Anything But Plain ~ Review

Anything But Plain
By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Lydie Stoltzfus has always been the "trouble child" in David Stoltzfus's family, and the scrutiny she was under only grew once he was bishop. She knows her intentions might be good, but somehow, something always goes wrong, getting her into a mess. Worse, she can't keep a job - some last mere hours before she's asked to leave (or, in some cases, ordered away).

As Lydie struggles with her inability to fit in, her neighbor, Nathan Yoder, wants to use organic farming methods on the family farm. But change doesn't come easy, and Nahan's family is all into pesticides and thinking more is better.

Anything But Plain is a standalone title set in Suzanne Woods Fisher's much-loved Stoney Ridge community. But when her "non-Amish" Aunt Ruth (aka Dok) discovers Lydie's struggles, she could hold the key to helping Lydie, giving her hope that leaving all she knows and loves might not be her only choice.

This book looks at Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its effects on not only the life of the person with it but how it affects those around them - friends and family. But the secondary storyline of organic farming versus pesticides/herbicides is timely and important. And somehow, the author manages to weave these two threads into her story so that it doesn't feel forced or preachy. I appreciated the insights this book offers. This would be an excellent book club selection as there is much to discuss.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion - all thoughts expressed are my own.

About the Book:
It's not easy being the bishop's daughter, especially for Lydie Stoltzfus. She's not like other Amish girls, as much as she wishes she were. The only thing she does well is disappoint others. Leaving her family and church seems unbearable, but staying might be worse.

Knowing Lydie is "between" jobs, the local doctor asks her to fill in at the front desk for a few months. To Lydie, this is a boon. It gives her time to figure out how she's going to say goodbye to her neighbor, Nathan Yoder--the main reason she needs to leave Stoney Ridge. Nathan claims he's in love with her, but she knows she's not good enough for him. If in doubt, Nathan's father reminds her frequently.

As Dok spends time with Lydie, she recognizes symptoms of a disorder rare among the Amish. She offers treatment for Lydie. But will it be enough to make her stay? Or has help come too late?

Bestselling and award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Stoney Ridge, a small town that feels like an old friend.

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