Can two young people survive the suspicions of their friends and neighbors when tragedy strikes a close-knit Amish community?
Perry Borntrager 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.
©2012 Shelley Shepard Gray (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.
The formula and setting for the story had great potential and could have been amazing, but it didn't deliver for me. Although I enjoyed the Amish setting, and a lot of the situations presented could have been delightful. I hate it when you "head hop" jumping around from character to character knowing what everyone is thinking and why, along with every conversation. Felt like the book had a lot of internal inconsistancies, redundance and extensive build-up for a trite resolution. I kept thinking... is the editor asleep?
curious, upsetting, shocking
The shocking, accidental discovery of a murdered Amish boy.
Can't say I have a favorite, but the narrator does such a good job that you always can sense which character is speaking.
The murder that rocked the Amish community
This book is part of a trilogy, so you are left wanting more. I love Amish books and the interesting way in which the Amish survive amongst the Englishers. I never seem to weary of the contrasts and the attraction of one to the other. It's intriguing, too, to witness how the older Amish generations guide the youngsters, but there is no leniency...if they don't follow the Amish "ways", the are "shunned". I find it amazing that families will ostracize their own children...I can't understand how one could turn away from one's child. Strict love, more like God's tough love.
I took a chance on this book in a sale. It was okay and some of the insights to Amish life were interesting. I felt cheated that the crime wasn't solved by the end of the book and that I had to buy the next one to get the answer - it wasn't good enough to merit buying the next book.
Whether you are Amish or English this is a good book. So refreshing to listen to an entire book without one off color word.
Artist & Journeyman Composter
The audio blurb was possibly misleading, putting focus on the surprise of discovering a murdered body by a secondary character, whereas the real story was how all those who knew the victim
were unwilling to reveal aspects of their relationship with him, Perry Borntrager,believing their own culpability, or fear and shame over incidents in their shared relationship.
The opening seemed to me at first a little too dramatic, as several characters so strongly denied any knowledge that might help the detective; but I trusted the author to reveal the truth behind the resistance. She did, slowly, carefully, even lovingly.
Jacob's murdered body was accidentally discovered down a well, precipitating an investigation by
an outsider into a dual cultured town: Amish and Englisher ("outsider" to the Amish). Right there is a delicious inticement into the story: how do a modern people and those dedicated to living according to past values get along? This is one of the lovely aspects to the story: it turns out
that everyone who knew Perry,whether Englisher or Amish, was very human in their fears,
courage and values; their humanity was transcendent.
The discoverer was sister to one of the main characters, a college aged Englisher named Walker, who had worked with and been friends with Perry, and witnessed the descent of his personality,
from responsible, though fun loving, into anger and dissociation then unethical,then criminal behavior. But Walker believed that though he did try to interfere for good, he had failed his friend and possibly caused his early death. This was his shame.
Lydia is lovely, Amish, and had been in a loving commitment with hopes for marriage to Perry, also Amish. His descent into hell was evidenced by his behavior from caring, gentle and responsible, with a delight in surprises, to rude, careless, and eventually sexually aggressive.
This last act broke her heart, and she broke off the relationship, though it cost her a great deal to
come to terms with broken dreams.
Both of the main characters slowly come to terms with the deep hidden reasons for their secrets, through a new,gentle, well matched relationship which helps them both to look toward their own integrity and strengthen it. This is the deep charm of this story: secrets, held through fear, and
not expressed properly destroy part of our psyche. When careingly and bravely released, a new
future can occur.
I liked this story very much, was upheld by its values, and will continue the series.
SPOILER ALERT: You may have guessed by now that the murder was the trigger that created
the growth in consciousness of those who cared for the victim, but is not solved in this episode.
Didnt read the book
No but i enjoyed her & listened to the rest of the series
Book was slow & drawn out @ times but still enjoyed it overall, liked the fact it seemed realistic.
This is a fiction story about the Amish with a little unsolved mystery added to the mix.
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