The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the second book in The Inn at Eagle Hill series. As it opens, Bethany Schrock finds her life unsettled and troubled. Her father has recently died following the scandalous demise of his investment business, her brother has disappeared, and she has ended a romance with Jake Hertzler, fearing he was somehow involved in the failure of her father's business. As her step-mother tries to build a new livelihood for the family as innkeepers, Bethany has consented to help five elderly Amish sisters clear decades of clutter of their home. While Bethany's heart may not be truly into her work, she can't imagine what else she should do with her time. She certainly isn't interested in courting and she certainly doesn't want anything to do with Jimmy Fischer despite his adorable smile and his obvious interest in her.
When Geena, an "Englisher" youth pastor without a church shows up at the inn for a much needed vacation and retreat, Bethany finds someone she can confide in. Together, the women learn more about the elderly Amish sisters and their quiet ways of helping others. However, when Bethnay's brother comes home, it appears that danger is not far behind.
The Calling ranks a five star among Amish novels. Too often I find the characters in Amish fiction are mere paper doll cut-outs, near duplicates of characters in other books. Not so in this book.
Bethany, her half-sister Mim, Jimmy Fischer, his mother Edith, and even the elderly clutter-loving sisters are all unique and memorable. In many other novels, the Englishers are portrayed as villainous characters destined to lead the innocent Amish astray or they are naive admirers of the Plain lifestyle, serving as mere witnesses to the true action. Not so Geena, lawyer Allen Turner, and troubled teen Rusty -- all are depicted realistically and their interactions add much to the book. I hope that their stories, as well as Bethany's and Mim's will continue in the third book of the series, The Revealing.
Suzanne Woods Fisher has earned a spot as a favorite author of the Amish tales. Check out her http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/ to learn more about her other books, both fiction and nonfiction.
I want to thank Revell Publishing for a review copy of this title. All opinions expressed are mine.