Book Review: "Hidden" by Shelley Shepard Gray
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Hidden is Shelley’s first foray into inspirational fiction. Previously, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelors and masters degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio where she writes full time. Shelley is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and is part of the Telecare ministry, which calls homebound members on a regular basis. Shelley looks forward to the opportunity to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Hidden is a remarkable story about the unlikely love between a modern girl on the run and an Amish boy from the family who shelters her.
When Anna decides it's time to leave her abusive boyfriend, she doesn't know where to turn. Rob is a successful and respected person in her community. He has completely won over her parents with his good looks and prestigious position at a top law firm. Only Anna has seen his dark side. But when Rob hurts Anna yet again, she realizes that she must finally help herself.
Desperate, she runs to the one place she’s always felt completely safe, the Amish Brenneman Bed and Breakfast, where years ago she and her mother once stayed, and where Anna met life-long friend Katie Brenneman. When Anna shows up years later unexpectedly, the family welcomes her in, with few questions asked, and allows her to stay, dressed as the Amish in Plain clothes, and help around the inn.
But Katie’s older brother Henry doesn’t take too kindly to the intrusion. Anna wonders if it’s because he’s already had his heart broken. To Henry’s shame, from the moment he sees Anna, he feels a strong attraction. To cover his infatuation, he tries to ignore her, knowing no good would ever come from keeping an eye on a fancy woman like her. But as he sees that Anna has a good heart and is not the selfish, spoiled woman he imagined her to be, he feels his heart pointing towards her.
Anna comes to realize that she’s found a home and true love in the last place she’d expected. How can she deny the life she left behind? And will her chance for happiness be stolen away by the man who can’t seem to let her go?
If you would like to read the Prologue, go HERE
Wonderful debut writing
I love reading stories about the Amish lifestyle. I especially love the storis where the Amish and English worlds collide. This story clearly showed the differences between the two cultures but also how they could blend together. Rob is a really bad guy who wants to control everything possible. Yet I can totally see why it took so long for Anna to get away from him. With his smooth talk, he's a wolf in sheep's clothing. It's a completely realistic portrayal of an abusive relationship and why it's so tough for women to get help. Even when they do cry out for help, if someone doesn't want to see the wrong in someone they will turn a blind eye. I really didn't understand why the Brenneman's turned a cold shoulder to Anna's problems. Yes she did bring her issues and situation to their peaceful community the way Henry and his parents were acting seemed like she was in the wrong for running away and trying to get help. Did they want her to stay in the relationship and get hurt even more? I hope not, but that was the reaction that I got from them. The only complaint I had about this book was that it was a little short. I felt like there could have been more told about Anna and Henry's growing relationship plus expounding on how she was going to switch over to the Amish lifestyle. I am looking very forward to reading the next book in the series. If you love stories about the Amish lifestyle, be sure to pick up this outstanding debut.
Hidden by Shelly Shepard Gray is published by Avon Inspire (2008)