Popular novelist and Amish specialist Lewis (The Brethren) launches a new series with this volume. Two young women, Amish Grace Byler and graduate student Heather Nelson, stand as counterpoints in parallel plots involving two secrets. Grace's mother is troubled; Heather, whose mother has died of cancer, tells no one in her circle of her own diagnosis of terminal illness, which drives her to Pennsylvania Amish country in search of healing. Grace's mother makes a decision that painfully complicates the action and drives it forward. Grace, her family and friends and the Amish milieu are drawn with characteristically ample detail, right down to jars of preserves set out on the tables at many bountiful Amish meals. Lots of powerful emotions go characteristically unspoken in this reticent culture, though the reader won't miss them. By comparison, the emotional high-stakes Heather plot is less detailed and consequently less engrossing. Lewis lays outand knotsmany plot threads to pursue and resolve in subsequent installments in the series, ensuring readers' return. (Mar.)Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.