The Secret (Seasons of Grace Series #1)

( 252 )

Overview

In the seemingly ordinary Amish home of Grace Byler, secrets abound. Why does her mother weep in the night? Why does her father refuse to admit something is dreadfully wrong? Then, in one startling moment, everything Grace assumed she knew is shattered. Her mother's disappearance leaves Grace reeling and unable to keep her betrothal promise to her long-time beau. Left to pick up the pieces of her life, Grace questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment.

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The Secret (Seasons of Grace Series #1)

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Overview

In the seemingly ordinary Amish home of Grace Byler, secrets abound. Why does her mother weep in the night? Why does her father refuse to admit something is dreadfully wrong? Then, in one startling moment, everything Grace assumed she knew is shattered. Her mother's disappearance leaves Grace reeling and unable to keep her betrothal promise to her long-time beau. Left to pick up the pieces of her life, Grace questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment.

Heather Nelson is an English grad student, stunned by a doctor's diagnosis. Surely fate would not allow her father to lose his only daughter after the death of his wife a few years before. In denial and telling no one she is terminally ill, Heather travels to Lancaster County--the last place she and her mother had visited together. Will Heather find healing for body and spirit?

As the lives of four wounded souls begin to weave together like an Amish patchwork quilt, they each discover missing pieces of their life puzzles--and glimpse the merciful and loving hand of God.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Any new Beverly Lewis fiction cycle is a just cause for celebration, and this is no exception. In the first book in her Seasons of Grace series, Lewis etches an artful ensemble novel about four wounded souls searching for healing in Amish country. Gripping stories about love, loss, denial, and redemption in Lancaster County.\
Publishers Weekly

Popular novelist and Amish specialist Lewis (The Brethren) launches a new series with this volume. Two young women, Amish Grace Byler and graduate student Heather Nelson, stand as counterpoints in parallel plots involving two secrets. Grace's mother is troubled; Heather, whose mother has died of cancer, tells no one in her circle of her own diagnosis of terminal illness, which drives her to Pennsylvania Amish country in search of healing. Grace's mother makes a decision that painfully complicates the action and drives it forward. Grace, her family and friends and the Amish milieu are drawn with characteristically ample detail, right down to jars of preserves set out on the tables at many bountiful Amish meals. Lots of powerful emotions go characteristically unspoken in this reticent culture, though the reader won't miss them. By comparison, the emotional high-stakes Heather plot is less detailed and consequently less engrossing. Lewis lays out-and knots-many plot threads to pursue and resolve in subsequent installments in the series, ensuring readers' return. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764205712
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/31/2009
  • Series: Seasons of Grace Series , #1
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 203,546
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Beverly Lewis
Beverly Lewis, raised in Pennsylvania Amish country, is a former schoolteacher, an accomplished musician, and an award-winning author of more than eighty books, many of which have appeared on bestseller lists, including USA Today and The New York Times. Her novel The Brethren won a 2007 Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction. Beverly and her husband, David, live in Colorado.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 252 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(93)

4 Star

(72)

3 Star

(45)

2 Star

(20)

1 Star

(22)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 252 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 6, 2010

    Good book, but I didn't like the cliffhanger

    I love Beverly Lewis books...haven't read one I didn't like. HOWEVER, I can normally read one in one of her series and when I've finished the book, felt like it was the end of the book....I was still anxious to read the next in the series, but I felt satisfied.

    With The Secret (and also with "The Missing") it seemed to me that the book came to an abrupt end without any closure---as if someone stole the last couple chapters or something. And after having read The Secret and The Missing, I now have to wait several months for the next book in the series to come out....I just felt the book was left unfinished.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Blah, Depressing, and Boring

    I am taking out the book mark at page 265. I just cannot continue. Nothing pleasant has happened so far in the entire more than two hundred and fifty pages minus one paragraph. Many things are going on, yet every single one is depressing with no reprieve. I have read a handful of reviews so far that love the story and the presentation of the Amish lives through the novel. This book for me just is not happening.



