The Choice: A Review

I know, I know – another Amish book?  I thought the same thing. Just how many haystack dinners, Sunday Singings, Shoo Fly pies and general gemutlichkeit can one person take, huh?

But, The Choice is different than many other Amish fiction books I’ve read. Here you’ll find the typical gentle, slow-moving Amish life on steroids.  There are deaths, multiple trips to the hospital, accidents, marriages, widowings (is that a word?) … suffice it to say that you will not be bored with The Choice.

The book centers around sweet Amish Carrie (pictured on the cover) and the choices she has to make. She has several choices, from whom to marry to whether she should sell her farmland.

It’s a book with so much adventure that you’ll want to keep reading once you’ve picked it up. The characters, although many, are well-developed and believable (the one exception in my mind was the book’s “villain” who I felt to be pretty caricatured), and by the end of the book you’ll feel you really know them.

Suzanne Woods Fisher, the author, comes by her Amish interest honestly. Her grandfather was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Pennsylvania. She has also written the non-fiction Amish Peace.

Suzanne seems like a wonderful person in real life – I emailed her a few questions about the book, and she actually took the time to reply.

I asked, This was a complicated plot – lots of tragedies, characters, etc. What was your method in writing? Did you have the entire book outlined before you began writing, or did you just begin with a basic idea and see what the characters would “do” as you began to write?

Suzanne:  I think of writing as painting an oil painting. First, you get the basics down, then you fill in with shadowing, color and light, etc.  And I choose the metaphor of oil painting because you can make mistakes on oil!  So I start with the basic outline in my mind of where the book is headed, and then fill in.  It’s surprising how some characters jump to the forefront, almost as if they take on a life of their own.  Attitude, too!

Was it difficult to come up with the idea for this book? What things typically inspire you with ideas for your writing?

Suzanne:  A few years ago, my niece gave me a book called “So You Want to Write” by Brenda Ueland (written in 1938!). There was a phrase, “Everyone is talented, interesting, and has something important to say.” I loved that remark! I realized that I was the only one holding myself in a box…thinking I could only write non-fiction. So I quietly started a novel…didn’t even tell my husband or kids! Four months later, I had the first draft done of “Copper Star.” That book was published by a small press, won three literary awards, and it opened the door to a literary agent and contracts with Revell. So I encourage other writers to not limit themselves…not in any way. The ideas will come! God blesses our imaginations in amazing ways…but we have to ask, first! We have to start…and trust in the outcome.

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The Choice is available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

3 thoughts on “The Choice: A Review

  1. What an honor to have the author herself pay your blog a visit!

  2. Nice review!

    I also enjoyed “The Choice” and look forward to reading Suzanne Woods Fisher’s next novel.

    I thought the plot was great – robust and satisfying – like a flavourful wine. There were twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. There were love triangles, wise old grandmas, wise elders who gave loving counsel, caring sisters, jail birds, guarded secrets, mystery, and sweet, sweet romance. The chemistry between the two main characters was very believable and I enjoyed it immensely.

    -Tracy

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