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  1. Secret Keeper, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #4 -eBookeBOOK
    Secret Keeper, Home to Hickory Hollow Series #4 -eBook
    Beverly Lewis
    Bethany House / 2013 / ePub
    $9.29 Retail: $14.99 Save 38% ($5.70)
    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 49 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    CBD Stock No: WW40304EB
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  1. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent fourth book in the series
    November 11, 2013
    An Avid Reader
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    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.
  2. Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Wonderful Story of Healing and Reconciliation!
    November 11, 2013
    Daisies
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    ** {I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for writing a review}

    Okay, on to the review:

    Beverly Lewis is my all time favorite author, so I expected to like this book. But there's never a guarantee, and I actually didn't love one of her books (out of many), not sure why. But, let me tell you, this story was like magic for me! We get to revisit Hickory Hollow and Katie Lapp and her family, which we haven't done since October Song a while ago. And it was so wonderful and heartwarming, especially the healing that this community (as well as outside it) needs and receives.

    I love the relationship between Rebecca and Jenny, Mary and Jenny and of course Andrew and Jenny. Andrew has become one of my favorite male leading men in Lewis' books! I just adore him and his sweet patience with Jenny! He is such a strong, loving and patient guy any girl would be blessed to have in her life. And Ella Mae is always the best! There's a reason they call her "The Wise Woman!" Her sweet relationship with Jenny is just as heartwarming as her relationship with Katie was.

    The best part of this book? Coming full circle with Katie, Dan, Mary and Bishop John's characters. I think I've waited 14 years for this book and resolutions that come for them. And the ABSOLUTE best part? The gospel is crystal clear! It's one of the reasons Beverly is my favorite author, she makes the gospel message clear in each one of her books, that it isn't about how good we can be, our works, but what Christ did for us to save us from our sin

    Ella Mae - "Because sometimes when you tell the truth, you can start a fire."

    "Jenny remained in a contrite position, asking for forgiveness, knowing she must trust in divine wisdom and not ‘unto her own understanding'."

    I also loved hearing about Wycliff Bible Translators Deitch Bible. I didn't even know they were working on it, and the entire Bible is now finished! I appreciate the need to get every people a Bible in their own language, that they may better be able to see their need for God and to receive His wisdom!

    I could go on and on, but I may have already given away too much, so I'll leave it here. I HIGHLY recommend this book to you as a great read, but more importantly, a God honoring read! Jenny Burns is a loveable, relatable, genuine character we can all see a bit of ourselves in. And this story of reconciliation and reconnection is a message for us all!
  3. PRYOR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A DIFFERENT KIND OF AMISH STORY!
    November 8, 2013
    Moonpie
    PRYOR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is the first book in this series I have read, but the story didn't leave me missing anything from the previous books. Beverly Lewis is on my favorite authors list. I have never read one of her books I didn't enjoy.

    The story line was very different. While so many stories involve Amish who want to leave the life and become "Englishers", this one is about an "Englisher" that to wanted to leave the world and become Amish!

    From the time she was young, Jenny Burns had been drawn to the Amish faith. Everything about them and their way of life deeply touched her. The wealthy, materialistic, fast paced life of Jenny's family always left her at odds with them and not fitting in. This made her long for the simple life even more.

    After corresponding for many years with an Amish friend, Marnie, she met on vacation; she feels she is ready to make the move. She saves her money, sells her earthly possessions, and quits her job. Marnie arranges for her aunt and uncle, the Lapps, to welcome her into their home and help her during her year of "Proving".

    Being a "seeker", someone from outside desiring to become a church member, the community meets her with distrust or open arms, there doesn't seem to be a happy medium. Jenny struggles to adapt, learning the language and all the skills she must have to be a true Amish woman. While she is very happy, she finds the way of life more difficult than she thought, but most of all her image of the Amish people being "perfect" is shattered. She finds they are just as human as she is.

    Accidentally she stumbles on a secret of another's that she would have to reveal when she joined the church or she would not be holding true to the Ordnung. That combined with her homesickness for her family, whom she never thought she'd miss nor would miss her, makes her begin to question if she can stay. She had grown to love the people and one young man in particular. What should she do? The ending has an unexpected twist!

