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The book I will be reviewing is called The Secret, by Beverly Lewis. This book features two simultaneous storylines: one of a young Amish girl named Grace and another of a modern, educated young woman named Heather. The two girls are from two different worlds but are both missing their mothers and dealing with problems in their love lives. Any connection between the two girls and their respective worlds is not immediately revealed.
This book starts out with a rather slow pace and the hackneyed Amish slang can be off-putting at first but as the chapters progess, the pace quickens and the old-fashioned characters start to become real and compelling. The book revolves around the initial incident when the mother of the main character, Lettie, leaves their home for somewhere unknown with only a mysterious letter left behind. All of the family are affected by her leaving in different ways and rumours start to run rampant about where she went and what she was doing.
The book is mostly set in an Amish community and deals with the culture with great sensitivity and honesty. The Amish "friends" are neither set up as perfect saints nor maligned as controlling tyrants. Differences in personality and style between groups are recognized. Reading this novel gives a window into a completely different world than our own.
Scripture is part of this novel because Scripture is interwoven into the daily fabric of the Amish existence. Children are brought up in the Word. The main character Grace loves to read a Psalm every morning and the whole community is involved in Sunday worship, held at different members' houses weekly. Specific Amish doctrines are not looked at but rather the way doctrine seems to affect their everyday life.
Overall, I recommend this book, The Secret, by Beverley Lewis. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading more in the series.
For more about Beverly Lewis, see this Hubpages article.