A handwritten note on the back of a postcard brings together a disillusioned journalist and a young Amish widow to solve a 35-year-old mystery of unrequited love. Anchored in grief, Rachel Yoder suffers from hysterical blindness. Phil Bradley is looking for something hes lost, but hes not quite sure what it is.

When Phil is assigned to write a feature on the family traditions of the Amish, he expects it to be another boring human interest story, until he checks in at the Orchard Guest House. Hes immediately taken with Annie, the six-year-old granddaughter of the proprietors. At first Ben and Susanna Zook seem the model of hospitality, until they find out hes a reporter who may be holding a key to a closet theyd rather keep locked. Yet their daughter Rachel seems intrigued with the mystery hes trying to solve.

Beverly Lewis weaves a story of the Plain People with beautiful shades of devout faithfulness and enduring family values, yet reveals darker underlying threads of intolerance, superstition and divination. A bittersweet novel readers will come back to again and again. (Aug., Hardcover $15.99, Trade paperback $10.99, 288 pp.)

Reviewed by: 
Roerta Blair