About the book:
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.
The first book in the Seasons of Grace series. I loved Beverly Lewis' Daughters of Abram series. So, I had high hopes for this one, and while I didn't hate it, I didn't love it. Like the title states, this is a novel full of secrets and questions.
The story revolves around the Byler family. Mother Lettie is haunted by secrets from her past, father Judah struggles with his wife's discontent and is unable to do anything about it, daughter Grace worries for her family and wishes for her own marriage. A young Englisher, Heather, comes to Amish country to get away from her own terminal diagnosis.
Lettie's depression and regret cause her to leave her family behind as she searches for answers. Grace tries to pick up the pieces and keep her family together as they move through their own anger and frustration at Lettie's abandonment. Grace is recently betrothed, but finds herself doubting her decision to marry Henry. Here as in most Lewis novels, we learn about the ways and beliefs of the Amish people. The brethren of this novel were much more compassionate than those in some of her others.
This book started out slowly and, at one point, I was tempted to simply start skimming so I could review it and move on to other books. However, I am glad I read the whole thing: the characters are fairly well developed and, for the most part, likable. I am curious as to how Heather's story will play out, because she seemed to be dropped into the book with no point or purpose. I do want to read the rest of the series.
You can get your own copy of the book here.
Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.