The Secret Keeper (Home to Hickory Hollow #4) by Beverly Lewis

This is the first book in this series I have read, but the story didn’t leave me missing anything from the previous books. Beverly Lewis is on my favorite authors list. I have never read one of her books I didn’t enjoy.
The story line was very different. While so many stories involve Amish who want to leave the life and become “Englishers”, this one is about an “Englisher” that to wanted to leave the world and become Amish!
From the time she was young, Jenny Burns had been drawn to the Amish faith. Everything about them and their way of life deeply touched her. The wealthy, materialistic, fast paced life of Jenny’s family always left her at odds with them and not fitting in. This made her long for the simple life even more.
After corresponding for many years with an Amish friend, Marnie, she met on vacation; she feels she is ready to make the move. She saves her money, sells her earthly possessions, and quits her job. Marnie arranges for her aunt and uncle, the Lapps, to welcome her into their home and help her during her year of “Proving”.
Being a “seeker”, someone from outside desiring to become a church member, the community meets her with distrust or open arms, there doesn’t seem to be a happy medium. Jenny struggles to adapt, learning the language and all the skills she must have to be a true Amish woman. While she is very happy, she finds the way of life more difficult than she thought, but most of all her image of the Amish people being “perfect” is shattered. She finds they are just as human as she is.
Accidentally she stumbles on a secret of another’s that she would have to reveal when she joined the church or she would not be holding true to the Ordnung. That combined with her homesickness for her family, whom she never thought she’d miss nor would miss her, makes her begin to question if she can stay. She had grown to love the people and one young man in particular. What should she do? The ending has an unexpected twist!
I always enjoy the details about daily Amish life but this book gave me something extra. It looked not only into the hearts and minds of the Amish characters but also through the eyes someone outside of the faith seeing it from the inside for the first time. I look forward to reading the other books in this series.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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