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Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher: Book Review

About the Book:                         mendingfences 

Title: Mending Fences

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Publisher: Revell

Publication Date: February 5, 2019

Book Blurb:

Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.

Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him.

Amos and Fern Lapp allow Luke to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, Luke must make a sincere apology to each person he’s hurt–a four-page, single-spaced list. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused.

Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused . . . that isn’t so simple. It’s gut-wrenching.

And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm. Luke’s clumsy efforts to befriend Izzy only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge.

Bestselling and award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher returns to her beloved Stoney Ridge for this brand-new series featuring some of her readers’ favorite characters.

Book Review:

Let me be honest here, I didn’t think I was going to like Luke. But that was all part of the charm of Mending Fences. The first few chapters show Luke the alcoholic, and that version of Luke was immature, self-pitying, and destructive despite his having spent nearly the last year in rehab. All of those characteristics are part and parcel to a recovering alcoholic, however, so I kept reading. Am I ever glad I kept reading.

With Luke taking center stage right away, I thought Mending Fences would revolve around Luke and his recovery. I wasn’t wrong, but I did not anticipate Izzy’s story being such a major point. As Luke improves both in character and in spirituality, Izzy’s character comes to the forefront and Luke takes a backseat.

There were some fantastic points made in Mending Fences. I want to share a few of them since they will not give away any spoilers.

“God wanted his people to be ‘all in.’ It was another subject matter David stayed camped in. ‘Heart, soul and mind,’ he called it.”

“Love is not finite. Most everything else in life is finite…but not love.” – Fern

Luke has to learn that every action has consequences. Some worse than others. Some that would nearly break him. He could not see those consequences as an alcoholic. It is only when he truly seeks recovery and forgiveness that he learns how his ‘pranks’ affected those in his community.

As for Izzy. Her character is worlds apart from Luke. Growing up in the foster system and living on the streets put a soul-deep fear and lack of trust in her character. It’s understandable why she would react how she does, why she has such a hard time with trust. That made her growth much slower but just as powerful when she is faced with the truth of her past and the hope for her future.

Mending Fences is not just the story of two wayward children finding God. It’s about facing who you were, accepting what you have done, and asking forgiveness not only from God and those you have harmed but from yourself.

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