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Beside Still Waters (Big Sky #1)

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  1,083 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
Raised among the Amish of Indiana, 18-year-old Marianna Sommer plans to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and set up life in the only community she has ever known. But when her older brother chooses the world’s path following his rumschpringe, and a younger sibling begins showing interest in Englisch ways, Marianna’s parents move the family to Montana.

Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 15th 2011 by B&H Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Sisters of the Quilt by Cindy WoodsmallBeside Still Waters by Tricia GoyerSeek Me with All Your Heart by Beth WisemanThe Mercy by Beverly  LewisThe Wonder of Your Love by Beth Wiseman
2011 Best Amish Books Read
2nd out of 63 books — 47 voters
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingPride and Prejudice by Jane AustenHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Books I Can't Get Enough Of
452nd out of 543 books — 216 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 18, 2011 Christy rated it it was amazing
I love being able to have a new experience every time I read a book, and when it comes to reading Amish fiction...well, that's a tad bit of a rarity. Most of the time, their culture is seen as difficult, closed off, and rigorous. But in Tricia Goyer's first Amish novel, those cultural boundaries are pushed to the edge, and makes for an incredibly entertaining, yet beautiful, story that I won't soon forget.

What surprised me most about this story was the increased interaction betwee
Stacie Vaughan
Apr 23, 2011 Stacie Vaughan rated it really liked it
This wasn’t my first time reading an Amish Fiction novel, but it was my first time reading any of Tricia Goyer’s work. Beside Still Waters was amazing and I was drawn into the story from the very first page. Tricia Goyer is a gifted writer and I was able to visualize vividly in my mind’s eye as the story unfolded. Her characters were all believable and I felt very connected to them especially Marianna, the main character.
The book follows Marianna as she prepares to move across the country from h
Amber Stokes
Jan 15, 2016 Amber Stokes rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that surprised me. The prologue seemed abrupt, and the beginning of the book didn't really capture my attention. But eventually I became more involved in the story, and the train ride to Montana--the change in setting and perspective--really drew me into the plot and the heart of the characters.

The second half of the book felt more genuine to me. It raised some important questions and stirred my emotions. The underlying tension of two different worlds was palpable and
Carrie Daws
Feb 20, 2015 Carrie Daws rated it it was amazing
What happens when life shakes your foundation? What if your foundation isn't the foundation that God really wants you to have? These are tough questions, and Tricia Goyer captures the struggle between our dreams and life's realities beautifully in this novel.

I most appreciated the struggle within the main character as she was challenged about her deep-seeded beliefs. She was forced through circumstances to question why she always did things a certain way, and if another way was okay. Or even, pe
Jul 19, 2011 Jodie rated it really liked it
After a tragic accident turns her family's world upside down, Marianna feels she must do everything right so as not to upset her mother. Growing up she always was trying to prove herself by pleasing her mother and father, helping around the house more than expected, and not asking a lot of questions. When Marianna's mother and father can no longer take the stares from everyone in their Indiana community, they decide to head west and replant their family in Montana. Only, Marianna has been ...more
Julie Graves
Apr 10, 2011 Julie Graves rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, 2011-reads
On the night her 2 sisters died in a horrible accident Marianna Sommers was born. Raised in an Amish community in Indiana Marianna has tried her entire life to make up for the loss of her sisters.

Marianna is almost 20 and starting to think about having a home of her own. Aaron Zook has been taking an interest in her. He is building his own cabin and has dreams of one day living in it with Marianna.

Marianna’s brother Levi has left the community. He has caused embarrassment and heartache for his p
Patricia Kemp Blackmon
Oct 29, 2011 Patricia Kemp Blackmon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This story begins when the Sommer family are on there way home from a church meeting. They are an Amish family traveling by way of horse and buggy. They cross a busy road and are in a terrible accident that will change their lives forever. Two of their little girls are killed in this accident and a baby girl is forced to come into this world under harsh circumstance. Their young son also survives.

Marianne was that baby and she has been trying walk in the shoes of her two sister ever since day o
Beside Still Waters was a refreshingly new take on Amish fiction. I was hooked after only reading the first two pages. The prologue was so moving and heartbreaking, even though I knew it was going to happened!

Marianna has always lived with being the replacement daughter, because the night she was born her family was in a tragic buggy/car accident in which her two older sisters perished. Shortly thereafter her mother went into labor with her and when she was born. Her father named her Marianna in
Crystal Martin
Dec 06, 2012 Crystal Martin rated it it was amazing
I am new to both Tricia Goyer's novels and Amish Fiction. It's not that Amish stories don't appeal to me, I just never found one that reached out and begged me to read it, until now. "Beside Still Water's" is the first in her Big Sky Amish series. Tricia is an outstanding author and has captured not only a bit of Amish culture in her newest novel, but also tells the tale of a 19 year old girls life and faith.

