When Hannah refuses to forgive a terrible sin she becomes anathema--shunned. But the real question is, can she forgive herself?
Visitors come to Parke County, Indiana to enjoy the lush farms, to buy the Amish quilts, and to experience the peaceful ways of the Amish families who live there. But when a double murder rocks this quiet community, the Amish residents resolve to forgive even this unfathomable offense.
Hannah, however, finds forgiveness out of reach--both for the murderer and for herself. She harbors a secret shame: while the crime was committed in her own home, she was out meeting with her forbidden love, her English beau, Reece.
The elders of the community insist that Hannah must forgive her family's killer or be shunned. When Hannah refuses, she runs away with Reece, leaving behind the only life she's ever known.
Years later, Hannah must journey back to the place she no longer calls home. Can she find the forgiveness and belonging she so desperately desires?
Although Coble, a veteran novelist of inspirational romantic suspense, has not tried her hand at Amish-themed fiction, the Amish setting is the most compelling aspect of this disappointing suspense novel. Not only does Coble lace the story with the kinds of details that fans of Beverly Lewis and Wanda Brunstetter will love, she sets the novel in a northern Indiana Amish sect with some unique quirks not seen in Lancaster County-based fiction. The plot, however, is predictable-Hannah, a young Amish woman, leaves the community for love with an Englischer but finds the outside world fraught with menaces and trials. Dangers lurk back at home, too, where various members of Hannah's Amish family turn up dead. This book doesn't showcase Coble's usual daft hand with suspense: several attempts on Hannah's life arise, play out, and are dispatched with in as few as ten sentences each, scarcely permitting readers to believe that real danger is afoot. Although the story has a first-rate setting and some thoughtful musings on Christian forgiveness, the plot is often hackneyed, the scene changes abrupt, and some of the characters-including a stock-villain abusive husband-one-dimensional.
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May 10, 2009
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