The Secret Keeper by Beverly Lewis

As someone who has long loved reading Beverly Lewis’ Amish fiction, I was especially excited to read this book.  It’s a story about Jennifer (Jenny) Burns, a young lady from the English world who has always wished she had been born Amish and could live a Plain life.  After making up her mind to join the Amish church, she quits her job, sells her car, packs a single suitcase, and moves in with a family that many (who have read previous books by this author) will be familiar with – Rebecca and Samuel Lapp (parents to Katie Lapp).  Jenny understands that in order to be able to join the church and “take vows” that she’ll have to go through a time of “proving”, learning the ways of the Old Order Amish (how to cook from scratch, pluck chickens, make clothing, hitch the horse and buggy, and more)… but she doesn’t fully understand what she’s getting into with this family.  At one point, when she sees Rebecca sneaking out at night and finds out that she went to visit her daughter (who was shunned), it sends her into a downward spiral, really not knowing how to handle things.  She feels a loyalty to the Lapp’s and doesn’t want to reveal anything to the Bishop, even when asked, and chooses to move back home for awhile instead of revealing what Rebecca has been doing.  While with her family, it becomes clear to all of them that she really does belong with the Amish.  When she goes back, it’s with her parents blessing.  Of course, no story by Beverly Lewis could be complete without having a love story woven in, and the story this book includes is really a very touching one.  It’s a book that I literally couldn’t put down, and I really hope that there will be another book to follow this one!

I appreciated that this book looked at things from a different perspective – instead of it looking at Amish youth who wanted to become English (although there was talk of that in the book as well), it was really all about someone who was English wanting to become Amish.  It’s the first time I’ve seen anything like that and I really enjoyed following along with Jenny’s challenges (and triumphs!) as she learned and grew.  It’s also the first time I’ve seen characters in these books doing personal devotions, and I appreciated that too.  I know the Amish have strong beliefs and strong faith, but just hadn’t read about anyone taking the time to do more than family Bible reading.  I thought it was great to see characters using devotionals!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.  I was in no way required to write a positive review – the thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

 

 

 

 

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