'The Secret' it is Book one of "Seasons of Grace" Series by Beverly Lewis. Like all of Beverly Lewis books this one had the slow paced reading to set the stage of the Amish world and had all the beauty and richness the setting gives in ones imagination. The Secret is about the Byler family and the unexplained behavior of the mother, Lettie. It gives glimpses in to relationships we can all relate to and sometimes face - people who do not communicate well, workaholics and 'lost souls' who wander around looking for meaning. Added to the old charm of the Amish is the new fangled “Englishers” who visit the area in search of simplicity.
This book was riddled with questions and anguish that comes with secrets that impact families. This being the first book in the series… we the readers, are left with some frustration as many of the intriguing points are not resolved in this book. Hence we look forward to the next one in the series. The majority of the book focuses on Grace Byler – the oldest Daughter in the family. She seems to be most impacted by her mother’s decisions and has the most questions and life decisions to make without the normal aid of family that most Amish have. Interjected in the story is an Englisher who comes to stay the summer and has anguish of her own and whose future and happiness seems undetermined at this point.
There is a lot of heartache and pain in this book – and I found it to be uncomfortable, the Amish characters tried to embrace faith and hope, while the Englishers searched for solace and simplicity. Neither are fulfilling at this point.
I am not sure if I would recommend this book, it is a hard read… there is a lot of raw emotion covered by the simplicity of the Amish. Quite a lot of High drama, if you like that – then you will like this book.