Author: Shelley Shepard Gray
Publisher: Avon Inspire
About the book: Perry Bontrager had been missing for months from the quiet Amish community of Crittenden, Kentucky, when his body is discovered at the bottom of an abandoned well. The first death from mysterious circumstances in more than two decades brings the scrutiny of the outside world: A police detective arrives to help the local sheriff with the investigation. His questioning begins with Lydia Plank, Perry's former girlfriend, and Perry's best friend, the Englischer Walker Anderson.
Lydia and Walker know they didn't have anything to do with Perry's death, but they both hold secrets about his final days. Do they dare open up about the kind of man Perry had become? In the oppressive shadow of these dark times, they discover strength in a most unlikely companionship: one that offers solace, understanding, and the promise of something more.
First sentence: Despite her reservations, Abby Anderson cut through the Millers' land.
My thoughts: Though a murder has been committed within the community, this is not the main storyline in the book, but provides the backdrop and helps tie the other characters together. You get a good overview of many people in the community, from the Sheriff Mose Kramer and his police detective friend, Luke to the Schrock's, who run the local "Variety" store. I liked learning about all of them as this is the first book in a series, and I am sure they will come into play later. The main two characters though were Lydia and Walker.
Lydia is struggling with Perry's murder and what she knew towards the end, but she is more conflicted by what her parents have just shared with her about her own life. Walker is also wondering if he could have handled things differently with Perry, and finds a comrade in Lydia. While these two come from completely different backgrounds, they begin to acknowledge that there is an attraction. I am interested in seeing where this romance will go to as the two young adults learn more about themselves and where they fit in.
This book was a nice mix of Amish and English and gave a good contrast between the two. While Lydia struggles with where and if she fits in with the Amish community, Abby (Walker's sister) begins to seek out her Amish grandparents and begins to wonder whether being English is right for her.
You don't get a good resolution to the background mystery, but I am hoping to learn more from book 2, The Search, which is due out in June.
~I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harper Collins in exchange for my unbiased review.~
Publisher/Publication Date: Avon Inspire, March 2012