Review of Her Secret: Amish Fiction from Shelley Shepard Gray

I used to say that Amish fiction wasn’t one of my favorite genres, but I’ve come to like it more and more. There are some very good Amish fiction books in the Christian fiction market, and many of these are written by people who know the Amish lifestyle well. The description of Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray intrigued me, and I expected to enjoy this Amish fiction read.

Review of Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray

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About the Book

Hannah Hilty is an Amish girl who lived in a large Amish community with her family. When Hannah’s old boyfriend began to stalk her, the family moved to a much more secluded place in Kentucky. Hannah’s siblings haven’t adjusted well to the move, and Hannah herself is afraid of being in public, of even going outside, because of her past experiences.
Isaac Troyer is an Amish neighbor in the new community, and he’s intrigued by Hannah and her way of keeping at home and to herself. He calls her “The Recluse.” When Isaac learns more about Hannah’s past, however, he comes to understand her behavior and to care for her. And when Hannah is potentially in danger again, he wants to help keep her safe.

My Thoughts

I really didn’t like this one. Although the idea of the plot was an interesting one, I just couldn’t enjoy the book.
Many of the conversations in the book seemed awkward and didn’t flow very well. For instance, when Isaac first had the opportunity to talk to Hannah alone, he tells her straight up that everyone thinks she’s odd and calls her The Recluse. This seems a strange thing and doesn’t seem like something that you would normally say when you first meet someone new. It just sounds awkward and stilted in the book. There are other conversations that don’t seem to flow very well, and all of these make scenes feel choppy and not very well-connected.
I also didn’t feel as if the Amish characters in the story always acted “Amish.” I am no expert in Amish culture. I will definitely admit that. But I have read many books in the Amish fiction genre, and this one didn’t seem to portray the characters thinking and acting like some of the Amish in other books I’ve read. I suppose I could be stereotyping, and I’m sure all Amish people do not act, talk, and think just alike. But there was just a different “feel” to the Amish characters in this book.
If you’re looking for a fairly light and easy read, and you enjoy Amish fiction, you may like Her Secret. It wasn’t my favorite, but the storyline is unique, and that may make it enjoyable to some readers.


I give this one three stars and a G rating (There is some intensity with the stalker storyline). You can find it on Amazon here.

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