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The Secret by Beverly Lewis

April 15, 2009

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing The Secret (Bethany House May 1, 2009) by Beverly Lewis


Beverly Lewis is the author of the best-selling trilogy, THE HERITAGE OF LANCASTER COUNTY, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author’s maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly’s work to be “a primer on Lancaster County folklore” and offers “an insider’s view of Amish life.”

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and playing with their three grandchildren. They are also avid musicians and fiction “book worms.”


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.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Secret, go HERE

Andrea’s Comments: Dare I speak a word on a master like Beverly Lewis? She’s old school and uses techniques like thought tagging that annoy the dickens out of me because they’re unnecessary and distancing, but her fans doubtless won’t mind in the least.

For a first novel in a series, she resolves the plot line fairly well, with us actually being told what the secret is by the end of the book, at least. The primary weakness, if I dare call it that,  is the thread with Heather kinda dangles out there–I’m sure it has something to do with her overall plot, and I have my guesses, but it’s not clear in this story why Heather is actually in it. The only “weaving” of her life with the rest of the novel in this book is happening to show up in the neighborhood over half way through.

Otherwise, Beverly Lewis has once again lived up to her well-earned reputation as a master in her genre.

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