    I always enjoy the details about daily Amish life but this book gave me something extra. It looked not only into the hearts and minds of the Amish characters but also through the eyes someone outside of the faith seeing it from the inside for the first time. I look forward to reading the other books in this series.

    I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Secret Keeper
    November 4, 2013
    tammycookblogsbooks
    This review gives more insight than just "it was/wasn't a good book" or "this is/isn't a must read". While I try not to give too much away, sometimes it's difficult to write about the story and have it not be revealing.

    The Secret Keeper is the fourth book in Beverly Lewis' Home to Hickory Hollow Series. I am a big fan of Amish Fiction but I surprisingly had never read a single book by Beverly Lewis until I read the first book in this series called The Fiddler. I couldn't believe how much I disliked that book. I decided to give Beverly Lewis another try and read other books in the series and I'm glad I did. I read the third book in the Home to Hickory Hollow series, The Guardian, which I liked. The Secret Keeper was also enjoyable to read.

    The Secret Keeper is the story of twenty five year old Englisher Jenny Burns who decided she wanted to become Amish. She made a friend, Marnie Lapp, in the Hickory Hollow Amish community that helped her realize her dream of being a seeker, an outsider that wants to join the Amish church. A seeker has a time of Proving where they learn to Amish ways and show they really want to make the life changing decision and become Amish. Jenny was very enthusiastic and couldn't wait to start her Proving time and live in the Amish community. Amish life couldn't seem more perfect to Jenny - that is until she actually started living it.

    Jenny was very disconnected from her family. They all were living a life of that was materialistic and fast paced. Jenny had always felt she was living in the wrong era. She longed for a simpler life. I can relate to Jenny because I am a lot like her. I have always wanted to live a simple life - having the latest whatever, shopping and eating at fancy restaurants are not appealing to me. As a child Jenny learned about the Amish and knew that was the life for her.

    When Jenny first arrived in Hickory Hollow to live with Marnie's relatives, Samuel and Rebecca Lapp, she had no doubt she would make it through the Proving time. But as the weeks passed, her outlook didn't remain as positive. She found out that the life of an Amish woman is harder than she imagined. Jenny couldn't even do the easiest task like darning a sock. Then she discovered a secret that could ruin more than one person's life, including hers. My heart broke for Jenny when she decided what she needed to do with her secret. It was a decision she didn't take lightly. I was a little annoyed at the way Rebecca Lapp handled Jenny's choice.

    Jenny had someone looking out for her shortly after she arrived in Hickory Hollow, single Amish man Andrew Lapp, Rebecca's nephew. He explained how to live Amish in a way that didn't make her feel stupid. They quickly developed a friendship that was growing into a sweet romance. I liked that their relationship was based on the love of God and following his ways.

    This is not a fast moving story and the secret isn't a mystery that needed to be figured out as the story continued. But it was enjoyable to read The Secret Keeper. It even made me want to read Beverly Lewis' previously written books that took place in Hickory Hollow to find out more about the characters and their lives.

    I received as free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and The Christian Manifesto in exchange for my honest review.
  5. Greer, SC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Lovely Story of Finding Oneself
    October 28, 2013
    katiespen
    Greer, SC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Beverly Lewis brings a new twist to her usual stories of Hickory Hollow in this fourth book in the Home to Hickory Hollow series.

    Jenny Burns has never liked the "modern" world and has always yearned for the Amish ways. But she shocks everyone, even herself, when she abruptly leaves her own world behind and finds herself emerging into the lives of the Amish people of Hickory Hollow.

    But while this "modern girl" is looking for the Old Ways, she finds that even in Hickory Hollow, no one is ever completely content and that everyone is always searching for something else.

    Will Jenny be able to leave her own familiar world behind and complete her "Proving" as a true Amish woman? Will the Amish community ever be able to accept "an outsider"?

    I really enjoyed this book as I think Lewis took a step away from her usual storyline to bring in the idea of what it would be like to try to join the Amish community from the outside. I really enjoyed her twist on "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."

    It did feel, though, at the end that some of the parts were rushed. I didn't really see any leading up to Jenny's choice near the end, and I didn't really even see much turmoil on her about her decision. There could have been a little more of a climax there.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this book as I always enjoy Beverly Lewis' stories. I would definitely recommend this to someone.

    *This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.
Displaying items 11-15 of 49
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