Book Review: Mending Fences

Suzanne Woods Fisher begins her new series, The Deacon’s Family, with  Mending Fences. Set in Lancaster County, PA Mending Fences tells the story of Windmill Farm and the family that grows from the compassionate hearts of Amos and Fern Lapp. Luke Schrock, a recovering alcoholic comes back to Stoney Ridge with the intentions to start again by making amends with those on his list of people he has hurt. There he meets Izzy Miller, fellow graduate of the recovery program he was in. Luke finds Izzy to be a bit of a mystery and possibly the only woman alive who has not fallen lovesick at his feet.

Suzanne weaves a beautiful story in Mending Fences. She thoughtfully intertwines characters previously mentioned in other series, and develops these characters to create a rich story that will touch your heart. With an unexpected twist, Suzanne Woods Fisher combines themes of pride, judgement, humility, compassion, restitution and forgiveness.

A little skeptical at first, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Mending Fences goes beyond addressing our personal failures into seeing the ripple effect we unwittingly cause. My favorite theme of this book is restitution, an often overlooked aspect of today’s gospel. While God never requires us to work for His forgiveness and grace, His presence in our heart should bring about a desire to make things right with those we have wronged. We see this in Zacchaeus and others who are changed by Christ. The journey of Luke Schrock is a beautiful depiction of how God’s grace changes a person from the inside out.