A Season on the Wind (Book Review)

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
  • Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
  • Publisher: Revell
  • On-Sale Now
  • Synopsis: Penny Weaver is delighted when Ben Zook, her dearest friend from adolescence, returns to the Amish community at Stoney Ridge, in pursuit of a rare bird. But when he arrives, Ben treats Penny as though she’s a stranger.

I have had the privilege of reading several of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s Amish novels, so I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that this book actually took place in the same community.

Scripture Connections

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…

James 4:8

He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to the comfort of His spacious table, laden with food.

Job 36:16

Spiritual Themes

Woods Fisher beautifully demonstrates God’s pursuit of His children. One scene, in particular, was so beautifully timely, for me. I closed the book to pray, as I felt God’s invitation through the simple words on the page.

There is also a lot of emphasis (which I am so grateful for) on God’s work as Creator. This is a theme I desire to see explored, even more, in Christian fiction.

Another theme that caught my eye, through just a few lines, was about worry: “Leave those worries in the future… Come home to the present.” This message is surrounded with the importance of waiting on the Lord. Ahh! So good. So refreshing.

What I Liked

This book was such a joy to read! It was one of those books that I sailed through, which I quickly found myself in the middle of, wondering how I had gotten there. I am particularly impressed with books that seem uneventful– suddenly you’re a hundred pages in, and although not a lot has “happened” so far, the experience has been thoroughly enjoyable. I guess this could be described as “slow-paced,” in a positive sense: not meaning that the story was difficult to “get into,” but rather that it was delightfully engaging, without being full of action. While I think the Amish community setting certainly contributes to this, I also recognizes that this demonstrates skill on the author’s part.

I appreciated that the novel was well-grounded in community. The novel intertwines various lives and perspectives. Readers progress alongside various narrators: Penny Weaver and her younger brother, Micah; Ben Zook and his sister-like cousin, Natalie. The novel develops more than one romance plotline, but even the romance is anchored in community. Amish youth court on the buggy rides home from youth group. Ben enters Penny’s life while birding with her younger brother.

Woods Fisher’s books are a soothing balm. While I certainly have a strong appreciation for Christian books that demonstrate God’s love and power through action-packed narratives and dramatic events, Fisher’s books present truth in a gentle, yet potent, fashion. These truths are neither preachy nor understated, but roll along with the plotline. I find myself praying, alongside the characters, as God opens their hearts and leads them.

At the same time, with the gentle rolling of the plot, there were some fascinating plot developments. While some books scream “Unravel this mystery!” throughout, A Season on the Wind quietly builds intrigue. And it was brilliant!

Integration of Birding

Birding is integral to the plotline, which was fun for me, as I have become much more interested in birds, due to the variety of avian life that God has blessed us with, here at MeadowArc.

In addition to explanations embedded throughout the text, each chapter begins with 1-2 pages from Micah Weaver’s “Bird-Watching Log.” These pages are formatted to look like a notebook, with handwriting font, and include notations about the appearance, quirks and habits of various birds. Plus, these descriptions brilliantly tie-in with the plotline.

Woods Fisher also describes her own introduction to birding, in an end note, and includes introductory material with a brief glossary of birding terms.

Recommendation

This book is FANTASTIC, one that I would highly recommend without reservation. I have included one SPOILER content note below, for one sensitive topic, but this does not in any way affect my recommendation status. I would recommend the title for mature teens and up.

Content Concerns (Spoiler)

The novel explores the effects of suicide, as one of the characters committed suicide years before the start of the novel.

Published by Stephanie Agnes-Crockett

Hi, there! My name is Stephanie and I’m a Fresno, CA native. After studying at Biola University, I received my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. I live with my mom, poet Kimberly Vargas Agnese, and serve as her unofficial agent. We reside at MeadowArc, a food forest in its infancy. I am called to, and passionate about, purity. In fact, the name Agnes means “pure.” Before I was born, my mom felt led to include the name Agnes in her name, and in the names of her children. My full, hyphenated name includes 26 letters (but not the whole alphabet).

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