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The Secret (Seasons of Grace #1) by Beverly Lewis

The Secret (Seasons of Grace, #1)The Secret by Beverly Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"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 Review:
I really do adore Beverly Lewis' writing. This book kept me wanting to read on, chapter after chapter. The Secret goes through the emotions and situations Grace and her family go through after having her mother abandon them. It also follows the story of Heather, a girl who is on her towards getting her master's, finds out she's terminally ill, and decided to spend her summer in the same Amish community as Grace. Although these stories seem unrelated at first, towards the end you can definitely tell how they will converge as The Secret of Lettie's (Grace's mother) disappearance. I'm giving this four stars instead of five because the elements of this book is quite similar to another one of Beverly Lewis' books I've read; The Heritage of Lancaster County series. The circumstances of illness, secrecy, amish love and even the overall Secret is much like those in the Lancaster series. It does have a different tinge to it, but the originality seemed lacking. Then again, this may just be the author's style. Anyway, I still definitely look forward to reading the rest in this series, as well as Beverly Lewis' other books.

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"The sight of Dat's empty coat peg sobered her, and she wished she  might brush away the heaviness she sensed in Mamma. If only Grace could manage the way her father somehow did, letting her mother's sadness slide off him. Letting everything slide off, really." (24)

"So, even though she'd given it great consideration since the barn raising last month, there was no question in her mind that she would be on precarious footing with everyone if her well-guarded secret was unveiled.
      No, she must not take a risk like that." (79)

"To her, spring had always signaled the advent of new life. And it was nearly impossible to contemplate the rolling landscape before her without realizing anew how it altered so completely with the movement of the seasons." (318)

Paperback368 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Bethany House Publishers (first published January 1st 2009)

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