Thursday, September 16, 2021

[Review] - The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis

I mainly read horror books throughout my teenage years. In my 20's, I switched to Amish fiction after accidentally stumbling upon The Covenant by Beverly Lewis. Shortly later, I hunted down The Heritage of Lancaster County Trilogy at a now-defunct Barnes & Noble store. In the years following, I continued to read each new book by her. As the Amish genre increased, I started reading other authors. However, Beverly Lewis is by far my favorite Amish fiction writer. My reading tastes have changed over the last few years, and I read less and less of this genre. However, I still buy each new Beverly Lewis title, though it's been a long time since I've read one. Well, that is until I dusted off the paperback copy of The Tinderbox that's been sitting on my desk for way too long.

Set in the Amish farmland of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, The Tinderbox centers on eighteen-year-old Sylvia Miller stumbling upon her father's brass tinderbox. Since the box is unlocked, her curiosity gets the better of her. Sylvia opens it up and learns a deep family secret.

In this previous life, Earnest Miller was an Englischer with family ties to the Old Amish Order. After getting his heart broken in college, he left everything behind to join the Amish community. He marries an Amish woman named Rhonda, and they raise four sons and one daughter, Sylvia, together.

SPOILER ALERT - Earnest has been keeping a dark secret from his family - he has an Englischer daughter.

Final Thoughts

Not all Amish fiction has a romantic plot, especially the ones written by Beverly Lewis. The Tinderbox is more of a family drama with a cliffhanger ending. The story concludes in The Timepiece, which I haven't read yet, though I own a copy. I wasn't aware The Tinderbox was a two-part story, so glad I didn't read The Timepiece first.

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Tinderbox, but it's not the best from Beverly Lewis. It's a slow-burner, and it took me several chapters to become invested with the characters. Don't get me wrong, the book is well-written, and the plot is intriguing, but the pacing is slightly off.

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