*Thank you to Gallery Books for letting me review this novel.
Shelley Shepard Gray is back with a whole new series called The Walnut Creek Series. These novels follow a group of people who come back together after one of their friends commits suicide. This topic is very timely because there was a recent article that came out about a spike in suicide after Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why came out.
After everyone in the Walnut Creek, Ohio community found out about Andy Warner’s death, they all went into shock. His seven closest friends, some Amish, Mennonite and English, were hit the hardest because they truly did not see this coming. They felt the pain that comes after losing a friend, but they also felt a bit guilty for letting this happen.
Now these seven friends promised each other they would not let this happen to another one in their group. Marie Hartman took this vow seriously because she immediately quit her banking job and went back to Walnut Creek to take care of her friends. All she really wants is to be surrounded by people who love her for her and do not care about her appearance. She also wants to see if anything will happen between her and John Byler.
When Marie returns to Walnut Creek, John has to rethink his life and see if this is the future that he wants and needs. Even though he still lives at home with his Amish family, he is starting to feel as if God has other plans for him. John has to figure out if God wants him to finally pursue Marie.
This was my first Shelley Shepard Gray novel, and I was not disappointed in the slightest. I loved the religion aspect of this book. Also, I liked how Gray explored multiple religions, not just one. Obviously Gray knows what she is doing because she has published more than 60 novels, which is impressive. I look forward to reading more from her, and I will definitely read the next one in this series that comes out this summer.
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