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?
As a fan of Beverly Lewis's Amish fiction since it's inception (I was an impressionable eight year old) I was very excited when Samuel and Rebecca Lapp showed up in this novel. I really related to Jenny's yearning for a quiet, simple life; one that is free from the trappings of our fast paced modern world. Her family has no idea where she is, and when it becomes difficult for her during her Proving time, she has no home to go back to.
I came into this book fully expecting a stellar read and fantastic insight into the transition into Amish life through the eyes of an Englisher. I was not disappointed. Lewis brings to life (as only she can!) what it means to live an uncomplicated life, and what it truly costs to come from the outside world and try to become one of them. While I felt that the romance between Jenny and Andrew could have gotten more attention, that was secondary to Jenny's experiences as she tries to bridge the gap between her world and theirs. A recommended book for any fan of Amish fiction!
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
I just finished this series and had a hard time putting the books down, I wanted to stop what I was doing and continue to read. Beverly Lewis has never failed me in her writing, I always feel I'm a part of her characters and can vision where the story is unfolding. I give her a two-thumbs up. I have met Beverly twice in 4 yrs, she has always been curtious and always has a smile. A warm hearted lady!
Over the past few years, there has been a flood of books in the Amish fiction genre -- many of them well-written by some very good authors. It is always enjoyable to me, though, to go back to the beginning, to the author some have called the queen of Amish fiction -- Beverly Lewis.
The Secret Keeper is the fourth book in the Home to Hickory Hollow series. The characters and background story go all the way back to one of Beverly's very first books -- The Shunning -- and the story of Katie Lapp and her family.
As always, this Beverly Lewis book is a great read. The characters are interesting people, many of them carrying secrets that can change the lives of entire families. Although some of the elements of the story are predictable, there is enough uncertainty to keep you guessing as to what choices will ultimately be made.
Fans of great Amish fiction should thoroughly enjoy The Secret Keeper. Although the books in the series have some common characters and locale, the stories are not dependent on each other. So you can read the Home to Hickory Hollow books in any order.
Thanks to Bethany House for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I enjoy reading a couple chapters from her books before I go to bed, but, as usual, I have trouble stopping at 2. So entertaining and well written, intriguing and inspiring, even if I know from the beginning who will end up with whom, I am completely engrosed with how the story unfolds.
The Secret Keeper is the fourth book in Beverly Lewis's "Home to Hickory Hollow" series. However, these books are only somewhat tied together and in my opinion can each be read without reading any of the others. I have only read the third and fourth books in the series.
Jenny Burns has always felt out of place in the modern American world. From a well-to-do family, she has always found it hard to be happy living the lifestyle that most of us take for granted. Instead, she longs for a simpler way of living and closer communion with God. So in a move that shocks her family, and the Amish community, she decides to leave her life behind and join the Amish.
Thus begins her time of testing to see if she is truly sincere and should be allowed to join the Amish and receive baptism into their church. Things quickly become far more complicated that she expected. Her Amish penpal and many other young Amish men and women are considering leaving the Amish. Her heart begins to grow fonder toward a handsome young Amishman. The attitude, language, and daily life of the Amish is challenging. And worst of all, she learns a secret that threatens either to tear apart the lives of some people she holds very dear or force her to give up her quest to become Amish. And suddenly Jenny is faced with some of the most difficult decisions she has ever had to make.
This is another fabulous book for all lovers of Amish fiction, and an excellent introduction to the genre for those eager to try it out.
I received this book free from Bethany House publishers as part of their blogger book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.