Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Book Review: The Secret Keeper

Author: Beverly Lewis
Title: The Secret Keeper
Publisher: Bethany House
Publish Date: Sept 3, 2013
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
With her love for all things old-fashioned, Jennifer Burns has often been told she's an "old soul," but no one is prepared for the young woman's decision to set aside her modern life in favor of the Old Order Amish world. Yet Jenny does exactly that, adopting Plain dress and settling in with Samuel and Rebecca Lapp while she works as a mother's helper for the bishop's wife--a far cry from her former job as an x-ray technician.

The people of Hickory Hollow are curious about the beautiful young seeker among them, one handsome Amishman in particular. But he is not the only man vying for Jenny's affections, and Jenny faces many challenges in the Proving time the brethren have set for her...challenges of the heart, as well as the spirit.

Will Jenny's secrets keep her from the peace she longs for? Or will they lead the way home?

Review: The Home to Hickory Hollow series is a wonderful departure for Beverly Lewis. Each of the books in the series is really a stand alone novel with very little to tie them in to the other books in the series.

This book was so different from most Amish fiction that I've read. In this book you have a "fancy" women wishing to become Amish.

Jenny is totally different from typical women in their 20s. She longs for the simple life and as she goes through her "Proving" you can see that she was really meant to be Amish. In fact she has more love for the old ways of Old Order Amish than some of the youth.

She doesn't have it easy either The Lapp family have secrets and as Jenny deals with her own struggles at becoming Amish, she finds she has to cope with some of her mentoring families problems as well.

What I've always liked about Beverly Lewis' writing is that she doesn't paint the Amish as perfect. Like any religion there are problems within, sometimes with the hierarchy, such as the bishop.

I loved how Katie, who is Rebecca and Samuel's daughter, who lives under the Bann is such a huge part of the story, more as a presence rather than as a secondary character.

What I love about this book and this series in particular is how the "Fancy" world interacts with the Amish. From the beginning you could see their distrust of Jenny, even though she was doing her best to conform to their ways.

I also loved her love interest, Andrew. He was so sweet.

The only part that didn't sit well with me was when her ex-boyfriend found her. Kyle's part in the ending of the story just seemed to be a waste.

The Home to Hickory Hollow series has taken Beverly Lewis out of my guilty pleasures reads and put her firmly in must read author's list.


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