In this new series published by Bethany House, Beverly Lewis once again takes us into the world of the Amish people. This is set in the present. In her previous book “Forbidden” in the “The Courtship of Nellie Fisher” series (reviewed in this paper July 25, 2008) we got a glimpse of Amish life. We get another glimpse in this one.

The local of this one is an “idyllic town nestled between the city of Lancaster on the West, and the village of Intercourse to the East.” It should remain so except for one thing. Grace’s 21st birthday is approaching. Her mother is acting strangely. The mother is given to going out in the middle of the night and walking through the corn fields. Then one night she takes a suit case with her and goes to the train station leaving behind a husband and three children. “She’d been known to be the impulsive sort. But now Lattie was older…and a good deal wiser.” Lattie’s mother states, “Truth be told, Lattie’s disappearance was the last thing she’d expect from this daughter.” It has been over 20 years she has been holding this secret. What effect will it have on those close to her?

Her husband, Judah, wonders, “Is Lattie still grieving Naomi? Her sister had died in her sleep several years earlier, within days of Gracie’s birthday, as he recalled.”

Hers isn’t the only secret being kept. Judah has secrets also and is not communicating with the offspring. In another plot line we have a young woman named Heather who is suffering from cancer. “I’ve no time for doom and gloom” she tells herself. She hasn’t told anyone yet since she is afraid of the treatment she would have to undergo. She has a memory of her mother who also had cancer dying from the treatments. She wishes to try homeopathic methods first. She figures there is time enough to tell others.

In the story of Heather suffering from cancer we are brought up to the point where she moves back to Lancaster County. Her father has some real estate and is developing it. She decides it is time to share the news.

Lattie finds what she is looking for, or at least thinks she has found it. But in doing so she opens a can of worms.

The strands or plot lines are not fully resolved in this one book. We are taken only so far. There are promises implied that will move the story along for as many volumes as are needed. Hopefully in the next book in the series we will have closure.

Lewis seems to enjoy telling stories concerning this sect in America. This time she deals with the present rather than a historical period. In her story telling she helps us understand this group and their adjustment to modern technology. The technology is the phone and the automobile. For fans of Lewis this is a very rewarding suspenseful tale.

Lewis and her stories have appeared on bestsellers lists including “USA Today” and “The New York Times.” She has over 70 books to her name.

Pick up a book and you will find yourself in another place or time. Read non-fiction and you discover new truth or you add to your present knowledge. Write to the best looking book reviewer in Santa Monica and expand yourself. Smdp_review@yahoo.com.

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