Author: Beverly Lewis
Title: The Secret (Seasons Of Grace Book 1)
Publisher: Bethany House
Publish Date: March 31, 2009
Book Blurb: In the seemingly ordinary Amish home of Grace Byler, secrets abound. Why does her mother weep in the night? Why does her father refuse to admit something is dreadfully wrong? Then, in one startling moment, everything Grace assumed she knew is shattered. Her mother's disappearance leaves Grace reeling and unable to keep her betrothal promise to her long-time beau. Left to pick up the pieces of her life, Grace questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment.
Heather Nelson is an English grad student, stunned by a doctor's diagnosis. Surely fate would not allow her father to lose his only daughter after the death of his wife a few years before. In denial and telling no one she is terminally ill, Heather travels to Lancaster County--the last place she and her mother had visited together. Will Heather find healing for body and spirit?
As the lives of four wounded souls begin to weave together like an Amish patchwork quilt, they each discover missing pieces of their life puzzles--and glimpse the merciful and loving hand of God.
Review: Beverly Lewis writes dramatic Amish fiction. Her books aren't about young Amish people courting and falling in love. There is always some drama with the church or with the family that will take 3 books to resolve.
In this book the drama surrounds Gracie Byler's mom, who leaves her husband and children behind. This is something that is simply not done in the Amish community. Lewis lets us see a little of Lettie's struggle within herself without giving away her secret. It is easy to feel sorry for this woman. She has something that she wants to share with her husband and her family, yet her husband is quiet and reserved and she never seems to be able to communicate with him.
There's also a young woman who comes to Lancaster after receiving a bad diagnosis from her doctor. Heather Nelson is obviously going to figure into this story at some point, more than just as a random Englischer. I have a feeling I already know who she is, but I want to read the other 2 books anyway.
The problem I have with Heather is her disbelief in modern medicine. Her mother died of cancer. At 24 she's received a similar diagnosis. We aren't sure though, because Lewis doesn't tell us. She just gives us this stubborn young woman that refuses to believe she's sick. Truthfully, I wanted to smack her senseful.
Gracie and her family are much more likable and they are faced with their own crisis. Their mother leaves and they are left with the aftermath and gossip. Gracie holds up well and she comes across as a loyal, loving daughter. I think she's probably one of my favorite Lewis heroines.
I do have one bone to pick with Beverly Lewis. She grew up in PA. How is it that Pittsburgh is spelled incorrectly twice in this book? That really irked me. Still, it is a good read for fans of Lewis and Amish fiction.
Rating: 4 flowers
Questionable: Plotting Multiple Antagonists
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