The Revealing is the third book in the Inn of Eagle Hill series. The first two books in the group are The Letters and The Calling. Another novella, an ebook, that can fit into the series is called The Rescue. All throughout The Revealing, references are made of some past events that may have taken place in one of the earlier books. I haven’t read any of the previous stories but the background information offered in this book seemed adequate to me to read this book alone.
The title provides a hint that this story will have some type of unexpected end to it. By the conclusion of the first paragraph, it’s confirmed that one of the main characters, Naomi King is shouldering a massive secret almost too large for her to handle. Somehow shy, unassuming Naomi had gotten into a secret relationship with an Amish man whose early years were spent living with a Mennonite family; one who had become restless enough the previous year to disappear awhile before returning to his Amish roots. Naomi’s brother Galen didn’t approve of Tobe Schrock. In spite of Galen’s dim view of Tobe, Naomi was drawn to Tobe, and it seemed Tobe felt the same way. But then, as if to prove Galen right, Tobe was sent to prison to take responsibility for his part in a financial scam involving his father’s business.
Rose Schrock is Tobe’s stepmother. When Tobe and Bethany Schrock were young, their mother divorced their dad and left the family behind. A few years later, Rose took them under her wing and tried to heal their shattered hearts. Their new family was happy until tragedy struck and Rose’s husband died in a drowning accident. Rose has been trying to pick up the pieces since then. Her next door neighbor, Galen King, has done what he could to help Rose care for her farm in the absence of adult men. Now there would be another romance brewing if Rose were to allow it to continue to grow from their budding friendship. But Rose senses they are at different stages in their lives and she’s not certain they could make a relationship work.
Another potential romance could be developing between Rose’s stepdaughter, Bethany, and Jimmy Fisher. Bethany has been making her desires known to Jimmy lately, but when the topic comes up between them, Jimmy gets a look on his face akin to panic and uneasiness. Bethany has been trying to figure out what is making Jimmy hesitate for awhile now, but at the same time she’s being distracted by a secret she is harboring about her sister, Mim.
Mim Schrock is not interested in romance. She has an unusual gift for writing, and it has caught the attention of school teacher Danny. He’s been trying to encourage her to improve her writing, but his efforts have not been overly appreciated. Mim gets distracted when a new family moves to Stoney Ridge. The Stoltzfus family, including the mischievous Jesse, are the new owners of the local grocery store. They had lost their mother to cancer recently, and their father, a preacher, wanted to start afresh in a new community. Jesse and Mim quickly become antagonists and competitive. Their sharp-tongued quips add spice and comic relief to the mix.
The Revealing is one of the most light-hearted Amish tales I have ever read. There are some deep topics in the storyline, but they are well balanced with lighter moments. The humor is one of the things I like best about the book.
The basic gist of this character-driven story is about secrets…about twists and suddenly unexpected turn of events so common in life, and the hidden secrets we often hold close to our chests for a variety of reasons. Some secrets in this story are shared with the reader up front, some are only hinted at, which increases anticipation, while the most surprising ones are saved for the conclusion. In fact, there are more than a few revealings presented at the end. All these layers eventually come together to weave a beautiful tapestry about this small community. It’s the anticipation which drives this story forward, keeping us on the edge of suspense until the resolution. Such artful writing makes this book a joy to read.
Now that I have read the final book in the series, I really want to read the first ones to fill in the gaps. The author has piqued my interest. If you enjoy Amish fiction with a touch of romance, and plenty of laughs, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from The Book Club Network on behalf of Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”