Monday, January 9, 2012

Suzanne Woods Fisher - The Keeper - Review & Giveaway

Sometimes a book shatters stereotypes. The Keeper by Suzanne Woods Fisher does just that. The Amish culture is a mystery to most Americans. Their isolated, primitive lifestyle is closed off from mainstream influence, but as Fisher demonstrates they are not completely detached from the secular world. Families have pizza delivered. Teenage girls wear Spanx. Food is stored in a refrigerator. But the most surprising factor - upon which the book pivots - is that they partake of modern medicine in a hospital setting.

This homespun tale centers around the Lapp clan. With their mother already deceased, the children now face the possibility of losing their father if he does not receive a much-needed heart transplant. The eldest, Julia, is also suffering through additional heartache when her fiancee, Paul, calls off their engagement. Julia believes the culprit behind his change of heart is Roman, also known as the Bee Man. A loner who ventures into town once a year to pollinate the orchards of the surrounding farms, Julia feels his outspoken praise of the freedom of bachelorhood helps to derail her marriage plans. When Roman offers to stay with the Lapps for the entire summer in order to help get the farm back on track, Julia is fit to be tied.

The push and pull of the developing love story between Roman and Julia is a classic case of opposites attract. Julia begins to see the shortcomings in former fiancee's character. While Roman starts to realize that his flirtatious nature might draw women to his side, but why does he do everything in his power to keep them at arm's length? Secrets from his troubled past emerge when the reason behind his enforced isolation lies in a tragic family accident.

While the romance takes top billing, it is the characters that bring the story to life. Sadie, the middle sister, is pleasant and plump. Obsessed with her weight, she just can't resist helping herself to an extra sweet here and there. Meek and timid, she is infatuated with Roman, but always seems to make a fool out of herself in his presence. Menno is the boy in the family. Although simple minded, his sweet persona is beloved by people and animals alike. His faith in God is beautiful to behold and his unblemished outlook inspires all who come in contact with him. M.K., the baby sister, is a mischievous tomboy who gets into her fair share of scrapes. Although her heart is usually in the right place, her actions usually land her in a heap of trouble.

The newcomer to the family is Fern. Hired by their eccentric Uncle Hank, she moves into their home setting up command like a drill sergeant. She allows no one to meddle in her kitchen and sets the children to work on a multitude of chores. Although she displays a tough shell, she genuinely cares about the Lapps and gets everything running in tip top shape. Her own misfortune is in some way tied to Roman's, and their connection to a shared sense of pain helps them both to heal.

The lush descriptions of summer on the farm create a vivid, welcoming atmosphere throughout the book. Buggy rides are interspersed with quilting and gardening, immersing the narrative in the Amish culture. However, the plot lines are universal and the interior motivations are relatable regardless if the character is wearing a prayer cap or not. What cements the story in the reader's mind is the strong feeling of family that permeates throughout.

There is only one slight off-note near the conclusion. When a dire circumstance turns into a mixed blessing, it is heralded only as a triumph. This sudden turn-of-events seemed to gloss over a terrible occurrence in order to focus on the positive aspect. This disconnect was a bit jarring. Focusing on the good news is always a priority, but not at the expense of what the subsequent misfortune truly means to the characters in the story.

On the whole, The Keeper delivers in terms of quality read that is grounded in God and devoid of foul language and explicit scenes. For its intended audience, it is a delightful story that is uplifting and full of spirit. With sequels on the way, the goings-on of the Lapp family will certainly leave readers clamoring for more.

Overall, nothing proclaims love like a beating heart.


The Keeper by Suzanne Woods Fisher is available for $14.99 at Amazon.com and at SuzanneWoodsFisher.com.

Review copy provided by Lit Fuse Blog Tours.

It’s a “Honey of a Giveaway” from Suzanne Woods Fisher!


Suzanne is hosting a "honey of a giveaway"during the
blog tour for The Keeper! During 1/3-1/17 you can enter to win an iPad2 from Suzanne and connect with her on January 17th at The Keeper Facebook Party!


During the giveaway one Grand Prize winner will receive a Prize Pack valued at $600:
  • A brand new 16 KB iPad 2 with Wi-Fi

  • A $25 gift certificate to iTunes

  • A copy of The Keeper
But wait there's more! Just click one of the icons below to enter, then on 1/17 join Suzanne for The Keeper Facebook Party! During the party Suzanne will announce the winner of the "Honey" of an iPad Giveaway and host a fun book chat and give away some fun "honey" inspired prizes - It'll be 'sweet"!

RSVP early and tell your friends!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 17th!

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for your review of The Keeper. I found that Roman will be with the family for the summer to help them. Paul doesn't seem like the one to join in with this family during their need. I look forward to joining in with everyone at the Blog Party on the 17th!
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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  2. This review just encourages me more that this is the perfect book to read at this time in my life. I need something that reinforces the belief in family, love and community.

    Thank you for being part of this blog tour!

    Gena Robertson
    robertsongena@hotmail.com

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  3. Lane Hill House and Gena - thank you for taking the time to comment.

    Lane Hill - absolutely, Roman is certainly the one who lends a hand.

    Gena - I think you would enjoy this one very much.

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  4. Hi Christen--Wow...you are a thorough, attentive reader! Thank you for that...for taking such care with an author's work. I genuinely appreciate it! And loved your review, too. You'll find out more about how the family copes with the events at the end of this story in Sadie's book, "The Haven." And yet the Amish really do have a sense of yielding to God's perfect will and not fighting the circumstances that are thrown at them. As a result, they move quickly to healing. Thank you again, Christen! Warmly, Suzanne

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  5. Suzanne, it's an honor to have you stop by. Thanks for your kind words, and I eagerly await "The Haven."

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