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?
Another wonderful book from Beverly Lewis! Couldn’t put it down!
An intriguing and moving story
The Tinderbox is different from other Amish novels. It addresses unique issues. Sylvia is eighteen years old and has been courting Titus Kauffman, the preacher’s son. She is sure that he will propose soon. Sylvia has always been close to her father, but she does not understand why he is reluctant to discuss his past. When Sylvia gets the opportunity to look inside her father’s tinderbox, she cannot resist. Little did she know that her snooping would unleash a host of problems. In The Tinderbox we see what happens when an old secret is revealed and its repercussions. There is quite a bit going on in the story. Besides the secret, we have Sylvia’s relationship with Titus, Rhoda’s sister has suffered a miscarriage, and Preacher Mahlon Zook is dying. Mahlon Zook has cancer and he is the man who welcomed Earnest into the community. They have always been close, and his death is upsetting to Earnest. He needs to be there for the Zook family while dealing with his own problems. Titus is one individual I was not fond of in the story. As the story progresses, Titus’s disposition is revealed (I do not want to give anything away). The Tinderbox is well-written (as are all of Beverly Lewis’s novels) and the story progresses at a gentle pace (a little slow for my taste). The characters are developed and realistic. What I call Christian elements (prayer, faith, Scripture) are an intrinsic part of the story and the characters’ lives. We see how this secret causes issues of trust and creates a division. Is it possible to forgive and move forward? I like this phrase from The Tinderbox that addresses this issue “forgiveness is one of the greatest forms of love”. My favorite phrase from the book is “Remember, we’re connected to our heavenly Father by threads of love we can’t always see.” The ending will astonish readers and have you eager to read The Timepiece. The Tinderbox is a moving and intriguing Amish story.