Widow, Rachel Brenneman could not be more surprised when gravely injured Jeremiah Gant and his dark-skinned friend Asa, knock on her door in the middle of a stormy seeking help and shelter. Tempted to turn them away in fear for herself, her compassion for the deathly ill man overrules, demanding that she take them in and care for the sick man.
When her sister Fannie is attacked on Christmas Day, Rachel’s secret and subsequent fears return with full force. Her brother Gideon leaves the family home intent on seeking justice for not only Fannie’s attack, but also for Rachel’s past.
Meanwhile Jeremiah remains in the Amish community while he recuperates. His growing feelings for Rachel cause no end of dilemma and confusion for her. Jeremiah is after all and outsider who is forbidden to her.
What I thought:
I love stories about the Amish, and BJ Hoff delivers in very fine style! ‘Rachel’s Secret’ is full of surprising twists and plots rarely seen from other authors, which I found refreshing.
Throughout ‘Rachel’s Secret’ BJ Hoff skilfully details the conflict between the gentle Amish life and the clash of their beliefs with modern society. It is young Fannie’s insight into the need for forgiveness that provides the most poignant realisation for Rachel, and begins the healing of her heart. No doubt the truths Fannie so eloquently expresses will challenge and inspire readers to reach the same need for forgiveness in their lives as well.
I loved the unusual turn at the end with both Dr Sebastian and Captain Gant. I can’t wait to see some more of their story in the next instalment of ‘The Riverhaven Years’ series. I also look forward to seeing how BJ Hoff develops the story of Gideon’s search for justice for his family. While this plot was introduced, it seemed to have been deliberately left hanging. September 2009 would seem a long time to wait for impatient readers wanting to know what happens next!
Guest reviewer:~ My friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence
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