Secrets of Harmony Grove by Mindy Starns Clark is a book that defies genre classification because it is a mishmash of romance, mythology, religion, mystery, and legend. This book, with its picturesque country cover and rustic sounding title, makes one expect to find within its pages a slow Amish romance. That is not what this book is. (I am still not sure what it is.) The main character, Sienna, is investigated by the attorney general for suspected illegal activities, and she is suspended from her job indefinitely. While coping with that, her former boyfriend is murdered, and the suspected killer is the fabled werewolf said to be lurking in her ex-Amish grandfather's grove that was established as a memorial to his late wife. (No, no, I'm serious.) And thats just the first fifty pages. There are three hundred more pages that are equally as bizarre and entangled.
Because the plot is labyrinthine, the characterizations and mood suffer. Few characters grow, and Sienna narrates her tale of woe at one pace, which becomes tedious. She often includes irrelevant details. Also, because of the Amish setting, the religious doctrine relies heavily on the Amish interpretation of Scripture. Someone who enjoys being unable to predict what lies on the next page or enjoys a "twisted," soap-opera-like plot may appreciate this book. Generally speaking, however, it is convoluted and rambling. Hannah McMullen, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com