    In the past, I have read several titles by Beverly Lewis and loved them. This one is just dull and bland and I cannot continue it. There are too many dozens of books to be read. I spent three days and more pages and effort than I should have. Some already have, and some will love this book, but I do not and I do not recommend it. It could turn around, but you need some relief in the hours of depression and pain and this so far has not had it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Too many secrets?

    Let me start out by saying that this is book #1 in this new series, and it is definitely the start of something good (but only the start). Here we have some amazing storylines that start to intersect as we go along... Grace is from a nice Amish family, living a nice Amish life when weird things start happening. Mom can't sleep at night and wanders around outside, Dad doesn't want to discuss it, Grandma seems to know more than she is letting on... but not enough. Then one night Grace's world is turned upside down. Her mother is gone and no one knows why. Can her family function without mom? Can they survive the scrutiny of the Amish community? What is the deal with Heather who is coming to stay with an Amish family? The interesting thing about "The Secret" is that even though the big secret is revealed before the book is over it definitely asks more questions than it answers. This book is not about resolution, it is about questions... so don't read it if you are not planning on reading the rest of the series! I will say that it is worth the read and Beverly Lewis is a master at crafting characters and storylines - so dive into the mystery that is the Amish community!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I felt like I already knew the secret

    I'm always excited when Beverly Lewis releases a new book. In my opinion, she's the standard for Amish fiction and I usually compare all others to her. I feel like I've learned a lot of the Amish culture through her books and I especially enjoy when she allows English culture to blend with the Amish. This book showcases the lifestyle of an Amish family who appears to have it all on the outside, but inside is secretly hurting. Grace seems to pick up that there's something not quite right with her parents, but since their culture doesn't allow for straightforward questioning, she's usually left in the dark. Heather's story was a nice interlude in between Grace and Lettie's tale. I enjoyed reading about her life especially since she was from the Williamsburg area near my hometown. I wasn't sure exactly the connection was between her and Grace and Lettie but I think I might have an inkling. While I enjoyed reading this book, I felt it was a bit predictable. About halfway through the book, I guessed what was going to happen and I was right. I enjoyed the story but I felt that it's a plot that has been done many times before and even feels like the reverse of one of Lewis's own books. I can understand the feelings that Grace's mother might have been going through but it wasn't really fair of her to leave the rest of her family in the dark. I mean they have no idea what's going on, and then she just gets up and leaves with only a note. Her family is totally confused and unaware of Lettie's past. The first half of the story seems to build up to Lettie's secret but since I guessed it halfway, it felt like a letdown. I also have a pretty big feeling I can guess as to the plot of the next book and how the story continues. I'm hoping I'm wrong, because I really dislike predictable plots. As I said before, Beverly Lewis is a favorite author of mine and I will be reading the next book. I just hope that she will prove me wrong!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2014

    Awesome

    Loved it. Mystery, romance, and clean.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Amish Book Fan

    I love Beverly Lewis books they are so refreshing to read. This book was an excellent begining to the trilogy of this series.

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  • Posted April 15, 2012

    Excellent Read. Can't wait to read more in the series!

    Excellent Read. Can't wait to read more in the series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    Beverly Lewis has done it again.

    Another delightful book by this author. It is not just a book for women. Old soft hearted men eill love it too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2011

    Loved it!

    Enough said

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  • Posted September 9, 2011

    Ya I Verhoodled!

