Originally Posted at Bibliophile's Retreat by Melissa Meeks
Barbour Publishing (May 1, 2007)
This book interested me because I've long enjoyed Beverly Lewis' Amish novels so knowing this was also set in an Amish community caught my eye to want to check it out. The Amish setting provides a ready-made inspirational novel as their beliefs and church are the center of the community's life. Brunstetter writes a compelling story with characters the reader identifies with readily. The details of Amish life and the faith key to the story because of the Amish characters are threaded through the story and the characters as intrinsic elements of the plot and who they are not bits and pieces tossed helter-skelter just to make it a "religious" novel.
The details of their lifestyle and religion flow naturally throughout the book as a result of letting it come from who the characters are and how they live. This particular story is that of Grace Hostettler following a wild "rumschpringe" (the Amish term for the teenage years of exploring). Grace chose to live among the "englischers" (Amish term for the outside world) for a few years during this time. After returning to her family and faith from this appealing freedom of the outside Grace also brings with her a secret that will eventually land back in her lap with its plethora of upheaval for her and those around her. In the meantime she has pledged to marry a young Amishman whose family joined this community from another Amish settlement elsewhere after Grace's "rumschpringe" had lost its draw for her and she had joined the church. How will Cleon respond to Grace's secret when she is forced to reveal this thing she wanted to leave in the past? Can Grace recover from the memories that she is forced to face and deal with when the secret comes to light? Will Grace, Cleon and their families be able to live out their faith and practice the forgiveness that is taught by Christ in the Bibles that grace each Amish household?I enjoyed meeting the Hostettlers and other characters who reside in this community and look forward to getting to know them even better in the following books. (ISBN#9781597892261, 304pp, $9.97)
Check back soon for my review of Book 3 of this series. Don't forget to read my review of Book 2 and the excerpt from Book 3. In the meantime click the bookcover to read more about this book and author or to purchase a copy.