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?
The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis is one of those novels that slowly builds to fire. I felt intrigued to know more about the Amish family introduced in this book as the story continued. The beginning was sluggish. I wished it held more action or dialogue. Yet it felt flat and slow to me. I almost had to push myself to keep reading. Then, I had to find out what happened to the Millers once the father was banned. He was still waiting for his confession to the church and maybe, the healing for his family. Before, I knew it, Beverly Lewis stuck another surprise or two in this tale. The book’s ending left me feeling frustrated because it was a cliff hanger. It didn’t resolve any of the issues only brought up more before the family even had time to heal or digest all that had occurred. Themes of sacrifices, truth, betrayal, and faith are woven strongly within these pages. I liked the dilemmas presented. Just wished they were presented sooner.