Author: Beverly Lewis
Published: March 2009
Genre: Christian Fiction
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.
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."
"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.
If you're interested in finding out about the other books Beverly Lewis has written, then visit her website here: Beverly Lewis
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