Grace Byler lives in Lancaster County, and her life is that of a typical Amish young woman. Yes, she's a little older than most girls to be still at home, but she has her mind set on a specific young man, and she's waiting patiently for him to ask her the big question. In the meantime, there have been some strange going-ons in the household. Her mother, Lettie, has taken to weeping into the stillness of the night, and going off on walks under the light of the moon after the family is asleep. After a month of strange behavior and growing aloofness, Grace's mother disappears into the night. The entire family is left reeling from the sudden departure of their mother, and nothing can be done to get her back.
A young Englisher named Heather Nelson comes to stay for the summer at the neighbor's home, desperately trying to put her cancer diagnosis behind her. Terrified because her adoptive mother died pf cancer, she escapes to Amish country to clear her mind and her heart. Truly convinced she can beat her cancer naturally instead of doing chemo, she meets and befriends Grace at the local health food store. What kind of plans does God have for these two brokenhearted young women? Will Lettie ever return to her family? And will Heather find the healing for her body and soul?
While I found this story to be enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining, my only gripe was that it was somewhat repetitive. Yes, we know Heather is sick, yes, we know Lettie up and disappeared, and yes, we know it's not typical for Amish mothers to do that. We've also read multiple times that Judah is not a man of many words, and I understand the concept.
But all trivial things aside, this series kept me up all hours, reading way into the night, wondering what would happen to everyone in the end. I was actually taken by surprise at one point, because I didn't see a plot twist coming and got completely blindsided by a major element in the story. While it wasn't the best of the best, it was a solid read, and well worth it.
ALL OF BEVERLY LEWIS' BOOKS ARE GREAT. I TRULY ENJOY READING BOOKS THAT HAVE CLEAN LANGUAGE AND A SPIRITUAL LESSON IN EACH BOOK. SHE IS THE GREATEST.
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Review 3 for Secret, The - eBook
Date:May 23, 2011
The story is very captivating and provides excellent reading. It held my attention from start to finish. The story is emotional as well as insightful. You really connect with the characters as they go about their daily lives.
It was excellent to get this book via e-book download and start immediate reading. Saves us the waiting for delivery.
Lewis is one of my favorite Christian authors and I have read all of her books. She always does a lot of research into the Amish culture and lifestyle. While I would not rank “The Secret” as Lewis’ best book, I would say it is one of her better books. As with many of her series this first book ends with many unanswered questions and with nothing completely resolved. This makes the reader excited for the next book in the series to see what happens. On the whole, it leaves readers excited to see what will happen in the next book by leaving many unanswered questions. It tells an interesting story which keeps readers entertained and is definitely worth reading.
While this book in no way is as good as some of Ms. Lewis' earlier works, I have to say that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. I've read several reviews that practically bashed it, saying that it's too depressing, that there are too many characters to follow, that there are loose ends not resolved, etc. I have a few things to say about each one of those points.First of all, yes, the book is slightly depressing, but I don't think she meant for this particular series to start off as happy. Yes, the mother leaves her husband and her children, and none of them know why. They are left to pick up the shreds of their dignity among their community. None of that is pleasant, but that's the story Ms. Lewis chose to write. Secondly, the characters. I didn't think there were too many to follow; it seemed to be an adequate amount to keep it interesting, but not too many to keep up with. The only complaint that I had were a few characters had names that were too similar. Martin and Marian look very similar, as do Adam and Andy. I think a little bit more creativity could've been used when she selected the names.Lastly, yes, there are loose ends at the end of the book, but that's the author's preference. Not every author is going to have a complete resolution at the end of every book. There are several storylines that are going on, and they can't all be covered in one book. Otherwise, there would be complaints that the story was too rushed. Personally, I didn't mind that the story ended the way it did. The actual "secret" of the book was revealed, but how it will play out will be revealed in books 2 & 3.I am quite excited to read the rest of the series, mainly because the storyline is outside the norm for Amish fiction. Women just do not walk out on their families in the Amish world. I'm not expecting happy resolutions all around, but I do think it will be some great reading....I'm really looking forward to it.
I have to honestly say that I'm writing this review for the first and second books. I loved the characters of Grace and Yonnie. I haven't seen anything like them before. But Lettie, her husband, and Heather I just didn't enjoy as much. I've read all of Beverly Lewis's books and to me this one wasn't as good as some of her others. She already used the child out of wedlock story in Abram's daughters, the englisher-once-Amish story in Annie's people, and just seemed like it wasn't original. It wasn't really planned either. The fact that heather is adopted just pops up, no leading up to it or anything. There it is she's adopted. The second book was so slow. Nothing happened. It was so predictable that I let a friend borrow it not more than a week after it was out and she returned it claiming she had read it before. I fairly devoured the 2nd book only to reach a cliffhanging end and feel completely ripped off. There was no information that was really conveyed in the 2nd book. And not only that, I have to wait till next year to read what I know already happens.If you plan on reading this book, I recommend you wait till the last one is done and have all three readily available to read in one sitting, that way you won't feel let down.
actually Karen is the one who ordered and read it. I loved the book and can't wait to read #2 coming in Sept. that I have already ordered. Beverly Lewis is one of my favoriate authors and I love reading the Amish books.
I apologize for such a poor review but I must be honest. Beverly Lewis is one of my favorite authors, however, I have not enjoyed her last few books, as much as, her earlier novels. "The Secret" was SO dull, it took me three weeks to trudge through it. I had to force myself to pick it up and read. I usually devour this genre of novels, but not this one. The author failed to tie these two unrelated storylines together. I don't mind a cliffhanger, but this book lacks any suspense. The ending was flat... it just stopped... What's with that??? The character development and personalities were more worldly and odd for Amish. On a good note, I am glad to see writings about the life of a woman in her 40's. BUT did she have to be such a FLAKE??
I enjoyed this book, as I usually do enjoy Beverly Lewis. However, I have a question: On page 297, it is written "Grace had left lean ground beef to thaw on the counter while she was in Bart." How did she get it frozen? I thought this family did not have electricity and I'm wondering what kind of freezer she might have. But the book held my attention throughout and was very enjoyable.
This wasn't my favorite. I love Amish fiction and I love Beverly Lewis. This book seemed to develop very slowly and I found myself wanting to skip to the end and read some. It was as if it were drawn out more than necessary to be able to create book 2, instead of putting the story closer together in one book. I suppose I like series books that tend to close one story and then have characters branch off from story one to create story two. Still a fan even though I found this one lacking.
As usual Bev Lewis has done it again. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, so to speak. This one however, leaves you hanging waiting for the next book. I have an idea what the next one will uncover but still can't wait until September when it comes out.
I greatly enjoyed The Secret. However, Beverly Lewis does tend to jump around a lot making it slightly difficult to follow the plot. In the end, she ties it together but leaves the reader hanging. Hopefully she will have the next one ready soon!