Monday, June 30, 2008

CFBA presents Hidden by Shelley Shepard Gray

ABOUT THE BOOK: (from the publisher)
When Anna decides it's time to leave her abusive boyfriend, she doesn't know where to turn. Rob has completely won over her parents, and the entire community, with his good looks and smooth charm. Only Anna has seen his dark side.
Desperate, she runs to the only place she's ever felt completely safe—the Amish Brenneman Bed and Breakfast, where Anna met life-long friend Katie Brenneman. The family welcomes her in, and with few questions asked allows her to stay, dressed in Plain clothing, and help around the inn.
Katie's older brother Henry is the only one who doesn't take too kindly to the intrusion. He tries to ignore Anna, knowing no good would ever come from caring for an Englisher like her. But as he gets to know Anna, he discovers her good heart and is surprised with her readiness to accept their lifestyle.
The more time Anna spends with the Amish, the more she feels she's found a true home. But how can she deny the life she left behind? And will her chance for happiness be stolen away by the man from her past?


MY REVIEW:

Books about the Amish people and their unique culture seem to have taken on great popularity lately. In the book Hidden Shelley Gray’s main character, Anna, uses the Amish culture as a place to hide from her abusive boyfriend as well as her own insecurities about herself and her relationship with her parents. I know enough about the Amish to know that the shelter they provide Anna in this story is probably very realistic, but somehow Anna’s decision to consider their lifestyle as her own seems a little forced.

See, I found the characters of her parents to be kind of shallow. They disbelieved her when she told them her boyfriend was dangerous, they practically pushed her back in his direction, and they were openly critical of her lack of success in the work world. As soon as they realize she has left home, all of the sudden they are talking about their relationship with God and needing to pray for guidance ect…They came across as situational Christians instead of spiritually mature leaders in their own home. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising to me that Anna was floundering so badly. Her parents were indulgent and spiritually weak, so she was naturally hurt by their disbelief and indifference toward her trouble with the rich boyfriend. I would have run away too.

Maybe Anna was mature enough to consider the Amish lifestyle. However, by the end of the story, she still seemed a little too eager to please everyone in order to avoid conflict. I was left feeling like she was still trying to escape mom and dad even though she had developed close relationships within the Amish community. Basically, the entire story just didn’t ring completely solid to me. I put this book down a lot. I read other books in between the beginning and ending of this one. It was ok, but it didn’t hold my attention. Make up your own mind. Buy a copy here today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
This book is the first in the Sisters of the Heart series. Please read this article to learn more about the author and this story. This is Shelley's first inspirational romance.


1 comment:

Michelle Sutton said...

I liked this book more than you did, however, your insight is fabulous. I need to clone you. Can you teach other people to review as well as you do? This is most definitely a finalist. Well done!