My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“The Secret” by Beverly Lewis is the first book in the “Seasons of Grace” series. This book chronicles the lives of the Byler family. In this book, as the title suggests, we find out that one of the characters has a foreboding secret. I am usually a big fan of Lewis, however for some reason I am not very drawn to this series. I feel that Lettie Byler’s story is too much like Sadie’s from the Abram’s Daughters’ series. The story seems to jump a lot from Grace’s view to that of an English girl who – in my opinion – was introduced entirely too early, as it is very obvious what her part of the tale is. Overall, it was very predictable and the characters just aren’t as captivating as Abram’s Daughters. I feel conflicted giving this story only 4 stars since it is well written… However I can’t help but feel that the story is a bit predictable and unoriginal.
A quick summary — The story starts with Lettie Byler’s peculiar behavior stemming from depression that her husband fails to understand. Grace is the oldest daughter of Judah & Lettie and is somewhat oblivious to the carrying-on of her family, as she’s being courted and is close to accepting a marriage proposal. However, when her mother warns her of marrying a quiet and awkward man, Grace begins to question if her mother is unhappy with her marriage. In turn, Grace questions if she is ready to take the plunge.
Lettie’s depression continues to spiral and though she tries to let her husband in on her secret, she just can’t seem to get the words out. All of this culminates in one big “Wow, really? Did that really just happen?” moment, and from that point on the Byler’s lives are thrown for a loop.
We see views shift from the Byler’s family to Heather’s, the English girl I mentioned before. Heather’s mother passed away in recent years and she herself has been diagnosed with cancer. Eager to get away, she books a trip to Lancaster, PA and finds herself staying in an Amish Bed and Breakfast. She wishes to explore natural methods to curing her cancer, as well as mend her broken heart and spirit in the wake of a dire diagnosis and a bitter breakup. As I said earlier, I’m almost certain I’ve figured out her part in the story as her presence makes no other sense otherwise.
Despite my reservations about how similar the story is to another series, I’m still looking forward to finishing the series and seeing if my predictions are true or if there is some big mystery I didn’t foresee!