Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Rachel's Secret--BJ Hoff in top form
The Amish meet the Irish in Hoff's new series
Rachel may have a secret, but it's no secret that B. J. Hoff is one of my favorite writers--and her latest novel doesn't disappoint.
In this first in the Riverhaven Years series,we meet Rachel--a lovely young Amish woman still grieving the loss of her husband in 1850's Ohio.
The arrival, literally on her doorstep, of a mysterious, wounded Irish river captain irrevocably shakes up Rachel's quiet, orderly world. Where did Jeremiah Gant and his black friend come from, and why is Gant suffering from a gunshot wound?
The answers aren't long in coming. And B.J. Hoff does a beautiful job of subtly capturing the growing tenderness and attraction between the handsome Irishman (no one depicts the Irish better than Hoff) and his quiet hostess. It's an attraction that seems doomed, thanks to the strict Amish rules against mingling with outsiders.
At the same time, Rachel's mother and a kindly English doctor are in much the same predicament.
Meantime, Rachel and her family must find a way to deal with growing anti-Amish hostility that threatens their very safety--and a subplot involving the Underground Railroad adds suspense.
But I must admit, the story involving Rachel and Gant was the most compelling to me. B. J. Hoff has a gift for drawing fully fleshed-out, nuanced characters that become very real to the reader--and I must admit, I fell a little in love with Jeremiah Gant myself.
I look forward to the next book in the series and revisiting these characters and their stories.
See the book trailer for Rachel's Secret below.