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A Sister's Secret (Sisters of Holmes County, Book 1) Paperback – May 1, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc; Large Print edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597892262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597892261
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This first installment in the Sisters of Holmes County series is more of the same for Brunstetter, who has more than a million of her Amish-themed novels in print. Grace Hostettler is settling down to a conventional Amish life and marriage to a kind young man in her community. But when a stranger from her past shows up, she's forced to acknowledge the "English" life and family she left behind during her rowdy adolescent rumschpringe period. Will her new husband accept her when the secret of her past comes tumbling out? Unfortunately, technical problems mar this novel about second chances. Grace is a weak and uninteresting protagonist who is more an observer of the action than its leading lady. While Brunstetter's fans will no doubt appreciate the novel's loving—even hagiographic—portrait of the Amish, the Amish characters' dialogue often feels stilted and unnatural, impeded rather than enhanced by awkward sprinklings of Pennsylvania Dutch. Stock English characters, such as an intrusive reporter and an aggressive developer who wants to buy up Amish land, add little to the story. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book Description

Grace has put the past behind her, joined the Amish church, and begun a new life. Things are going well until the day she sees Gary. Will his maniacal love destroy more lives than one? Cleon is marrying Grace, yet is unaware of her shameful past. Will love and faith triumph over shame and deception?
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Wanda Brunstetter is an award-winning romance novelist who has led millions of readers to lose their heart in the Amish life. She is the author of over 60 books with more than 7 million copies sold. Many of her books have landed on the top bestseller lists, including the New York Times, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, CBA, ECPA, and CBD. Wanda is considered one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre, and her work has been covered by national publications, including Time Magazine and USA Today.

Wanda's fascination with the Amish culture developed when she met her husband, Richard, who grew up in a Mennonite church, and whose family has a Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Meeting her new Mennonite sister-in-laws caused Wanda to yearn for the simpler life. In their travels, she and her husband have become close friends with many Amish people across America. Wanda's desire to explore their culture increased when she discovered that her great-great grandparents were part of the Anabaptist faith.

All of Wanda's novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Many of her books are well-read and trusted by the Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

Wanda's primary attraction to the Amish is their desire to live a devout Christian life that strives to honor God, work hard, and maintain close family ties. Whenever she visits her Amish friends, Wanda finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties, which is in stark contrast to the chaos and busyness that plagues so many modern "Englishers." Time and time again, Wanda loses her heart in the Amish life, and she hopes her readers will, too. For more information, visit: www.WandaBrunstetter.com

Customer Reviews

It kept my interest and it was hard to put the book down.
I would recommend the book to those interested in reading about the Amish and for those who enjoy romance mixed with suspense.
Marijane Troyer
I couldn't connect with the characters and felt that some of the dialogue was just kind of thrown in there.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on July 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Sister's Secret by Wanda Brunstetter is the first book in the Holmes County series about the Amish Hostettler family. Grace Hostettler is ready to marry Cleon Schrock after returning from her running around years (rumschpringe). But Grace has a secret that may be exposed by a reporter she knew during that time who is digging up stories on the Amish of Holmes County. Is he connected to the attacks on the Hostettler home and will Cleon be able to forgive Grace for the sins she committed before they met? I was completely surprised by this book. I was expecting a quiet family drama along the lines of Beverly Lewis' Amish books, and the slow start to this book led me further in that belief. But as pieces of Grace's life started to crash around her, the suspense ratcheted up very quickly. As the drama heightens, the pages flew by, until with only twenty or so pages to go, I was thinking No, it can't be over yet, but what about? and what about? The dialogue is a bit clunky in spots which makes for slower reading, but midway through the book I stopped noticing it and paid attention instead to the powerful plot. Grace's father and Cleon struggle so deeply with Grace's past, it's painful to read. Although Grace is more of a passive character in the story rather that a strong female lead taking action, that is to be expected of a young Amish woman, especially one who feels the deep shame she does. Grace took action once in her life and spent the next four years regretting it. And Amish passiveness is almost a character itself in the story: Grace's father's refusal to retaliate for the attacks, Cleon's response to Grace, etc. Ruth and Martha, Grace's sisters, each have their own story to tell (as I'm sure Brunstetter will in the sequels), and they are different, interesting characters.Read more ›
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Okie Girl on October 18, 2007
Format: Unknown Binding
Let me say - I hated this book. I have probably read most of Brunstetters books, and I've usually enjoyed them. I think her writing is a little juvenile at times, and she doesn't really get too "in depth", but I read her anyway, because I like the Amish settings. (In my opinion, her writing cannot compare to Beverly Lewis' Amish stories - which are very, very professionally written). However, this book just made me mad by the time I was finished. The violence in the book is really out of character, and doesn't seem to fit the Amish settings at all. The story line is hard to believe. Also, the thread throughout the book of the mystery of the break-ins, destruction, animal abuse, etc., is not even addressed by the end of the book, and loose ends are left hanging! So frustrating after reading the entire book! I'm pretty sure I won't be getting the future books. It left me not caring what happens to these characters!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Warren on July 27, 2007
Format: Unknown Binding
Grace Hostetter learned the hard way that sowing wild oats will sometimes result in a bountiful harvest. During rumschpringe, she did a few things her family doesn't know about, and she has no intention of telling them the truth. Grace is back home now, baptized into the church, and getting ready for her wedding to Cleon Schrock. Then trouble in the form of a red-headed freelance photographer named Gary Walker comes to Holmes County. Grace dated Gary while she was away from home. When they broke up he vowed to get even. Now strange things happen around the Hostetter farm. Grace blames Gary, although there is no proof he is involved.

Secrets from Grace's past surface, and she learns the consequences of not trusting enough to tell the truth. Trapped by the lies and half-truths she has told, Grace is in danger of losing all she holds dear. There was one unanswered question in the book, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story. Fans of Wanda Brunstetter will enjoy A Sister's Secret, book one of the Sister's of Holmes County series.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Library Lady on October 8, 2007
Format: Unknown Binding
I have read with anticipation the other series by Wanda Brunstetter and have thoroughly enjoyed the stories.

In the Sister's Secret, the main character, Grace has deceived her family and future husband. There is great compassion of forgiveness on the part of the family and new husband.

I was very disappointed in the way the book dragged along with all of the incidents of stealing and distruction. There had to be 20-25 incidents along these lines and it made the book drag and I truthly lost my interest; especially when the mystery wasn't solved at the end of the story. The content of the book consisted of the mystery taking place and 3-4 pages relaying the recent incident to family members. Is this mystery going to continue for 3 more books? I really don't think this mystery would keep young readers interested either. Very disappointing and I don't plan on continuing with this series.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By momma on June 1, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoy all of Wanda's books. She offers a look into the life of the Amish way of life. The main character in the story(Grace)has a past she doesnt even share with her beloved family, not even her best friends. She thinks they would reject her when it came out. When she is engaged to be married she doesnt share it with her husband to be. BUT after the marriage, the secret comes out when a man from the past arrives at her door with a deliteful surprise she never thought imaginable. But I wont give away the secret you will have to read it for your self, after all ITS A SECRET...:) get this today, join the Amazon Prime and get free shipping too.
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