Tricia has done a wonderful job showing us the faith behind Amish culture, the anguish o
Paula Schuck
I have only started this one, but am extremely impressed with the quality of the writing so far.
Rachel Brand

Born on the day of the buggy accident that took the lives of her two older sisters, Marianna Sommers has always felt that she never measured up to her lost siblings in the eyes of her parents. She has consigned herself to the fact that once she leaves her family home and marries the man God has intended for her, she can start her life anew, a life in which she isn’t constantly being compared to her dec
Oct 27, 2016 Joleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first in a series about an Amish family who, in order to put space between heartaches and their family, moved to Montana from Indiana.
Marianna is the oldest daughter who was born the same evening as a tragic buggy accident that claimed her parent's young daughters. So for years she felt her birthday represented the saddest day of her mother's life, and she worked hard all her life to be the perfect child to make her mother happy with her.
But, just as her family was deciding to move to Monta
Nov 03, 2016 Heatherhh rated it really liked it
For me, this book had a bit of a slow start before I got interested. But, once she was out in Montana, I found it very interesting. I loved how this series deals a lot with interactions with the English and with true Christianity and relationship with God. I was disappointed when I reached the end to discover the story was unresolved. There are very single stories I really want to see stretched out over a trilogy.
Oct 27, 2016 Leah rated it liked it
This book was so depressing. I felt so bad for Marianna. It seemed like every other chapter something bad happened to her or someone she cared about. I'm glad that there was a happy ending. That made up for a lot of the bad things that happened.
Laurie Carlson
“Beside Still Waters, A Big Sky Novel” by Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer takes us on her wonderful ‘first’ Amish journey in this first book of the, ‘A Big Sky Novel’ series, with “Beside Still Waters”, being Book One in the series. It feels as if she has been writing Amish fiction all along in her writing career, with this, her first attempt at Amish Fiction. I enjoyed it much more than some of the other Amish Fiction writers, and I think she should write a lot more Amish Fiction from this point on.
Jun 28, 2011 SallyHP rated it liked it
Beside Still Waters starts out like many of the other Amish-centered books that I've read, particularly two series that I really like by Beverly Lewis. In addition to the standard internal conflict brought upon children in the Amish community who are in the thick of their Rumspringe, nineteen year-old Marianna Sommer also has a family tragedy to content with. The day of her birth also marks the day her older sisters were lost in a buggy accident caused by her father falling asleep while driving ...more
Pamela (Lavish Bookshelf)
May 10, 2012 Pamela (Lavish Bookshelf) rated it really liked it
I'm not a fan of the whole Amish fiction genre. Even so, I took a chance and grabbed the opportunity to review Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer. Goyer had never written an Amish book before, so I was hoping she would bring a fresh outlook to the crowd. And without a doubt, I was intrigued by the unique Montana setting.

Happily, I was not disappointed.
In fact, I was pleasantly surprised!

Yes, Beside Still Waters is still an Amish novel filled with quilt making, rigid family practices and lots
What if your birth marks the day of huge tragedy in your family?! How would it feel to share your birthday with mixed emotions of a day marked with great loss? This is the reality for Marianna. She was born on a day of a massive tragedy in her family and struggles every day to please her parents in hope that she’ll be the joy in their sad lives. Marianna is excited when her crush Aaron finally declares his interest in marrying her but then she is uncertain of her future when her parents decide ...more
And now back to the Amish fiction!

Today I have

Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer

Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer is the first book in the Big Sky Series that Tricia Goyer has recently released.

We follow the main character, Marianna, who was born on a night of tragedy. Her family was hit by a semi-truck in her buggy. Her two older sisters were killed and her mother went into premature labor and had her.

Her whole life Marianna has grown up feeling less than she can be. She isn't an adequate re
Diane U
Aug 09, 2011 Diane U rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marianna's life began from a miracle of a tragedy. Her two older sisters died in a buggy accident causing her mother to go into labor early for her. Marianna has always felt the need to be the perfect daughter since she was replacing two daughters. Her family in Indiana has always been looked at differently since that accident and the family feels that life cannot be bright with that lurking over them. Her older brother Levi, left the Amish community to live amongst the English and is having a ...more
Jul 21, 2013 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Marianna Sommers was born early due to a freak accident that killed her two older sisters, Marilyn and Joanna. Her parents and older brother survived but her mother went into premature labor and her dad named her Marianna after the older sisters that were killed. She lived her life in Indiana and planned on marrying Aaron Zook once they started courting and both joined the church.

