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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Review: The Secret by Beverly Lewis


The Secret
Author: Beverly Lewis
Pages: 352
Published: March 2009
Genre: Christian Fiction

From Goodreads:
In the seemingly ordinary Amish home of Grace Byler, secrets abound. Why does her mother weep in the night? Why does her father refuse to admit something is dreadfully wrong? Then, in one startling moment, everything Grace assumed she knew is shattered. Her mother's disappearance leaves Grace reeling and unable to keep her betrothal promise to her long-time beau. Left to pick up the pieces of her life, Grace questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment. Heather Nelson is an English grad student, stunned by a doctor's diagnosis. Surely fate would not allow her father to lose his only daughter after the death of his wife a few years before. In denial and telling no one she is terminally ill, Heather travels to Lancaster County--the last place she and her mother had visited together. Will Heather find healing for body and spirit? As the lives of four wounded souls begin to weave together like an Amish patchwork quilt, they each discover missing pieces of their life puzzles--and glimpse the merciful and loving hand of God.


My Thoughts:

Reading a Beverly Lewis book is like being welcomed back home with open arms from all of your loved ones. Her writing is simple but beautiful. She depicts the Amish and Mennonite community in a very favorable light, but she also shows us that they too, are human and have their flaws. She makes me savor those times in my life when I actually slow down and listen to the world around me. This morning I was sitting on my back steps, reading a book, and just enjoying the sun on my face. While doing that I closed my eyes and really tried to concentrate on the sounds around me. Did you know that there must be hundreds of different bird tweets? That is what reading one of her books will do for you...make you stop, listen, and savor the sweet, simple things in life. Of all of her books, this one is my favorite to date. I love that the story this time around is centered around the mother, Grace and her secret that she's hiding from her family. Having a secret in an Amish community is so much different than in the English world, believe me. Do we have to worry about being shunned? Nope. For the first time ever, I actually feel compassion for the father figure in the Amish family. In the past I've always felt that they were too controlling, and too rigid, but I feel Lewis has concentrated on showing us that Amish men can be vulnerable and can love with all of their hearts. If you haven't read a Beverly Lewis book because you think they may be preachy or such, please disregard that and just try one. Try this book and read it with an open heart and mind. I'm sure if you do, you'll be back for the second and third. And not only that, you too may find yourself closing your eyes and savoring all the beauty that our world has to offer.

Before I sign off I want to leave you with two passages that made me feel such empathy for Judah, the husband.

Judah stood at the footboard and stared at Lettie's side of the bed, his eyes lingering on her pillow. How long had it been since they'd held each other? Turning, he reached for the Good Book, bearing its weight to his chair near the bureau. He sat with a groan. Opening to the Proverbs, he read: "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."

p. 278
"Judah, what's happening?" asked Preacher Josiah Smucker. "Ain't rightly sure...." He uttered words that made no sense, as though someone else were speaking for him.
Great drops fell from his eyes, down his face, and into the thickness of his beard. He crossed his arms over his chest while his sorrow and confusion poured forth.
"I cannot go on...." His breath no longer supported his words. And he was sobbing.

p.313



If you're interested in finding out about the other books Beverly Lewis has written, then visit her website here: Beverly Lewis


If you've reviewed this book please let me so that I can post your link!!


18 comments:

  1. Sounds like another good one. Books about Amish always fascinate me because their world is so private. Books are a nice way to sneak a peek at what they go through, even if it is fiction.

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  2. Hmm, sounds like another sub-genre I could get interested in - Amish fiction!

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  3. I've never read a Beverly Lewis book and they sound like gentle reads. I'll have to add them to my wish list! Great review Staci.

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  4. My stepmother loves this author. I'll have to ask her if she's read this one yet. (She reads more books that I do!)

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  5. My mother-in-law really likes this author. The book sounds interesting, Staci. Great review!

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  6. Great review Staci. I find stories about the Amish fascinating. Their way of life is so different from ours. In some ways I like the simplicity of it but in others I couldn't survive.

    I've not read a book by Lewis yet but I know I've looked at them more than once and wanted to delve into one. Great quotes you shared-very emotional.

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  7. Very nice review. Makes me want to find and read this book!

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  8. thanks for visiting today, what a beautiful blog you have, i especially like your quotes and thoughts page.

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  9. I love, Love, LOVE Beverly Lewis. I loved Abram's daughters series. I have another series here that I have not read yet. I love Amish Country so that is what made me fall in love with her writing. What you said is completely true. Her writing is simple yet so beautiful.

    I hope that you have been doing great my friend. Sorry I've been so quiet. I have been running around like crazy between work and PT. Ugh!

    Happy Easter to you, hubby and your kids!!! ♥

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  10. I have this one in my TBR and I can't wait to start it. I love Beverly Lewis. I have pretty much all of her books. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  11. Your review is fabulous. My opinion and review, not so much. I wrote my review and posted it on my blog, but then I'm linking people to yours for an alternate opinion. Just letting you know.

    cherryblossommj.blogspot.com

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  12. I came here via Carol Cox's review. Interesting to get both points of view. Thanks.

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  13. Great review! I feel the same about Beverly's books. They are just so wonderful. I can't wait to read this one. :)

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  14. Nice job. I want to read this one more and more.. I think it is getting under my skin..and the cover is remarkable.

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  15. As you know, I've had some chaos going on so I'm finally getting caught up on my blog reading...

    There are more and more Amish-themed books out these days! Being raised in central Ohio, we had Amish communities around us and I was always fascinated by them! Great review and I love the beautiful cover!

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