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The Secret (Seasons of Grace, #1)
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Archived Group Reads 2014 > May Book of the Month - The Secret by Beverly Lewis

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message 1: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - added it

Beth | 2359 comments Mod
In May we will be discussing The Secret by Beverly Lewis.

Goodreads Summary:
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.


Rachel Brand I read this one last year. Looking forward to discussing it!


Natalie (creativecountry0407gmailcom) | 301 comments I remember enjoying The Secret (Seasons of Grace, #1) by Beverly Lewis when I first read it a few years ago, but I need to refresh my memory. before I can discuss it.


Natalie (creativecountry0407gmailcom) | 301 comments The last two books in the trilogy, The Missing (Seasons of Grace, #2) by Beverly Lewis and The Telling (Seasons of Grace, #3) by Beverly Lewis , were also really good when I read them.


message 5: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 2 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 4534 comments Mod
On hold for me at the library. Will pick it up on Monday.


Kalena (bookt2) | 148 comments Just trying to finish up a book before starting this one. So many have recommended Beverly Lewis to me that I am looking for to this one. I do not read much Amish fiction, but after The Outcast a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter by Jolina Petersheim I have reconsidered this.


Rachel Brand Beverly Lewis was one of the first Amish authors I ever read, back in 2009, and I loved her Abram's Daughters series (starting with The Covenant). I've read some of her books more recently and I haven't enjoyed them quite as much. I'm not sure if my taste in Amish fiction has simply changed (there's so much out there now!) or if her writing has changed over the years and I'm just not such a fan of her newer stuff.


message 8: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - added it

Beth | 2359 comments Mod
I know she has been around for a long time, but I have never read anything by her! I'm not sure if I'll get to this one, the library has it, but I haven't made it to the library much this year. We'll see. Either way, I look forward to seeing everyone's thoughts.


Rachel Brand I keep checking books out the library even though I have tons waiting to be read on my shelves ;) Some of the libraries in Scotland recently got their budgets and opening hours seriously cut, so I'm trying to support our local one more--plus, it's less than 10 minutes from our house and I have to pass it to get to the grocery store and bank, so it's hard not to visit!


message 10: by Loraine, CFD Momma (last edited May 09, 2014 06:45AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 4534 comments Mod
I just got this one from my library. I have read many Beverly Lewis books and just finished her book The Secret Keeper (Home to Hickory Hollow #4) by Beverly Lewis . I quit reading Amish for a while as it seemed there were so many coming out and they all followed the same writing formula and it got rather boring. I just finally got The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen from our county downloadble library after being #8 in line so I am trying to finish it so I can return it for the next person. Then I will start this one.


Rachel Brand Some of them do have very similar formulas and plot lines. I appreciate an author who can take a very similar, well-worn storyline and make it original, or one who can do something new entirely. I want to say that Beverly Lewis's novels are more standard--but then again, she did kind of invent the genre ;)


message 12: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 2 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 4534 comments Mod
Rachel wrote: "Some of them do have very similar formulas and plot lines. I appreciate an author who can take a very similar, well-worn storyline and make it original, or one who can do something new entirely. I ..."

I agree Rachel that Beverly Lewis was one of the original Amish writers. I liked The Secret Keeper because it took the storyline from a totally different perspective of an Englischer wanting to become Amish.


Kalena (bookt2) | 148 comments A little over halfway--this has just been okay for me. Grace is a wonderful character, but otherwise I do not feel drawn in.


Natalie (creativecountry0407gmailcom) | 301 comments How does everyone reading this feel about the fact that Grace's parents and Heather's parents lied to them both about them being sisters until Heather got sick? This annoys me because it's kind of the premise of The Shunning (The Heritage of Lancaster County, #1) by Beverly Lewis .


Natalie (creativecountry0407gmailcom) | 301 comments That said, if I remember correctly, Grace's parents have a sheep farm, which is a cool aspect since I'm not quite familiar with how that works. Can someone please clarify that for me since I haven't read the series in about three years?


message 16: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 2 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 4534 comments Mod
Kalena wrote: "A little over halfway--this has just been okay for me. Grace is a wonderful character, but otherwise I do not feel drawn in."

I'm feeling the same way Kalena.


Rachel Brand Loraine wrote: "Kalena wrote: "A little over halfway--this has just been okay for me. Grace is a wonderful character, but otherwise I do not feel drawn in."

I'm feeling the same way Kalena."


Yeah, this wasn't a book that particularly drew me in. It was an easy read, but also very easy to put down and not feel the need to rush back to it!


message 18: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 2 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 4534 comments Mod
Rachel wrote: "Loraine wrote: "Kalena wrote: "A little over halfway--this has just been okay for me. Grace is a wonderful character, but otherwise I do not feel drawn in."

I'm feeling the same way Kalena."

Yea..."


I'm 3/4 done and still feel it is moving at an "Amish Buggy Pace" with not a whole lot that captivates me.


Kalena (bookt2) | 148 comments Loraine wrote: "Rachel wrote: "Loraine wrote: "Kalena wrote: "A little over halfway--this has just been okay for me. Grace is a wonderful character, but otherwise I do not feel drawn in."

I'm feeling the same wa..."


Funny! Just finished today. There is potential in the story--I was most curious about Grace Byler and Mr. Nelson (Heather's dad), but there was too much for me to swallow to feel it is authentic or particularly interesting. Are there other books by Beverly Lewis anyone recommends?


Rachel Brand Loraine, that's a great way to describe it! :)

Beverly Lewis does seem to like larger-than-life plots full of big family secrets and mysteries, so I know what you mean about it not always seeming authentic, Kalena.

I loved The Covenant and the rest of the books in that series, but it's been a good few years since I read them, so I'm not sure if I'd love them as much now as my reading tastes have changed. If you can get it from your library, it might be worth a try!


message 21: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 2 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 4534 comments Mod
Kalena wrote: "Loraine wrote: "Rachel wrote: "Loraine wrote: "Kalena wrote: "A little over halfway--this has just been okay for me. Grace is a wonderful character, but otherwise I do not feel drawn in."

I'm fee..."


I just read The Secret Keeper by Beverly Lewis and I liked it. I found it much more interesting than this one.


Kalena (bookt2) | 148 comments Rachel wrote: "Loraine, that's a great way to describe it! :)

Beverly Lewis does seem to like larger-than-life plots full of big family secrets and mysteries, so I know what you mean about it not always seeming ..."


Thanks, Rachel and Loraine. I love the library!


message 23: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 2 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 4534 comments Mod
I read so many Amish books when I first started reading Christian fiction and became bored with them because they were so formulaic. I have to say this takes me back to my boredom. I finished the book this morning and asked myself: how did I manage to finish this as it moved at an "Amish buggy pace" and the characters certainly didn't capture my attention. Also as the first book in the series it didn't finish any of the storylines so again wondered why I read it.


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