Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Secret

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Secret

(Bethany House May 1, 2009)


Beverly Lewis

Not until her own children were well into middle school did Bev seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book followed in 1993—Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans—presently retitled Big Bad Beans (book #22 in the popular CUL-DE-SAC KIDS series of chapter books—see list of Bev's children's books).

Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is 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."

Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Bev's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."

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

This is a captivating book. The Amish may be known for living simply, but that doesn't mean life is without its difficulties or regrets. As Grace's courtship progresses toward marriage, the troubling relationship between her parents and then her mother's disappearance causes her to rethink her own relationship with her beau. How will her life unfold if she marries him? Meanwhile, Englischer Heather is struggling with the private knowledge of her terminal illness and flees to the one place she had felt peace when she and her mother had visited there years before. And Grace's mother - what was the cause of her tears and why couldn't she talk about it? And where is she now? Amish women don't just up and leave their families. The book is called The Secret, but as frequently happens, secrets seem to multiply and leave heartache in their wake. Answers are hinted at, but since this is just the first book in The Seasons of Grace series, a complete resolution is still forthcoming. Book #2, The Missing, will be released in September.

I enjoyed meeting Beverly Lewis at the Christian Book Expo (her picture above is one I took) and chatting briefly about the book. She was interested in hearing my thoughts about the story and what I think I have figured out (or at least suspect!) and why I have reached those conclusions. I'm eagerly awaiting the next book and highly recommend this series.

Happy Reading!


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1 comment:

A Stone Gatherer said...

I've never read her books, but that one sounds awesome! I'll have to check it out!