Welcome to Willow Ridge, Missouri. In this cozy Amish town along the banks of the river, the old ways are celebrated at the Sweet Seasons Bakery Café, and love is a gift God gives with grace.
Summer has come to Willow Ridge, and Rachel Lantz is looking forward to a whole new season in her life as well - marriage to strapping carpenter Micah Brenneman, her childhood sweetheart. But when a strange Englisher arrives in the café claiming to be the long-lost sister of Rachel and her twin Rhoda, Rachel feels the sturdy foundation of her future crumbling - including Micah's steadfast love. As the days heat up and tempers flare, Rachel and Micah will learn that even when God's plan isn't clear, it will always lead them back to each other.
©2012 Charlotte Hubbard (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
So much more than an Amish love story between young Rachel and Micah, Summer of Secrets is a tale of Willow Ridge, an Amish community in Missouri . . . where a widowed mother, Miriam and her two daughters, Rachel and Rhoda run the Sweet Seasons Bakery and Cafe . . . a popular tourist stop, the family serves both Amish and Englishers . . . while providing jobs and retail space for the Amish quilt shop next door . . . when a girl shows up, sporting tattoos, spiked hair and goth clothing for lunch one day, it turns the little Amish community upside down . . . especially the Lantz family . . . because eighteen years earlier, Miriam had been clutching her three year old triplets, Rachel, Rhoda and Rebecca, when Rebecca wriggled loose from her into a torrent of raging flood waters, never to be seen again . . . and now, out of no where, comes this girl, Tiffany, carrying the pink dress her Rebecca was wearing the day of the flood . . . the days and weeks that follow are an amazing tale of how the Holy Spirit works, both within the Amish faith and within the Body of Christ . . . for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God . . . yet His mercy is new every morning . . . I enjoyed how Miriam and Micah opened their hearts to learning and loving beyond what they saw on the surface of Tiffany's hard exterior, of how they extended grace and healing to her when she most needed it . . . and how the triplets ultimately came to love and accept one another . . . this series promises to bring even more joy and delight as I continue with the next book . . . because I LIKE the folks of Willow Ridge . . . well most of them anyway . . .
Artist & Journeyman Composter
The several and increasing Amish stories to which I have listened have been mini heart restoration vacations. Their values touch what I really want in my life: steadfastness, trust, patience, belief in things working out "highest and best for all" -as my cousin says, love, compassion for self and others, including speaking up for both, purposeful activity which helps
others and uses one's talents or abilities; and I love hearing stories incorporating these.
The author's idea of life - at least in these stories - is that painful and sharply challenging events may befall, but that there is much more of family love, connection and mutual caring and help than those bumps. This is reassuring to me.
This story is about a prosperous MissourianAmish community with associations in a nearby Mennonite group; in particular, featuring what's left of the Lantz family: the widowed still youngish mother, Miriam, two twin daughters, Rachel and Rhoda, now grown, who worked to be contributing and self supporting when the husband and father died young of an accident, by buying a building and making a bakery, and quilt shop,now both thriving with regular "English" and local customers. The descriptions of the food make you cozy, and a little envious.
One day, however, a shock occurs that opens up a secret that has ramifications; and the question is,will they handle it for better, or for worse? Actually, both happens, as is not unusual in life but I guess the answer is, which attitude will prevail? A young woman walks into the bakery, though thoroughly Goth in dress, and difficult to decipher exactly, looking eerily, tantalizingly familiar. Michah, Rachel's beloved and soon to be betrothed is the one who senses the tangibility of the mystery, rather than going into disabling shock, and actually to the dismay of others, and possibly his detriment, follows up on it. She, after all, is an "Englisher."
His breaking open this secret catalyzes many changes in relationships, hearts, and fortunes.
But for those who really are compassionate, and take their spiritual values as senior over
literal dogma, the story is a lesson in love and compassion and letting go when necessary,
finding a way.
I thank Audible for these "First In a Series Sales;" they always work for me!
PS The narrator was better than just good. The Amish cadence was in evidence, but not
This is a true Amish novel. Everything about this book was great from the story line to Susan Boyce's performance kept my attention
Would highly recommend.
This has been my favorite series. It kept me so captivated and I could not wait for the next book. Always a new story and the narrator was fantastic. I just ordered book 6 and will watch for new ones. I hope this author does more series.
When the long thought dead child of Miriam Lantz arrives and joins the family of her Amish sisters in the bakery. I love the characters and the bakery story lines and the relationships between the characters was so good.
I was amazed at her character voices and it kept me so interested and I just loved the characters and I found myself crying at times with the characters. I just looked for other books read by this narrator. I can't wait for more books to come out and I hope Susan does the narrator because I loved the story and she brought it to life.
Secrets beyond the Bakery Walls
Charlotte Hubbard your style is like none other that I've heard I just love your books. Keep writing. Listening to the scripture's mentioned and the way the Lord interacts with the characters lifted me so many times with my own faith. Very inspirational reading.
I love reading/listening to books! Favs are by Reformed authors. I'm always looking for good biographies, and accurate Church history.
I can't begin to say how blown away I am as I work my way through this series of books from Charlotte Hubbard! I was hooked from the beginning of this book. Charlotte Hubbard is such a gifted writer. After I finished this book, I bought the entire series! I can't get enough of the stories and families in Willow Ridge. I say... go for another six books Charlotte! There are so many characters I would love to see her continue to develop! If you are a fan of Amish fiction, this is the book to start with... and just keep on going through the entire series. Susan Boyce is such a gifted narrator. It sounds like she is very familiar with the Amish ways :)
I have just two more books to listen to in this series...I'm hoping there will be more audio books to listen to this series. It doesn't get any better than this!
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