|SEATTLE: Every now and then, you read a book about a family you wish you belonged to. The Lapp family in Suzanne Woods Fisher's The Keeper (Revell, ISBN : 978-0-8007-1987-6, $14.99, Jan. 1, 2012) is one of those families: amusing, endearing, with hearts as big as Lancaster County. Even though life on the farm hasn't been the same since Julia Lapp's father has had trouble with his heart, Julia still hopes for a bright future. She has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. |
Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation.
But when Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding--again--she is determined to change his mind. She knows who is to blame for Paul's sudden reluctance to wed: the Bee Man.
Roman Troyer, the Bee Man, travels through the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania with his hives full of bees, renting them out to farmers in need of pollinators. A mysterious man who relishes his nomadic life, Roman especially enjoys bringing his bees to Stoney Ridge each year. But with Julia seriously at odds with him, Windmill Farm is looking decidedly less appealing.
"My Amish friends' red windmill inspired this story," says Fisher. "It became a metaphor for my experiences with the Amish-they're always surprising me! The Lapp family has a red windmill on their farm, too, and they're a quirky, endearing family whom I think readers will quickly love."
In The Keeper, Julia Lapp has to keep her faith in order to deal with the uncertainty of her dreams and trust that God's plans are the perfect ones for her.
"Packed with romance, secrets, betrayal, and forgiveness-Fisher knows her Amish history and stays true to their beliefs and way of life."
-RT Book Reviews
About the Author
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of 'The Lancaster County Secrets' series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including the ECPA finalists Amish Peace and Amish Proverbs. The Waiting was a 2011 Christy finalist and The Choice was a 2011 Carol Award finalist. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is the host of a popular internet radio show called "Amish Wisdom" and a columnist for "Christian Post". She lives in California with her family and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Suggested Interview Questions
* The main character of The Keeper is Julia Lapp, a young lady with a lot of questions about God's will on her mind. What does she want for her life and what is it that causes her to question if that's what God also wants?
* Tell us how you relate to Julia- when have you felt that God might be leading you away from what you wanted because he had something else in store for your life?
* When people talk about "The Amish," they tend to think of them as all being very similar, but you say there are actually a number of differences. What are some of those and what makes them different from each other?
* If you look at statistics for young people on the whole, we see that our culture is marrying much later than they used to. Many cite career or the cost of college or simply time to enjoy the freedom to choose. But Amish culture is very different. What are some of the practical reasons many are still marrying at the same ages as in generations past?
* Without giving away too much, one of the elements in the story is a heart transplant, something we don't typically associate with the Amish. Can you speak to how the Amish interact with modern medicine? What kinds of services might they use and how do they pay for it, given that they don't use insurance?
* You enjoy doing research for your books. Tell us a little about how you researched some of the elements in this book- everything from heart transplants to migratory bee keeping.
* Amish fiction is also still on the rise. It's been stated that it is now 18% of the Christian fiction market. Why do you think the sub-genre continues to grow? What are readers looking for in Amish fiction?
Suzanne Woods Fisher is available for national interviews to promote the release of The Keeper. To request a review copy, schedule an interview or for more information, please contact Christy Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org.