My rating: 3 stars / I liked it
After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she's getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky... if only she wasn't too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone- even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she'll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.
For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called "The Recluse" confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he's misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God's gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there's always more to someone than meets the eye.
Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.
This is a suspenseful story, albeit a bit predictable, with plenty of character growth as Isaac, Hannah, and members of their families learn life lessons about compassion, family loyalty, and strength. Most of the characters' flaws are revealed at some point in the story, which makes them easier to relate to- knowing they aren't perfect and struggling with choices and behavior. The person that was the hardest to understand was Hannah's little sister Jenny, who feels uprooted and places the blame entirely on Hannah, but has secrets of her own that she fails to communicate to her family. Isaac is charming and likeable, and his attentiveness and protectiveness for Hannah only makes him more so as time goes on. The level the story is written on is a bit simple, without the depth of emotion I've been used to from recent Amish fiction I've read, but it was an entertaining book and one that I wouldn't have a problem recommending to ages teen to adult.
(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
About the Author
Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.
The next book to keep you up way past your bedtime? Shelley Shepard Gray’s Her Secret, a suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker.
Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love with Isaac (the friendly Amish man who lives next door), more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.
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