Charlotte came to Amish country to find answers. What she never expected to find was peace.
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 fiancé, 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?
I really enjoyed this story by Beth Wiseman. I love her contemporary stories and this was the first Amish based story I've read by her though she has written quite a few. The story was so much more than the description implies. The whole premise of a worldly "Englisher" trying to pose as an Amish person was interesting. As Charlotte lies her way into the Amish community that her brother chose to adopt and then died in, her determination to find what really happened to him to make him take his own life supercedes sometimes even her common sense. She operates from a standpoint of deep hurt and is looking for someone to blame. Her brother was her only family and now he is gone and she is alone. In her sights first is her brother's fiance. But as Charlotte gets to know her and her family whom she's staying with she sees there is more to the story and as her lies compound she realizes that she has put herself into a precarious position. The love and acceptance the family has given her, though they innocently believe she is someone else, has shown her what real family is about. As her and her brother have never really had a family life, this starts to play on her guilt. And the more she finds out about what happened the more people she realizes are going to be hurt with the truth. Her dilemma becomes not why her brother had to die but when and if she should even really tell the truth. And will they just cast her away like her mother did when she was little.
There was a bit of mystery to the story but it really was a book about family and faith and what love really is and what forgiveness looks like. I felt for all the characters, which is something I love in a book. The author also tackles the subject of suicide and if the person goes to heaven, which I thought she did with grace. There was moments that made me laugh as Charlotte tries to fit in with the community but her language and lack of domesticity raises eyebrows and questions. This was a perfect summer read for me.
Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for providing me with a copy free of charge for my honest opinion. I was not required to post a positive review.
Her Brother's Keeper is available for purchase here
Linked to Semicolon Saturday Review of Books