I've not read an Amy Lillard book before, but she writes an intriguing tale. To take the differences between various branches of Amish and weave them into the story is the work of a real talent. Amy has done just that. Caroline has moved from her Schwartzentruber Amish group in Tennessee to a Beachy Amish group in Wells Landing, Oklahoma, while holding a secret. While there, she has given birth to her beloved daughter, Emma, and become one of the community. Andrew has moved from Missouri to Wells Landing to help his Uncle Abe with furniture making and to recover from the loss of his fiancee, Beth. Caroline and Andrew meet and begin to plot and plan to get Uncle Abe together with Esther, who employs Caroline and gives her a home. In the meantime, Esther and Abe plot and plan to get Caroline and Abe together.
Caroline resists entering into a relationship with Andrew because of her secret--that Emma's father is not dead and she's not a widow as people have assumed. When Caroline finds out that Emma's father, Trey, has been searching for her, she goes back home to Tennessee to find him. When Trey finds out he has a daughter, he wants to marry Caroline and make things right. The only problem with the plan is that Caroline would have to give up everything she's ever known--she would be totally excommunicated from the Amish, and her whole family. It's almost too hard to bear, but in order for Emma to know her father, Caroline feels that's exactly what she must do. It is through this situation that the grace comes to the fore and is lived out in Caroline's life.
Caroline's Secret is well written, with a compelling plot that holds the reader from page one all the way through to the back cover. Meeting Caroline through the bakery where she works and through her love for her daughter shows Amish grace at its best. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and cookies that will melt in your mouth.
Zebra Books provided a copy of this book for my honest, yet opinionated review. I was not compensated in any way for my thoughts.