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Secret, The - Audiobook [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Beverly Lewis
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 2012 Seasons of Grace (Book 1)
# DISCS: 7
LENGTH: 006:37:03

The loving hand of God is at work in even the most unsettling circumstances... In the seemingly ordinary Amish home of Grace Byler, secrets abound.

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About the Author

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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't Wait for the Followup! April 28 2009
I can understand why Beverly Lewis has addicted fans... this story left me longing for more and waiting for the next in the series (coming this fall, fortunately!).

Even in a quiet Amish setting, mystery and romance abound, secrets are kept and families struggle. "The Secret" weaves two stories together - that of the Amish Byler family - holding long-time family secrets; and that of Heather - an 'Englischer' outsider facing devestating illness and looking for peace in her mother's beloved Amish country.

I didn't realize that Amish fiction could be gripping and keep me up late at night reading, but Lewis has made it happen.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A cliff-hanger Aug. 4 2009
The first book in a new series by Beverly Lewis, The Secret tells the story of Grace Byler, an Amish girl who lives in a house of secrets. Her mother wanders the house at night, pale and tearful, but will not open up to her family the reason for her distress. Her father remains silent, leaving Grace and her siblings confused and concerned. What is the deep and painful mystery that holds this family?

I found this book to be very slow moving, even compared to Lewis' other books about the Amish community. Also, the ending left me with a lot of questions unanswered. I would like to see this series bound together as a 3- or 4-in-1 book at some point, as I feel that would create better continuity for the reader. As it stands, I think this book on its own is not as strong as it could have been, but is still quite intriguing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  108 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a delightful peek at modern Amish life April 4 2009
By Richard Cumming - Published on Amazon.com
Beverly Lewis has forged a splendid career with her realistic depictions of modern day Amish life in America. This latest is the first in her Seasons of Grace series. Grace is a young, unmarried Amish woman living with her parents in Pennsylvania Dutch country. She has a part time job in a health food store which exposes her to non-Amish life.

This book is about a family secret that is troubling her mother and that her father is pretending does not exist. As readers learn about Grace's aspirations in life we are immersed in the deeply religious and very human world of the Amish. There's a romantic echo in these gentle pages. It is no surprise that Lewis has a huge following these days. It's delightful stuff!
61 of 68 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just depressing and I could not finish it April 16 2009
By Margaret C. - Published on Amazon.com
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.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Secret May 23 2009
By B. MacFetters - Published on Amazon.com
Beverly Lewis is, by far, my favorite author of "Amish books", or "Bonnet Books" as Time magazine labeled them in a recent article. I have read every one she's written. Once I pick up one of her books, I have trouble putting it down. I love her characters, her depiction of Amish life, and her style of writing. Not so with this book. I had trouble reading this one. I actually find it hard to believe Mrs. Lewis wrote this book. It is nothing like any of her previous works. I was never comfortable with these characters, nor with the way they treat each other. They are very different from her usual characters; they even speak differently. Normally I finish Mrs. Lewis' books in two or three sittings. I devour her books and find it hard to wait for the next one. It took me two WEEKS and much determination to finish this one - and I did only because it's Beverly Lewis. Now I will pass it on to my mom as I've done with all the others. She loves them as much as I do and often finishes these books in one sitting! I'm anxious to know what she will think of this latest one. I hope Mrs. Lewis' upcoming books will be better than The Secret.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete April 4 2011
By micmac - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the first book by Beverly Lewis that I have read. While I enjoyed parts of the story, it is not fair to call it a book. A book should be able to stand alone. This one clearly cannot. She didn't even attempt a conclusion. It is just the end of a chapter, leaving the story/book incomplete. There wasn't any resolution, just lots of loose threads. One of my English professors said a loose thread or two can be overlooked in a great piece of literature, but never in anything less.(And very rarely will you find any in great literature!) I cannot imagine purchasing two more books on the hope that she may tie off those threads and finish what should have been one book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is really more like a long chapter in a book than a book itself -- too many loose ends Sept. 12 2009
By M. C. Crammer - Published on Amazon.com
There's a difference between a series of books (many of the same characters, different stories) and a serial -- a book that's published in chapters. This book had so many unresolved plot lines at the end that it was like reading a chapter in a magazine where you have to wait until next month to find out what happens next. That widespread lack of resolution in the plot lines kept me from giving this book four stars.

Additionally, I thought the pace was a bit slow -- you could have edited 30-40 pages out easily, and should have. Too much time is spent describing characters' brooding thoughts -- and there's a lot of brooding in this book -- when thoughts are best expressed by actions and, to a lesser extent, dialogue.

One plot line involves an Amish family, in which Grace is the central character. There's a secret in the family that's making Grace's mother very unhappy -- so unhappy that she takes to wandering around the countryside at night. Her unhappiness is bothering everyone in the family. Grace is being courted by a young man, so there's a plot line involving that, as well.

Another plot line involves Heather, a non-Amish young woman (an Englischer) who comes to stay as a boarder with an Amish family for the summer. It's never clear how she got the money to do that, since she's a student. It also doesn't adequately explain adequately how or why she would choose to work on her thesis (on her laptop) in a house without electricity. Having several batteries is not only very expensive, but you have to take the laptop and wait for many hours to get them all recharged. Then there's Heather's serious illness -- she has a rather unbelievable response to that, as well.

I'll probably give up and buy the next book in the series to find out what happens with all those plotlines (don't expect resolution of any plot lines in this book), but it's annoying -- but I guess it sells books.
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