cover image The Trustworthy One

The Trustworthy One

Shelley Shepard Gray. Gallery, $16 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-9821-0093-3

Gray (The Patient One) wraps up the Walnut Creek series with an uneven outing. The Amish Troyer sisters, Kendra and Naomi, reconnect in Walnut Creek, Ohio, years after each of them left their abusive childhood home. As the eldest sibling, Kendra bore the brunt of their father’s anger and mother’s neglect, and while she obtained an education and created a new life for herself, she must still deal with the emotional scars that prevent her from trusting the kind attention of handsome Nate Miller. Naomi idolizes Kendra but struggles to make friends at her high school. When she finds out that her sister has a hidden past that forced her to leave Walnut Creek, Naomi’s dreams are shattered. In order to save their relationship and be able to allow other people into their lives, both must learn the meaning of forgiveness and faith. While Gray’s biblical themes are nuanced and well integrated into the narrative, a subplot about a second childhood tragedy (told through Kendra’s journaling) comes across as disjointed and unnecessary. Only series completists need apply. (May)