Lancaster County has always been her home - but where does her heart belong? One moment Carrie Weaver was looking forward to running away with Lancaster Barnstormers pitcher Solomon Riehl - plans that included leaving the Amish community where they grew up. The next moment she was staring into a future as broken as her heart. Now, Carrie is faced with a choice. But will this opportunity be all she hoped? Or will this decision, this moment in time, change her life forever? A tender story of love, forgiveness, and looking below the surface, The Choice uncovers the sweet simplicity of the Amish world - and shows that it’s never too late to find your way back to God.
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Both Amish, Carrie Weaver and Daniel Miller are much in love. A baseball player, Daniel, is about to go pro. When Carrie's life changes, so does her choice of future husband. And with a younger brother to care for who suffers from hemophilia, Carrie must choose for more than herself alone.
I listened to this on audio with a download from Audible.com. The narrator's voice seemed more suited to the female antagonist in the story than to the Amish characters, which was distracting. However, I always try to not hold that against the author when I am listening, as they have no control over this. Unless they are Liz Curtis Higgs who recently narrated her own audiobooks (which was a fabulous gift for her readers!)
I would describe this as an almost “literary” Amish book with romantic elements. It was most unusual. If you are anticipating a formulaic Amish story – forget it! Suzanne Woods Fisher had more twists and turns in her story than in Amish country near the Ohio River!
SPOILER ALERT: I will warn the reader that there is an important death that almost stopped me from finishing listening to the rest of the book. I was angry with Suzanne – yup, she had violated my expectations for a romance. Guess what?! This is not a romance. It is an Amish fiction with romantic elements, some women’s fiction to it, suspense, and a literary twist. So I had to get over my irritation as I do not like big surprises in my reading. My friend and author, Dina Sleiman, who has an MFA degree would likely be jumping for joy at literary quality of this book. I, on the other hand, like my reads or listens to be fairly straight forward with no killing off of someone I have begun to get attached to in the story.
Back to the previous programming - That being said, the rest of the novel was very well done and Suzanne needed the plot element for her heroine’s emotional and spiritual arc. There is an arsonist amongst the characters and she does a great job of obscuring just who that might be.
Forgiveness is a huge theme in this book and in many Amish books. Carrie has made choices that she has to address. Some of her decisions require forgiveness of herself. One of the male protagonists makes a sacrificial choice that has ramifications that ripples throughout the family. I found that fascinating how Suzanne spun that storyline across so many characters’ story arcs.
I really loved two secondary characters’s romance. They were a really fun couple and I was glad the author put them together. And the inclusion of a subplot about Carrie’s younger brother who has hemophilia was very gripping and just another example of the many layers of this story.
Second spoiler alert: I was rewarded for my continued reading with a happy ending! Gotta love a happy ending.
Bibliotherapy: Hemophilia, bereavement, forgiveness, and life’s transitions. Disability Friendliness: Available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle or ebook, and audio versions as well as large print.
An ECPA, CBA and CBD Bestseller, Crossings' Main Selection, Doubleday, Literary Guild and BookSpan selection! (This information copied from Suzanne's website.)
Sometimes it is nice to read a book that takes you into a story that glides along without adrenaline rushes or tension yet holds your attention. For me, this was one of those books. A lovely story about (mostly) loving people. The book was very well written and I love the narrator who adds much richness to every story she reads.