Along Wooded Paths by Tricia Goyer is unlike any Amish book I have ever read. Typically the Amish are portrayed as steadfast and unwavering, except those few who convert to the English life-style. This author gives us an inside look at the struggles of one woman, Marianna, as she tries to choose between a God-fearing Englischer or the Amish man she left behind in Indiana, who has come for a visit. It’s nice to know that the Amish are normal people with normal struggles when dealing with right and wrong – or sometimes just good and better.
At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like this story. Marianna comes off a bit selfish in the beginning and that kind of threw me. I kept reading, however, and am glad I did so. She realizes her self-centeredness and puts aside her own struggles to help others. I, too, sometimes focus to much on myself and forget that others have needs greater than my own. In the end, she makes the choice that is right for her (no spoilers allowed here).
Although proud of living apart from the world, Marianna Sommer’s newly relocated Amish family is discovering that life in the remote mountains of Montana requires working together with the Englisch.
As Marianna pours her life into helping those around her-and receiving their help-her heart further considers two directions. She’s torn between the Amish man from Indiana whom she has long planned on marrying and the friendly Englischer who models a close walk with God like she’s never seen before.
Who should have young Marianna’s heart? What is God asking of her through ongoing family struggles and this romantic and spiritual tension? The answer is found along the wooded paths.