The family was blessed with three more boys and a daughter. Levi, her brother that survived the accident, left the Am
Allison Duke
Apr 26, 2012 Allison Duke rated it it was amazing
Marianna Sommers has always felt that her life is shaped by the tragedy that took the lives of her two sisters on the night she was born. In an attempt to fill that void, she tried to be the perfect daughter, perfect sister, and perfect Amish girl. She also dreams to be the perfect Amish wife to Aaron, the good Amish boy she's adored forever. However, her parents have plans to change all that, moving the family from their established community in Indiana to the wild and sparsely-populated ...more
Amber French
Apr 05, 2011 Amber French rated it really liked it
Marianna feels she’s a constant reminder to her parents of the children they lost. She was born on the night her two sisters died and is unable to think they’re comparing her to them. “How can one replace two?” often runs through her mind. Her father has been talking about moving the family to Montana in search of a fresh start but Marianna doesn’t want to leave what’s familiar to her. Or Aaron Zook. Aaron has made his intentions clear of marriage but what will happen if she moves away? He tells ...more
3.5 Stars

Marianna was born the night her two older sisters where tragically killed in a buggy accident. She has grown up always feeling like she can’t measure up to her dead sisters. Now as a young woman she is excited to hopefully marry Aaron and start a family of her own and get out from under the shadow of her sisters memory. Before she can though her parents decide to move to Montana for a year. Marianna’s mother is expecting a baby so Marianna agrees to go alone for 6 months to help. While
Jan Drexler
Aug 13, 2011 Jan Drexler rated it really liked it
In Beside Still Waters, author Tricia Goyer takes the reader on a journey into an aspect of Amish life that few people consider: What happens to the people of such a tightly knit community when tragedy strikes?

Born on the same night her two older sisters were killed in a buggy accident, Marianna Sommers has tried to replace them in her parents’ lives. Marianna is caught between her duty to honor and respect her parents and her own desires to enjoy the courtship of the man she loves. If she refus
Clockstein Lockstein
May 09, 2011 Clockstein Lockstein rated it really liked it
Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer is the first book in the Big Sky series. Marianna Sommer has lived every moment of her nearly nineteen years knowing that she had to make up for the two sisters who died in a tragic accident the night she was born. Despite the children born after her, there is still a heavy grief that lies on the Sommer family. And it has only grown since eldest son Levi has left the Amish faith. Marianna has always known that she wanted to marry Aaron Zook and he has finally ...more
Apr 11, 2011 Cafelilybookreviews rated it liked it
Beside Still Waters is the first Amish fiction novel that Tricia Goyer has written, adding a fresh new flavor to her long list of best selling titles. The idea for this book came from the true story of a family that Tricia met through a friend of her daughter’s.Main character, Marianna, is the namesake of her deceased sisters (Marilyn and Joanna), whose deaths occurred the same night she was born. Carrying the weight of knowing that her parents constantly compare her to the two daughters they ...more
Jan 25, 2011 Cindy rated it really liked it

The Sommer family, have been in the 'spotlight' of their Indiania Amish community for years, in fact everyone in their community was in the spotlight for each other. Watching each other to make sure they were living strict, holy lives, following the Ordnung. It could be suffocating sometimes, however. The horrible accident that had cost the Sommer family their two oldest daughters, and brought on the early birth of Marianna, kept them in the eyes of the other members of their community. Marianna
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
I normally enjoy Amish fiction, but this one just didn't do it for me. Marianna defined herself and lived her life as if she was a burden to her parents. Her older sisters were killed in a buggy/car accident the same night Marianna was born and she always felt like she could never replace them. Yet, she never spoke with her family about it and her parents never spoke with her about it. When her father explains how much her mother really does love her, the book ends and there is no resolution ...more
Apr 22, 2011 Renee rated it liked it
I'm beginning to think that Tricia Goyer can do it all! Not only is she an amazing non-fiction and historical fiction writer but now she has conquered the Amish fiction genre with her book, Beside Still Waters. I think it's high time that I admit that I am once again becoming a fan of the Amish fiction book. For a while I quite reading because it seemed that all the stories were so predictable but with fresh, new authors emerging seemingly everyday it seems that anything and everything is ...more
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Fans of Amish Fic...: Booksigning Tour & Beside Still Waters $3.99! 6 11 Oct 04, 2011 01:03PM  
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Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of two, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published thirty-three books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two ...more
More about Tricia Goyer...

Other Books in the Series

Big Sky (3 books)
  • Along Wooded Paths (The Big Sky Series, #2)
  • Beyond Hope's Valley (The Big Sky Series, #3)

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