    The Secret by Beverly Lewis

    Ya I Verhoodled! I have read several Beverly Lewis books and I was left completely confused with this novel at times. It contained too many plot lines with no ending. Seasons of Grace Book 1 begins with Lettie, who is very unhappy and is keeping a secret from her husband. Her unhappiness continues to affect the family until one day she just up and leaves without telling anyone why or even bye for that matter. She arranges a ride with the local paid driver who is later accused to having an affair with the passenger he just gave a ride to. It was at this point I wondered why the driver didn't take her to a psychiatrist's office for a course of Prozac. Let's face it, everyone in town knew she was fighting depression. Next, we have our Englischer Heather who has this mystery illness that her mother also had and died from. At this point I was rather piqued. After all, why does the author not tell us what is wrong with Heather? Why be so surreptitious! Then there is Grace (Lettie's daughter) who doubts her decision to marry Henry. She makes her decision after receiving a handmade wooden clock. Yes, we all know by now that this clock is the main theme the author uses to represent time. Time to make decisions, deal with our past, and what to do with the little bit that we have left on earth.
    I found this book almost predictable. What will happen when the series finishes, making it not so secretive? Furthermore, I found it odd that Judah would seem so disconnected from his wife and that he doesn't even really attempt to go find Lettie. Also, when he is in the bank and is told that she had taken five thousand dollars, not even a reaction. Not really a plausible portrayal of an Amish leader or head of household. I did actually feel compassion for Judah and his Amish family. In the past I've always felt that the Amish husbands were characterized as too controlling, and too rigid, but I feel Lewis has concentrated on showing us that Amish men can be vulnerable and can love with all of their hearts. This is the first that I have seen this in her writings and so it left me a bit confused and I wasn't ready for the author to pull a 360 on me like this.
    Mrs. Lewis's books will refer to events, people and locales from previous books, without making it mandatory that you read them all in chronological order. This is my favorite part! I love hearing or catching up with past favorite characters from other series. Subsequently, there are several references to family members or story plots that happened before, but you're not required to read one of her other books to fully enjoy one you've purchased. My favorite part of the book was the wisdom given by Mammi Adah. The best line was Mammi Adah's statements: "When you get what you want....do you want what you get?" or "Yeah, they worked all right, Like killing a fly on the wall with a shotgun." I thoroughly enjoyed this book but it was not as high quality as The Shunning or The Abrams Daughters Series. Yet still the book "'Tis mighty gut."

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    liked it but...

    i downloaded it as a free nook book. Overall i liked it, but i feel she could have written all three condensed in one book and be done with it, The plot is not so dense nor so full of chracters as to merit a series. I feel i can predict the ending and although i like gracie and heather well enough unless i find the other 2 as free nook books i won't be buying them, specially at the price currently quoted.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    Not too impressed...

    I got this as a Free Friday offer awhile back and just read it. It is a short read (not quite 300 pages) but it was somewhat interesting due to the Amish culture. I was very disappointed with the end. I understand the need for a "cliffhanger" to keep readers on a series like this, but nothing was resolved or answered. With this type of ending I am not motivated to read others in this series.

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    So Good

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted May 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Recommend!

    I really enjoyed this book, although at about 11 pages to the end I began to get concerned that nothing was going to be 'wrapped up'. Turns out this is the first book in a series, so now I'm anxiously awaiting the next book.

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  • Posted April 18, 2011

    She has done it again~

    OMG!!! I just finished this and went stright to Barnes and Noble to buy book two! This is so good. I have now added going to Amish country to my bucket list! A must read! Love it ....love it......love it!

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    leaves you wondering what happned to the two main female characters

    Good read except the ending seemed unfinished..there should be a part II

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  • Posted April 6, 2011

    Best of Lewis' series I've read yet!

    I couldn't put this series down. It captivated my attention early on. I thought the story line more interesting than usual by taking issues and personal struggles relevant to us 'Englischers' and showing us that the Amish deal with the same issues. I thought this series more down to earth than others I've read. I highly recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2011

    Interesting!!!

    I did enjoy this book, however if left me not knowing what happened, there was no conclusion. It ends leading you to need the next book in this series to see what happens. Other than that, it was a good book to read and I look forward to the next one.

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  • Posted March 26, 2011

    better than i thought!

    when i downlaoded it i thought itd be boring. i was wrong..it is very well written and makes you feel like you know what these people are going through. very good.

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  • Posted March 22, 2011

    good

    Not her best, but good. It some times repeats things, but most of the time stays exciting.

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