Set in Walnut Creek, Ohio where it’s a mixed of Amish, Mennonit and English people, a tragedy has occurred. Andy Warner in his late twenties has committed suicide. It has hit the community hard and especially his seven closest friends. They were the gang of eight, with Andy the unofficial leader. They’ve lost touch over the years and hadn’t been much in contact. They vow to regain their closeness going forward.
They have to move on and the story centers mostly on John and Marie, two of the gang, who have always seemed to have something for each other but never acted on it. John is ready to and so is Marie. They talk about it and move forward but the difference in their beliefs might be an issue. John is Amish and Marie and is English and it usually is frowned on. They will have to make life altering decisions in order to be together.
The other character that gets center stage is sixteen year old Molly, who is in a wheelchair due to a horse riding accident when she was nine. She is over-protected and it drives her crazy. When she starts hanging out with Danny it raises flags with her family. He likes her and doesn’t care she’s in a wheelchair. He even asks permission to court her.
They story is a great look at life in Amish country and how they live and their values. It’s also a great look at friendship and too remember to be there for those closest to you and to look for signs of trouble. These friends need each other and have to come to terms with what happened to Andy and look at their own lives. Have some tissues handy when you read the book (you will need them).
You can pick up The Patient One from Shelley Shepard Gray, in stores on Tuesday, April 9th, from Gallery Books.