by Shelley Shepard Gray

May 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-147445-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Inspire
Trade Paperback

Anna Metzger has had enough of her abusive powerful boyfriend. Rob Peterson was running for the House of Representatives and he had plenty of friends in high places. Who would believe that he physically abused his girlfriend? No one Anna knows believes her. They think she is clumsy. Finally taking matters into her own hands, Anna tells her parents she’s gone to Miami with her friends, but instead she runs to Amish country, and her long time friend, Katie Brenneman. She would be safe there—except Katie’s brother, Henry, makes it clear that Anna isn’t welcome.

Henry has always been attracted to Anna. She’s beautiful beyond belief. But she seems to be way out of his reach. She’s attracted by fancy clothes and high-priced jewels, and she is also flighty, only staying at a job for six months max, before she’s job hunting. Anna has never buckled down and put her mind seriously to anything. The bruises she’s sporting are real, but how much of her story can he believe?

Katie welcomes Anna into their home, but it isn’t long before Rob finds her. Will Anna be strong enough to tell Rob to leave her alone? Or will she return to her high-profile life with Rob?

Hidden is Ms. Gray’s first published work in inspirational fiction and is first in the Sister’s of the Heart series. The story is set in Amish country, which is very popular among readers, but it has its own flavor, distinct from the other popular Amish writers, such as Beverly Lewis or Wanda Brunstettler.

I found the characters weren’t as well-developed as in other books I’ve read recently. I never could fully relate to Anna or Henry, and the secondary characters seemed a bit flat. The story is interesting, different from the other Amish books I’ve read. All in all, it’s a good story, and the author has a lot of potential. I’m looking forward to reading future books by this author. Discussion questions and a preview of Ms. Gray’s next story in the series, Wanted, is included at the end of Hidden.

Reviewed in June 2008 by Laura.

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