This is one author I never thought I’d be reviewing on my blog. 😉 I was pleasantly surprised, although probably not in the way you’d think. Enjoy the review!
FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:
ABOUT THE BOOK
With her Amish parents’ twentieth anniversary approaching, eighteen-year-old Sylvia Miller stumbles across a surprise–the old brass tinderbox her clockmaker father keeps in his Lancaster County shop has been left unlocked. Against her better judgment, Sylvia opens the cherished heirloom, not realizing that what she is about to discover will splinter apart her happy life.
Sylvia’s bewilderment grows when her father confronts her about snooping in the box. To her amazement, the respected convert to the Old Order reacts as if he has something to hide.
Burdened by the weight of his deception, Earnest Miller decides he must reveal the details about his past to his beloved wife, Rhoda. The long-kept secret alters everything for the close-knit family, jeopardizing Earnest and Rhoda’s relationship, as well as threatening Sylvia’s recent engagement to the preacher’s grandson.
Can the Millers find a way forward through the turmoil to a place of forgiveness and acceptance?
WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK
I’ve heard about Beverly Lewis books for years. From everything I’ve heard I knew she didn’t write my style books, but I still was curious and wanted to give them a try. When this one was offered to me I thought it sounded interesting without sounding too romantic, so I requested to review it.
WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK
When I thought Miss Beverly’s books wouldn’t be my style I was correct. But, as I read this book I found it surprisingly interesting. So, let’s hit my three pros and three cons.
1. The worldbuilding was amazing. This was my favorite part of the book. Whenever I picked up The Tinderbox I felt my world slip away as I entered the story in the book.
2. The differences in speech were done well enough that it emersed me in the story instead of confusing me. I’ve read a couple of books featuring Amish over the years and the authors always throw in some Pennsylvania Dutch words here and there to make it seem authentic. Most of the time though, those attempts just annoy me. But, in this book, they felt natural and helped the story along.
3. Although how everything played out annoyed me, I thought that everything the characters did seemed like very reasonable actions. The characters felt real and multi-layered, and I did like the relationships they had with each other.
1. This book was nice and idyllic, which I’m sure was the point. For me though, I like a bit more of a plot. I guess if I cared more about the characters then I would have been more invested in how their lives played out. As it was though, I found the pace too slow.
2. How things were dealt with – while being very realistic – bothered me. Of course, this is 100% preference and probably wouldn’t bother everyone the same way.
3. Neither the “reveal” to the secret nor the plot twist (I think that’s what it was?) surprised me at all.
If this was a book written by one of my favorite authors I probably would have given it two stars because it wasn’t my style. As it was, I was very pleasantly surprised although I don’t think I’ll be reading more of Miss Beverly’s books. I am impressed by her writing though, and especially her worldbuilding.
**Content note: Two of the POV characters are a married couple that are having issues – as the back cover says. I thought everything was tastefully written, but it does allude to how bad their relationship problems are affecting every part of thier lives.
I’m giving The Tinderbox three out of five stars – Thank you to Bethany Publishers for giving me a book to review.