I recently got a chance to read the copy of A Summer Secret by Kathleen Fuller that Thomas Nelson sent me to review. In this book, we meet Mary Beth is the only girl in a family full of boys who are always making noise, mess, and being a general nuisance—even her twin brother. She is sick and tired of not having any peace and quiet in her house so she finds her own little retreat in an abandoned and dilapidated barn on the adjacent property. There, she finds a quiet sanctuary from her rowdy household and a place to draw, write in her journal, and dream. Until one day when her brother Johnny follows her to the forbidden spot and threatens to tattle and she must share her haven with him. Before long the two of them find of an intruder who seems to be sharing their secret spot. When the two of them sneak out at night to investigate, they meet Sawyer, a runaway Englisher who does not wish to be caught. Johnny and Mary Beth realize that they must help this boy and try to do so without being caught by their parents. But when a barn fire comes and threatens to destroy all of their secrets, it unravels their well-laid plans as well.
When I first started reading this book, I expected it to be a typical romantic Amish love story and I wondered why the writing was a bit more simple and juvenile than other stories of its kind. Upon further investigation, I realized that it is a mystery novel that is, in fact, written for children—hence the childlike language chosen by the author. It is my opinion that this is a book that any youth would thoroughly enjoy. I’m glad to have it in my library so that my children will one day enjoy the story themselves.
This book was sent to me by Thomas Nelson to review. I was not compensated financially in any way for this review and the opinions expressed here are my own.