Wednesday, September 25, 2013
The Secret Keeper
By Beverley Lewis
Published by Bethany House, September 3rd, 2013
Jenny Burns has been fascinated by the Amish way of life since she was a young girl and she even struck up a friendship with an Amish girl named Marnie, with whom she has maintained a frequent correspondence.
When Jenny decided she definitely wanted to become Amish, it was to Marnie's community that she went, but she left on poor terms with her family - who have never understood her fascination or her desire to live a Plain life - and that was a decision which was to come back and haunt her.
Boarding with Rebecca and Samuel Lapp, she seems to settle quickly and joyously into Amish and community life although some tasks she finds very difficult to learn. Rebecca and Samuel's own daughter has left the community with her husband in favour of attending a Mennonite church instead and have been placed under the severest shunning by the strict Bishop Beiler, a shunning which is accepted by Samuel and apparently by Rebecca too....
Jenny discovers a secret which tests her loyalty to the Ordnung severely, and just as she is trying so hard to integrate into Amish life, several of the young folk in the community are testing their wings and secretly attending the Bible study hosted by Rebecca and Samuel's shunned daughter and son-in-law, threatening to leave the community and Amish life altogether.
Is the community of Hickory Hollow going to be ripped apart as people are trying so hard to discern Gd's Will for their lives?
Some parts of the book irritated me a little, especially Jenny's occasional emotional and spiritual immaturity, but it is certainly a highly interesting and very readable depiction of the difficult task of becoming Amish.