just beautiful this time of year. The forests look like they are on fire with a million different shades of red, orange, and yellow. It makes even the most normal and quiet country road look like something out of a movie. The colors are so brilliant, for me, it's impossible not to find joy in just looking out the window each morning. But I found myself thinking the other day about how the leaves are so beautiful when they are dying. The most picturesque times of year up here are spring, when the trees are budding with blossoms and new leaves, and fall.

It made me realize that the most beautiful people that I know are those who have faced trouble and even tragedy in their lives. It may not give them physical beauty, but there is an innate radiance that draws people to them, even as the fall colors draw tourists up north to gaze in wonder. I have learned some of the most powerful lessons in my life from my children when they were small and filled with that strange wisdom many children seem to innately possess or from people who have faced death, mental, physical, or spiritual, and come away from it stronger, with a deeper faith and trust in God.

I think there's a parallel in there that could only from a Creator who didn't make a single thing or person in the world without thought and purpose.

Along Wooded Paths by Tricia Goyer is the second book in the Big Sky series about Marianna Sommer who moved with her family from Indiana to an Amish community in Montana to start anew. At the end of Beside Still Waters, the previous book, Marianna had decided to stay in Montana and continue enjoying the new depth of her relationship with God, despite her growing feelings for Englischer, Ben. Aaron, the man Marianna left behind in Indiana, decides to head to Montana and determine whether she still loves him and will return with him to the house he built with her in mind. Shortly after his arrival, Aaron is in a car accident that leaves him with a broken leg and forced to live with the Sommer family and rely upon their mercy. While there, he can't help but notice Marianna's comfortableness with working outside the home, as well as her relationship with Ben. Goyer does a terrific job at keeping readers guessing in this romance. In many romances, it's obvious who the heroine should choose, but here it's not so obvious. Both Aaron and Ben are good men with genuine feelings for Marianna, but if she should choose Ben, it means leaving behind her whole way of life and family. Marianna's choice will not be an easy one, and with the shocking revelation at the end of this story, Goyer will have readers highly anticipating the next book in the series.

Thank you to B&H Books for providing me with a copy of this book for review.