Two Steps Forward by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the third in the “Deacon Family Series.” The first is Mending Fences, followed by Stitches in Time. This third installment did not disappoint! We follow the stories of Sylvie Schrock King and Jimmy Fisher through large life transitions, challenging decisions, and watch as their stories entwine with the other members of their community and relevant social issues.
Honestly I find these books completely intriguing. The simplicity juxtaposed to the depth of the characters just draws me in and makes them captivating. Fisher is a talented writer, not only does she create characters you want to know more, but she has intertwined so many novels and the connections are incredible. Characters reappear throughout all of her stories leading you back to ones you have never read or keep you waiting with baited breath for the next one. That’s how I felt about On a Summer Tide, part of the “Three Sisters Island” trilogy, as well.
As with all of Fisher’s books the reader is able to feel fully invested knowing you will hear about characters again, when a single book or even an entire series comes to close, it does not mean you have heard the last from Fisher’s characters. I love reading about where these people’s lives end up, and then even with minor characters how their lives have continued on and you see them become major players in other books. The reader continues to learn little details about these new friends, and if you are lucky enough to connect the dots the stories are simply fascinating.
In Two Steps Forward I found myself cheering for the romance, but also holding back slightly hoping for the depth of Sylvie and Jimmy’s relationship to deepen and for them to understand themselves more. I found myself totally invested in Jimmy’s process to self actualization and his growth into maturity. As you watch Sylvie and Jimmy grow through the book you can truly hope in the romance itself. I love that Fisher incorporated social issues, in this book. She touches on abortion and adoption as well as family dynamics. In a world where all families look different the story itself is encouraging and hopeful.
This series is true to all I love about Amish fiction, which I am quite familiar with, but is just a bit deeper and more engaging because Fisher wrote it. Her expertise and passion for Amish culture and life shines through in the nuances and in the plot as a whole. While still rooted in the culture it acknowledges a modern and changing world in which the Amish people are surrounded. The Amish in Fisher’s story struggle, realistically, with being “in the world” but not “of the world,” which is core principle of their faith. Fisher carries this balance well. While being realistic about changing times and the ways the Amish may respond or adjust there is not a complete intrusion of modern “English” culture into the lives of her characters. I can only imagine how hard this is to write, let alone live.
Thanks to the Revell Reads program, and the publisher, for my copy of this book. All opinions shared here are hones and my own. You can read more about the plot below.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Back and broke in Stoney Ridge, Jimmy Fisher has coasted as long as he could through life on charm, good looks, and deep-set dimples. They always worked just fine for him–until they didn’t. His smile has no effect on the violet-eyed beauty he met at the Bent N’ Dent, the one with that stunning horse. She’s offered him a job, but nothing else.
The last thing Sylvie Schrock King needs around Rising Star Farm is a grown boy working for her, especially her neighbor Edith’s son. The woman holds a serious grudge against Sylvie and her son, and hiring Jimmy Fisher will only fan the flames of Edith’s rancor. But Sylvie is desperate for help on the farm, and Jimmy understands horses like no one else.
While Jimmy’s lazy smile and teasing ways steal Sylvie’s heart, Edith is working on a way to claim her land. Has Sylvie made another terrible mistake? Or is it too late to outfox the fox? More importantly . . . just who is the fox?