Good Day! Motorhomes, Maps and Murder by Tonya Kappes is the fifth book in A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series. It will be out on February 11 along with Friends to the End by Shelley Shepard Gray. Eclairs, Scares and Haunted Home Repairs by Erin Johnson will be out soon (around Feb. 18). I will be featuring this new Spells & Caramels tale on February 18.
Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher takes us on a journey to Stoney Ridge, Pennsylvania. Luke Schrock has just finished rehab for the third time and is returning to his hometown. Luke is not sure of the reception he will receive after the various stunts he has pulled over the years. Bishop David Stoltzfus meets Luke’s bus and takes him to Windmill Farm owned by Fern and Amos Lapp. Luke will live in the barn since the Lapp’s have Izzy Miller, another recovering alcoholic, staying in their home. He will work on the farm in exchange for room (aka bed in tack room) and board. While the Amish have forgiven Luke, they do not trust him. Bishop Stoltzfus has a plan to remedy the situation. He hands Luke a thick packet of papers which lists the people he has harmed over the years and what he did to the individual. Luke must make a sincere apology to each person and then ask how his actions harmed them. He immediately starts on his “mending fences” list, but Luke is unprepared to hear the consequences his actions caused. Luke tries all his usual charming tricks to get Izzy to befriend him, but she continues to remain cold and distant. Luke asks what he can do to prove himself to her and Izzy asks that he locate her mother whom she has not seen she was four years old. What Luke uncovers will surprise and shock several members of the community. See how Luke makes amends and Izzy’s amazing journey in Mending Fences.
Mending Fences is the first novel in The Deacon’s Family series. While it is the first book in a new series, it is based on characters and setting from The Inn at Eagle Hill, Stoney Ridge Seasons and The Bishop’s Family series. Personally, I found it helpful to have read The Inn at Eagle Hill series prior to picking up Mending Fences. I thought Mending Fences was well-written with good flow and steady pacing. It contains developed characters and a lovely setting (I especially liked Windmill Farm). I was drawn into the story right away and wanted to keep reading to see how Luke would fare with his “mending fences” list he received from Bishop Stoltzfus. Luke never realized that his pranks (as he called them) had a harmful outcome, but he soon learns that his actions had devastating consequences for some people. While Luke is outgoing and charming, Izzy is withdrawn and thoughtful. She is wary of Luke thanks to her upbringing in the foster care system and her time on the streets. Izzy came to Windmill Farm and reveled in the peace of the farm. Izzy enjoys the Plain lifestyle and wants to remain with the them. Luke and Izzy both have obstacles to overcome and growing up to do. With the help of Amos, Fern, David and God, they just might succeed (I do not want to spoil it for you). Suzanne Woods Fisher created wonderful characters. You cannot help but wanting to know more about them. Fern is a caring and compassionate woman who has faith that Luke will change. Amos is a hardworking farmer who wants to protect Izzy. It took them a long time to earn her trust and Amos does not want Luke messing up the progress Izzy has made. Amos is wary of Luke and not sure if he has the ability to change his ways. Bishop David Stoltzfus has endless patience and remains calm during trying times. There is humor in the story thanks to Bob, Amos’ buggy horse and a peanut butter loving racoon. It was interesting how certain events and people can touch so many lives. Two of my favorite phrases in the book is “love is not finite” and “God is love”. I thought Mending Fences was a thoughtful, heartwarming and inspirational story. I am giving Mending Fences 4.5 out of 5 stars (I more than liked it). I am eager to read the next installment in The Deacon’s Family series.
I hope you have found my thoughts on Mending Fences helpful. Tomorrow I am going to review Friends to the End by Shelley Shepard Gray. It is the prequel to The Walnut Creek Series. Thank you for visiting today. I hope you have an uplifting day. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader