Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Secret Keeper {Review}

Jenny Burns believes she was born into the wrong life.  Consumed with the simple life, she plans, saves, and connects until she's able to move herself into the Amish community of Hickory Hollow.  Rebecca and Samuel Lapp graciously open their home, but still stand guarded with their hearts, waiting for Jenny to prove she's here to stay.  Along her journey, Jenny stumbles upon some hospitable friends to love and help her, and some guarded skeptics who have no concerns about stumbling her up long the way.  But as the days roll on, Jenny  finds that not everything is as simple and ideal in the Amish community.  And secrets mount, making her question if she's meant for this life.  Will her character prove strong enough, or will her guarded secrets destroy her and those she's come to love?

I love the way Beverly Lewis intertwines her characters.  Other characters we've met in previous Hickory Hollow books reappear and still stay true to their story.  After having read the previous four books, it's nice to see these old friends reappear.  As for this story, it held true to similar Amish fiction, but in regard to an Amish convert, I've never read a fictional book with that theme.  So it was interesting to learn more of the ins and outs of what that would involve and what would make someone convert to an Amish lifestyle.

The Bishops shunning of a Mennonite convert and deteriorating relationship with his church also added depth to the story.  For a good chunk of the second half of the story, I felt like I knew where the story was going, but couldn't figure out how Lewis was going to get us there.  There were a few twists and turns at the end that seemed rushed.  Tying up of loose ends seemed slightly unrealistic, but by that point, I was so invested in seeing these characters succeed, I was able to overlook some rushing.

All in all, it was a great book that brought up some new aspects of Amish life I hadn't considered and still kept the integrity of the characters.  Hickory Hollow remains alive, vibrant, and full of great lessons and people.  The Secret Keeper was a great journey with an talented author.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review.  All opinions are my own.

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