Novel Review: Along Wooded Path by Tricia Goyer

Along Wooded Path by Tricia Goyer  is another book I acquired from NetGalley and is the second Amish book I’ve tried. The first one, Promise of an Angel (see review here) was wonderful and spurred me to find more Amish works. Let’s see how Amish book number two panned out. But first, the blurb from Ms. Goyer’s website:

Although proud of living apart from the world, Marianna Sommer’s newly relocated Amish family discovers 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.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but Along Wooded Path was actually the second book in the series. I have to admit, I did feel like I was starting the story in the middle of something. At times I wasn’t quite clear on why the characters were separated in two different states. Eventually, enough details were given throughout the book, that Along Wooded Path acted almost as a standalone novel. In fact, I don’t see myself going back to read the prior book, yet I am looking forward to the next work in the series.

So I mentioned almost a standalone novel. Along Wooded Path ended with an unfinished story. I’d expected everything to be wrapped up in the epilogue… a happily ever after feel. Instead, the epilogue ended with the next day with a very open-ended feel to it. How do the characters fare? Do they go through with their plans? And what happened with the losing guy? I guess I’ll find out with the next book.

As far as the story line it self, interesting. The entire work kept me intrigue. I never knew whom Marianna would choose as her beau. Would it be Ben, the man who captured her heart? or Aaron, the safe choice? In most romances, one might say Ben, hands down. True love trumps all right? But when taking into account an Amish life, the choice isn’t nearly as clear, especially since Marianna had no intention of giving up her Amish ways, and Ben was a musician. Anyway, you’ll have to find out for yourself what her decision was.

Most my issues with Along Wooded Path were more technical. For instance, the writing style was a little repetitious at times, and I hoped Ms. Goyer would move on with the story. I’m not sure if I became so engrossed in the story or Ms. Goyer did indeed slow down with the repetition, but the further I read, the less noticeable it became.

I also wondered if the author worked hard to meet a particular word count. A good portion of the book included letters the main characters wrote to others. Personally, I didn’t find the letters moved the story forward, just reiterated events which had occurred. Filler.

Other than those small items, I enjoyed the read. Like I said, I look forward to reading the next in the series.

As a side note: Though I received the ARC through Netgalley, I was surprised at the number of errors (typos, putting the wrong name, spelling). It would be interesting to compare the final copy with the Galley.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

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