BOOK REVIEW: Her Brother's Keeper by Beth Wiseman

Charlotte Dolinsky is not above playing dress-up and telling a few lies to find out what happened to her only brother. In fact, that is exactly what she’s come to Lancaster County to do. Now, calling herself Mary and slipping on a kapp, Charlotte will lie her way into the confidence of anyone who knows why Ethan had to die. Unless she gets found out first.
But when Charlotte befriends a quiet Amish man named Isaac Miller, she begins to rethink her motives. And with a little help from a friend back home, Charlotte might find out that love comes packaged in ways she couldn’t have foreseen.
Isaac’s been caring for his cancer-stricken father and sympathizing with his frustrated mother for three difficult years. And that means he hasn’t been dating. He believes Hannah King is the woman for him, but Hannah is still grieving the loss of her fiancĂ©, and Isaac has all he can handle on the farm. When Hannah’s family plays host to a woman named Mary, their new cousin shakes things up for all of them.
As Charlotte digs deeper into the mystery of Ethan’s death, she finds more than she’d bargained for in the community he once called home. But will she ever learn the truth? And what will the community—and her new family—do if they learn the truth about her?

This is the first time I've reviewed Beth Wiseman.  I've read her work before but never reviewed it.  And as we all remember the great hiatus where I missed out on so many books coming out.  I came across the latest book in this series on NetGalley and requested it praying that I'd be approved.  As soon as the approval came through I was requesting the first two books at the library.  Obviously, they are all going to end up on my need to own list.  Before I get too deep into this however, I have to advise you that the synopsis on Goodreads does not any anyway match the book.  Sometimes you have to step out that a book is just that good and worth reading without necessarily basing everything on one synopsis on one website.  Trust me, this book is worth stepping out for.

The author steps up and tackles tough subjects.  You don't read much about mental illness in the Amish communities.  You don't read a lot about a lot difficult life things that are not respecters of faith or lifestyle or gender or anything.  Bad stuff happens to anyone anywhere.  Charlotte needs to know what happened to her brother.  Raised English, raised in the shadow of all the bad things, he converted to Amish for the love of his life.  And there, before they even joined their lives, took his own life.  Charlotte, his sister, needs answers.  She needs to know who to blame.  She's not getting any answers from calls and letters and she's convinced the fiancee did something.  No answers?  No problem!  Just go get your own.  What's a few lies right?  What she didn't expect was to find the family she never had.  And to really like the fiancee.  And her own Amish man.  

I felt like the story moved so very slowly for about the first half.  It was building the plot and characters and nothing there was unnecessary and I read it quickly but it just felt slow.  The last part picked up a bit and questions were answered.  Though Nicholas on the plane was by far one of the most endearing things in the entire book.  I'm interested to know where the author takes these characters from here. 

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Her Brother's Keeper (Amish Secrets, #1)

About Beth Wiseman
Beth has a deep affection for the Amish and their simpler way of life, and while she plans to continue writing Amish love stories, she is also branching out into other areas. Her first non-Amish, contemporary—Need You Now—released in April 2012 and landed on the CBA Bestseller List. She enjoyed writing the story based in a town near where she lives, and she chose another small Texas town for her next non-Amish contemporary—The House that Love Built—which is based in Smithville, the same quaint town where movies such as Hope Floats and Tree of Life were filmed. Beth continued to spread her wings when she released The Promise in October 2014. Inspired by actual events, The Promise follows Beth’s characters all the way to Pakistan. Beth was involved in the real-life rescue when her friend was held captive in Pakistan. Beth is currently working on book #2 in her new Amish Secrets series, tentatively titled Jacob’s Ladder. Book #1—Her Brother’s Keeper—recently released and was chosen as a Top Pick by RT Reviews Magazine.
Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying the country life in Texas with three dogs and a rooster. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family.
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