All Charlotte wants is answers and the only way (in her mind) to get them is to go into an Amish community in disguise. She comes to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to visit her long-lost "cousins" to find out why her brother killed himself. His fiancee's family took her in and made her part of the family, taught her many things about the Amish, and got her hooked on home-made bread. While at first, her conscience only bothered her a little bit, later on, as she became more and more aware of God and His desired relationship with her, it bothered her more and more until she thought she was going to have to leave the family and go back to her home in Texas.
For once, I have read a romance novel that the ending wasn't obvious from the beginning. That's not to say the others are not good novels, but it's to say that Beth Wiseman has put together a story that takes unexpected twists and turns and the girls get their men, but it wasn't as I expected. When I first started this book, I just knew that Charlotte was going to join the Amish church and marry an Amish man, that her brother, Ethan, was going to have been murdered, and I wasn't sure about Hannah's fate at all. I missed on both counts and Hannah's life made some turns I never anticipated.
The plot of Her Brother's Keeper is one that creates a bond with the reader that is not easily broken. It is quite simple to get hooked into the story and forget the rest of the world.
The major characters are so sympathetic, the reader wants these ladies as her own friends, with one or two minor exceptions. And the gifts Hannah gave Charlotte have me desiring to receive them myself, especially the box of recipes. It's fun to see a bit of jealousy in Hannah as Charlotte (known to Hannah as Mary) asks Isaac on a picnic. What Charlotte is actually after is more information about Ethan's death.
There are parts of the story that are not as satisfying, but that is not the fault of the author, it is the realism in the book. Why Ethan killed himself, the way Charlotte's relationship ended with Hannah and her family, and the way truth sometimes takes a person by surprise all work together to make a believable novel. I have to give this one Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a slice of hot-from-the-oven home-made bread.
My thanks to Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book.