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Sunday, October 9, 2022

About the Book

Book: Anything But Plain

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Amish fiction

Release date: October 4, 2022

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 an uncommon disorder among the Amish. She offers treatment for Lydie. But will it be enough to make her stay? Or has help come too late?


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a Christy finalist, a Carol Award winner, a two-time ECPA Book of the Year finalist, and the Publishers Weekly, ECPA, CBA, bestselling author of more than thirty books. Her genres include contemporary and historical romances, Amish romance, and women’s fiction. She and her husband live in a small town in California, where everyone knows everyone else, knows what they are doing and why. Most folks act a little nervous around Suzanne because they usually wind up in one of her novels. She has four grown children and enough grandchildren to keep her young. Visit Suzanne at

More from Suzanne

Easily Distracted? 8 Strategies to Help Stay Focused 

Anything but Plain is a story about a young Amish woman with undiagnosed ADHD. Lydie Stoltzfus feels like a square peg in a round hole. She just doesn’t fit in and, to make matters worse, she’s the bishop’s daughter. At this point, the only path forward she can see is to leave Stoney Ridge. Leave her church, her friends, her family, her neighbor Nathan Yoder. It’s better to leave, Lydie decides, than to keep disappointing everyone she cares about. I won’t say anymore so that I don’t spoil the story for you.

ADHD is not a common diagnosis among the Amish and many might assume it’s not a real thing. Of course, they’re mistaken. ADHD is a real thing. While I don’t have ADHD, I do have many friends and family members who have been diagnosed. It’s challenging! And something we should all take seriously. Here’s why:

Evidence is mounting that a growing dependence on digital devices could be giving all of us some ADHD-like symptoms. Have you wondered if distractibility is becoming a problem for you? Or has a spouse or child or friend remarked on how often you pick up your phone to check a text message or scroll Instagram? You might remain physically present but your mind has wandered away. For me, the answer is, regrettably, yes.

There’s a recurring phrase in Anything but Plain that comes from an old-fashioned farming term: Walking the beans. Literally, it means weeding by hand. Figuratively, it means paying attention to our priorities. To pull the weeds before they take root.

One of the takeaway lessons of this book is to “walk the beans” of technology’s role in my life. So…I’ve been working on a few strategies. When I practice, I see a difference. Life is calmer. More manageable.

So…I wanted to pass these tips along to you. (If you have little children, these might not work for you. Not when your little ones are awake, anyway.) Hopefully, you’ll find them to be useful, and maybe spark some strategies of your own.

  • Make a plan. I start the day with an index card and write down the day’s priorities. And I check off tasks as I finish them!
  • Go off-line. Create an environment that helps you stay focused. Turn your cell phone to silent. If working on the computer, close your email app. Put yourself in distraction-free mode until you’re accomplished what you need to do
  • Finish one task before moving on to the next. Even little tasks.
  • Distractibility is at its peak during transitions. Build in margin. For example, arrive a few minutes early instead of rushing in a few minutes late.
  • When distractions are high, make tasks smaller and break down your large projects into smaller tasks to help you concentrate and give you a sense of accomplishment and progress.
  • When I’m facing a big task, I’ll break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
  • Set a deadline for a task. Beat the clock! Use a timer.
  • Rewards! When I beat the clock, I’ll take a break from computer work and pop up to the garden, text a friend, walk the dog. Something that feels good.

I love how this story takes a look at a topic that many deal with everyday. What makes it really special is that the author illustrates ADHD using her Amish character Lydia. I don’t think I have read an Amish story that talks about this subject. The details are very helpful and help readers understand that ADHD is something that many have but they also deal with feeling different. One thing I liked that  was pointed out in the story was how difficult it is living with ADHD. The frustration is real and feeling like you are an outsider is very true. Many think they will never have a normal life, but the author gives us great ways to help those with ADHD. I learned a lot and know it will help others .

Lydia is always going at a fast pace. She can’t finish anything and finds herself late a lot of times. She tries so hard to please others yet she has to hear how she is not reliable and never on time. After losing several jobs she begins to doubt she will ever be good at anything. The author shows us how hard it is for Lydia as she struggles with something that she doesn’t realize she has. I was so glad that someone finally noticed what was going on with Lydia. Now Lydie’s father needs to be convinced that she needs to get tested. 

Nathan is a great character who wants to prove that the chemicals being used on crops in the area are causing health issues. How does he convince others that he is trying to grow produce that is healthy without using anything harmful? Nathan is trying very hard to prove to his dad that he can grow things organically and make a profit. He also has a slight problem trying to convince Lydia that they are good for each other.

 Something is holding Lydia back but she won’t share what is pushing her away from Nathan. What is really sad is Lydia thinks she isn’t good enough for anyone. She has heard all her life how she messes things up. After awhile it begins to give Lydia an idea that it would be better for her to move away. What  a lonely outlook she has for herself. Have you ever felt like it would be better to leave a place where you didn’t feel wanted?  It was interesting to read that some Amish didn’t believe anyone of them could have ADHD. It is just unheard of in the Amish community so some believe. 

The story is a great example of how God works things out. In His timing he found a way for a mother and daughter to reconcile and get Lydia help. At the beginning it seemed that Lydia had no one to help her, but God in His perfect timing, set everything into action. One important thing I took away from this story is that we are not a mistake. Before  we were born, God  knew exactly what He was doing when he made each of us unique. We each have different gifts, and God  wants us to use those gifts to bless others. 

“God does not see you for what you are. God sees you for what you can be.”

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 7

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 7

She Lives To Read, October 8

The Write Escape, October 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 9

Vicky Sluiter, October 9

lakesidelivingsite, October 10

Texas Book-aholic, October 10

Lighthouse-Academy, October 11

Simple Harvest Reads, October 11 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 12

Southern Gal Loves to Read, October 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 14

Blogging With Carol, October 14

Elly Gilbert, October 14

deb’s Book Review, October 15

For Him and My Family, October 15

Holly’s Book Corner, October 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 16

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 16

Splashes of Joy, October 16

Empowermoms, October 17

SusanLovesBooks, October 17

Mary Hake, October 17

Bigreadersite, October 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 18

Blossoms and Blessings, October 18

Cats in the Cradle Blog, October 19

Pause for Tales, October 19

Spoken from the Heart, October 19

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, October 20

Cover Lover Book Review, October 20

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 20


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.



  1. Thank you for the excellent review, Deana. Anything but Plain sounds like a great story with useful information about ADHD.

  2. Thanks for sharing your Anything But Plain with me, Suzanne, your book sounds like an excellent read for me and I am looking forward to reading it!

    Thanks for sharing your review, Texas Book-aholic!

    Have a spectacular weekend!