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 sett..Show More »ing, 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?
Gray's strength is holistic thinking, featuring the solid relationships of characters and how they help one another through the shock of this murder, ..Show More »and the consequences of the victim's actions and behavior when alive, all beautifully knit together.
I especially love the partnership model between the young men and women. It's a real pleasure to see people valuing love, caring, working even very difficult problems out to benefit both, balancing their individual needs against the context of Amish teachings, making up their own minds.
In this final episode, the characters are more fully fleshed out; you get to know and like them even more, even as the realization dawns that Perry Borntrager, the young man who descended into his own hell of drug abuse and selling, was not murdered by his outsider drug suppliers; it had to have been someone local.
In an unusual intuition, I guessed who it must be, but not the right reason. Many members had been hurt, but they each had been forthright in facing how Perry had injured them, and were coming to terms with it, by reaching out to each other.
Nevertheless, the climax was complicated, very real, and interesting. My disappointment was that the actual crime of the murder was unclear. Was it actually an intentional taking of Perry's life, or a kind of negligence, or a related malefaction?
Because of this confusion the denouement was not as satisfying as it might be. Further, as a minor point, each of the main characters experiences a growth and fulfillment of purpose and partner, except Beth, who was one of my favorite characters, because she freely admitted her faults (couldn't cook or clean very well), but had outstanding virtues of loyalty and loving support. You felt it would happen eventually, but it would have been more delicious to have included her.