Sometimes our best laid plans, and the deepest desires of our hearts, even our hopes for the future of our dreams must be laid on the alter in exchange for God's perfect plan and His ultimate will. In doing this we are often surprised that what God had in store was far better than anything that we could dream up and that the deepest desires of our hearts are pleasantly and overwhelmingly met to the point of making us fall to our knees with thanksgiving - overwhelmed by the knowledge that we are loved that much.
This is just what the Lapp family discovers after a series of unexpected storms in their life that have left them in a state of disarray, discouragement and disheartened. The Lapp family is filled with quirky characters that fall short of the "normal" standards of the Amish lifestyle. This makes this story all the more personable as you see in honesty the struggles they face.
Julia Lapp has long dreamed of marrying Paul Fisher but he has yet to cut the apron strings that are like iron bands connecting him to his over-bearing, supremely controlling mother. When he yet again postpones their wedding Julia knows that Ms. Fisher is directly behind this - she knows the Ms. Fisher does not approve of the Lapp family. In fact she finds the Lapp family to be the black sheep of the Amish Community.
Amos Lapp, once healthy and fit is suddenly struck with a disease of the heart muscle that has left him with failing health. He struggles with depression as he sees his older daughters try to hold together the farm - working endless hours to do what the entire family once did.
Mary Kate (M.K.) and Menno the younger of the Lapp kids are facing their own trials as the family struggles to make things work. The spirited M.K. has made a resolve to help her sister finally marry the man of her dreams - Paul Fisher and to help her other sister Sadie discover a relationship with Gideon.
Throw in an uncle that is anything but the cookie-cutter Amish - his antics are often the talk of the little Amish community. However, in the midst of his quirky ways his heart is big and deep and filled with love and loyalty.
Can two unlikely people change the Lapp family and give them the hope and joy they so desperately need? The Bee Man, Roman Trower, shows up with his bees he unexpectedly decides to stay on and help get the farm up and running. This mysterious Amish man soon makes a deep impression on the family and on one heart for sure. Fern - or Stern Fern as M.K. calls her - is recruited by Uncle Hank to help get the family house in order. She does just that with authority and sternness. Though Fern changes the family the greatest change is in Fern herself.
God's best is often a surprise - the changes He has in store for us are often unimaginable.
This is a unique and fresh approach to Amish fiction. The Keeper is certainly a keeper.
“Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
*** I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review ***