Monday, January 12, 2015


Brittany McEuen reviews.
Wynter Evans is a successful, upcoming young reporter. While doing research for a story that she will be taking the lead on, she comes across a picture of a boy who bears an amazing resemblance to her brother who went missing ten years earlier. Determined to quietly discover who this young man is, Wynter heads to the town of Sanctuary.

In Sanctuary, Wynter quickly determines that all is not as it seems. She finds a quaint town full of people who range from friendly and helpful to those who obviously want her to leave. Are their secretive ways linked to their conservative, Mennonite beliefs or to something more sinister? Is the young man from the photograph Wynter’s long lost brother, or has Wynter stumbled onto other secrets best left uncovered?

Gathering Shadows is built on such an interesting premise. The possibility that an abducted child could have been hidden away in an Old Order Mennonite family for ten years caught my attention and I knew that this was a book I wanted to read.

The story started out at a slow and steady pace as Wynter began making contacts and gathering information. I liked how we learned a little bit here and there from Wynter, and eventually from her father, about the details of Ryan’s abduction and of other interesting information from their family life. Every piece of knowledge the author allowed the reader to discover helped me to slowly place the pieces of this puzzle together.

There is light romance in the novel between Wynter and the honorary mayor of Sanctuary, Reuben King. However, their romance, although sweet, blossomed rather quickly and was not the driving force in the story for me. As I passed the halfway point in the book, the action and suspense in the story began to pick up and the romance began to feel like a good fit to me. I believe that the times of danger and trial could help two people, such as Wynter and Reuben, realize their feelings for each other very quickly.

I really enjoyed this story from start to finish and have to admit that for the last quarter of the book, I could not set it down! The author did a great job of creating a suspenseful story that kept me guessing over portions of the mystery until the very end. I was able to piece together part of what might have happened to Wynter’s brother, but only in the last couple of chapters were all of my questions

answered, and they were answered in a very fulfilling way. I definitely look forward to reading more books in the Finding Sanctuary series.

How about you? Have you read Nancy Mehl's Gathering Shadows or any another suspense story set in an Amish or Mennonite community?

About the Reviewer:
I am a busy homeschooling mom to four children, ranging from kindergarten to high school. I’m happily married to my high school sweetheart and am an avid reader and book reviewer. I feature book reviews, giveaways, and occasional author interviews on my blog, Britt Reads Fiction. You can also connect with me on Pinterest and Goodreads.


  1. I'm not a big fan of Amish romance novels, but I did enjoy Gathering Shadows, and I've also enjoyed some of the mysteries set in and around Amish communities (e.g. by Mindy Stearns Clark or Vanetta Chapman).

    1. Iola, I am a fan of both types of Amish/Mennonite books, those with and those without romance. But, as I read Gathering Shadows, I was thinking how it actually could even appeal to those who are not fans of any type of Amish/Mennonite, since the main characters are not Mennonite and the community is set up a little differently from other communities. :-) Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Mindy Starns Clark. Thanks, automistake.

  3. Great article, Brittany. I'm looking forward to digging into Nancy's newest book next month! Thanks for whetting my appetite!


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