Friday, February 10, 2012

Book Review: Rachel's Secret

Author: B.J. Hoff
Title Rachel's Secret
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Publish Date: Oct 1, 2008
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb:Bestselling author BJ Hoff promises to delight her many faithful readers with her compelling new series, The Riverhaven Years. With the first book, Rachel’s Secret, Hoff introduces a new community of unforgettable characters and adds the elements readers have come to expect from her novels: a tender love story, the faith journeys of people we grow to know and love, and enough suspense to keep the pages turning quickly.

 When the wounded Irish American riverboat captain, Jeremiah Gant, bursts into the rural Amish setting of Riverhaven, he brings chaos and conflict to the community--especially for young widow, Rachel Brenneman. The unwelcome “outsider” needs a safe place to recuperate before continuing his secret role as an Underground Railroad conductor. Neither he nor Rachel is prepared for the forbidden love that threatens to endanger a man’s mission, a woman’s heart, and a way of life for an entire people. 

Review: This is the first Amish historical I've read. It definitely was a different style of story from what I'm used to with Amish fiction/romance, and I have to say, it was a really enjoyable read.

Like most  Amish stories there's a lot of drama involving the characters and the Englischers. In this case, an Irishman is shot and seeks the help of Rachel and her family. Jeremiah Gant is a conductor on the underground railroad, that in itself brings a whole new spin one what to expect in Amish fiction.

A lot of the story deals with the persecution of the Amish in the Riverhaven area. Rachel's husband was a victim of a violent act of hatred. When the violence starts again, families are torn apart, because the Amish believe in forgiveness and not revenge.

B.J. Hoff does a wonderful job describing how the Amish live and their beliefs. I also loved the two romances that bloom in this story, although only one comes to anything so far.

It was really easy to get wrapped up in the lives of the characters, each had something special that is brought to the story, whether it is Asa, the free man of color, helping Jeremiah with the Underground Railroad, Doc Sebastian and his secret love for Rachel's mother Susan,  Fannie,  Rachel's sister and Gideon her brother. These are character's you really feel like you know. 

I look forward to reading the next two books in this trilogy!

Rating:  5 flowers


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