Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Secret by Beverly Lewis: a not so good review

The Secret (Seasons of Grace, Book 1) The Secret by Beverly Lewis

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.

My review

rating: 1 of 5 stars
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.

View all my reviews.

*NOTE* As an alternate opinion, I encourage you to go and read Staci's review over at Life in the Thumb.

10 comments and creative thoughts:

Sheila Deeth said...

Neat to read both reviews - thanks for the link. I'm not sure I've read any of hers yet (what an admission!) but maybe I'll not make this the first. It's interesting how the same book affects people differently isn't it. But I'm trying to avoid things that are too depressing at the moment.

CherryBlossomMJ said...

If you measure it on different elements I guess I can see the partial beauty in the writing and scenes. But the overall malady of EVERYTHING is just a bit thick for me to get through. I do not need a book about daisies, but I do need something more up lifting than this.

Ruth @ Bookish Ruth said...

This is good review, Margaret. I think I would have had the same issue; right now I'm looking for more uplifting books and I don't think I would have made it as far as you did with this one.

CherryBlossomMJ said...

Thanks for the support Ruth. It is always hard to write a negative review.

Staci said...

Margaret- first off thanks for the shout-out! Secondly, I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy this one by Lewis. But that would make the world a very boring place if we all loved everything that the other person loved right? Don't forget though that this will of course be a trilogy and maybe the next two books will be more uplifting?!! I still liked reading what you had to say negative or positive, and I always appreciate when reviewers are honest with their opinions because after all it is OUR opinion and not that of the publishing company or the author.

CherryBlossomMJ said...

Staci, you are right on. I hesitate sometimes to write bad reviews, but I want to be honest. If I only ever wrote good reviews, I'm not sure people should trust everything I say. lol This one was not for me, but others from her were. And maybe at another time in life, this would be a good read. Who knows.

Amee said...

I hate that you didn't like this one. I don't have it yet but I'm eager to read it and see where my opinion falls amidst the negative and positive reviews I'm seeing. :)

Anna said...

I really appreciate your honesty, and I say life is too short to plod through books you're not enjoying. I have this one and I'll be reading it soon. I've read many of Beverly Lewis' books and loved them, so I hope I enjoy this one, too.

Diary of an Eccentric

Carole said...

I personally appreciate your honest review, Margaret. We all like different things, and if all reviews were gushing with praise, we would question the integrity of the reviewer.

CherryBlossomMJ said...

Anna - Thank you.

Carol - Thank you and I think you are exactly right.

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