In the first book of her newest series, The Mysteries of Middlefield, Kathleen Fuller introduces Mary Beth, a thirteen-year-old Amish girl who simply wants some peace and quiet away from her three pesky brothers. In an effort to escape her world of chores and boyish pranks, she turns an abandoned barn into a secret place of her own. With her food stash, her journal, and her privacy, Mary Beth finds great comfort in her hideout. There are only two problems. First of all, her father has forbidden her from going to the barn. Second, she's not as alone as she thought. Someone else is using her secret place, and this person is seeking more than just privacy.
In A Summer Secret, Fuller does an excellent job of helping the reader to understand and appreciate the Amish lifestyle. Her characters and setting are realistic, and her plot is compelling. Fuller weaves an air of intrigue around the stranger occupying the barn while at the same time giving the reader a pang of pity for the quandary Mary Beth, her main character, is facing. She also hits on some contemporary issues that are unfortunately very common in today's society.
While the ending was pretty obvious and the mystery itself wasn't intense at all, it was still an interesting read. When it comes to clean fiction, A Summer Secret meets all criteria. Though intended for juvenile readers, I believe many adults would also enjoy reading this Christian mystery. I know I did!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com