In Ohio Amish country, Juliet Favor, the rich benefactor of the local college, is found murdered after hosting a party -- and everyone there has a motive. Including her two children, who are about to be cut off from her massive inheritance. A witness may hold the key to solving the investigation, though. Martha, whose family left the Amish when they converted to Mennonite, is dating Favor's son. The sheriff believes she may have seen something, but she is so traumatized she can't speak. Is she protecting someone? Or did she commit the crime herself?
4 stars, woohoo!!!
It was a bit of a struggle to choose between 3 and 4 stars. However, the plot was so well executed, the mystery so interesting, and the characters and setting so well-planned that I found myself borrowing one of the prequels to listen to next. Since it was the fourth in the series and I didn't read the first three, I perhaps took a little longer to get into it than I normally would. 4 stars it is!
|The title of the book, and Martha's story, are based on this quote.|
The contrast between the softie professor and the hard-nosed sheriff makes for good conflict and entertaining characters.
More egregiously, the fact that Martha previously had a traumatic birth at a young age -- where she nearly died and then gave the child up for adoption -- is treated like a side note. I mean, that's kind of huge, right? Surely a pregnancy now, again with an absent father, would raise some of those issues for her? Is it even physically safe for her to have a child?
For fuck's sake, this character nearly died in childbirth at 14. The trauma of that birth -- physical and mental -- is never even a consideration for characters written by an author eager to push an anti-abortion message. We don't even know if this was Martha's choice. At 14, she probably had little say in the matter. If she was still voiceless, she had no say in the matter.
There are times I'll be reading a book and just sigh and think, A (cis) man wrote this, clearly.