Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title for the book description/blurb.)
As I spent time with A Mother’s Secret, this story about dreams, trust, and forgiveness grew on me. The weight of the fact that an unwed mother, Carolyn, has been living in shame for half of her life in an Amish community with “strict standards and a long memory” (as the back cover says) is carried convincingly throughout the book. The building of the relationship between Carolyn and Joshua comes off simply and genuinely, supported with dialogue that makes their growing feelings for each other believable.
Now, the book does have a way of rehashing the same ideas and sentiments from paragraph to paragraph or from chapter to chapter in a way that doesn’t always develop the story or the characters any further. It’s one thing when repetition serves to expand or to shed a different light on a particular point, but if there’s nothing new to say about that point, I’m fine with a story moving on to what happens next instead of repeating the same information or characters’ thoughts over again, even if it means a shorter read.
There weren’t many surprises for me in the plot except one key point at the climax (a “sign”, perhaps) that I very much liked. I didn’t realize this was the second book in a series when I first came across it, but this story can stand on its own two feet.
A Hopeful Heart is the first book in the Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel series. Books 3 and 4, A Dream of Home and A Simple Prayer, are scheduled to be released in November 2014 and June of 2015–to the best of my knowledge. 🙂