Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review of "The Beekeeper's Son"

Review of The Beekeeper's Son

by Kelly Irvin


A strange, mystical place allows Deborah and Phineas to see themselves and others with new eyes. When Deborah Lantz arrives in Bee County, Texas, she expects to find a great oasis of citrus groves and olive trees. Instead, she finds a tiny Amish district struggling to make ends meet on a barren, drought-stricken land. Deborah longs to go home to the lush, green countryside of Tennessee, but she wants her mother, a widow with six children, to be happy again. Even if that means accepting Stephen as her future stepfather. She can t believe God created such an ugly place filled with strange animals, twisted, stunted trees, and not a drop of rain for months. Then she meets the beekeeper's son. Phineas King s face is disfigured by scars from an accident that killed his mother and destroyed his trust in God. Through their encounters both begin to realize the beauty in all of God s creation. Deborah walks through the strange land of figs, Mexican squash, and wild cucumbers to see Phineas, who finds solace in his work keeping the bee hives and harvesting honey for his father. Both are rarely alone, but always lonely. Deborah begins to see Bee County through Phineas's eyes and Phineas learns to see himself through hers.

MY REVIEW:   Texas is a long way from Tennessee and it is quite a different climate and terrain.   Abigail and her family moved here for her to remarry after their daed's death to Abigail's first love.  Her oldest daughter, Deborah, is not pleased as she left her boyfriend behind in Tennessee.    But along comes Phineas who was badly scarred in a car accident that took his mother's life.   He blames himself and he is sure that no girl will ever be able to look past his scars to love him.   Deborah argues with Phineas often and they have heated discussions but she is eager to learn about keeping bees and bird watching from him.   And Stephen, the man her mom may marry, is awfully bossy and rough on the children.   Can they all look past these things and survive?   Deborah reminds Phineas that the Amish do not worry about what is on the outside of a person, but can he believe that?  
I found this to be a refreshingly different Amish fiction book.    I lived in Texas myself for three years while my husband attended seminary so I do recall some of the feelings expressed. I missed the change of seasons.  I longed for the change of colors in the fall and I really missed snow!   We had air-conditioning to combat the heat but the Amish in the story do not have that luxury nor do they desire it.   Many people say that they only look on the inner beauty of a person but we all know that in our world that is not often true.   Can Deborah convince Phineas that she really does care for him?   And what will Abigail do about her relationship with Stephen?  Can she overlook his attitude and marry for convenience?  Can she learn to love this man or will history repeat itself and she will marry another man again?   
I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers.   Kelly Irvin has written a real page-turner.   
I received a free pdf copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.   

About the Author:
Kelly Irvin

Kelly Irvin's latest book in the New Hope Amish series, A Plain Love Song, releases in July 2014. She is the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Amish Amish series. The first series includes To Love and To Cherish, A Heart Made New, and Love’s Journey Home, published by Harvest House. Love Still Stands, the first book in her spin-off series New Hope Amish, released in September 2013, followed by Love Redeemed in March 2014.

Kelly is now working on a three-book series for Zondervan set in Bee County, Texas. The first book in The Amish of Bee County series, The Beekeeper's Son, is set to release in January 2015.

Kelly has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine, published by Five Star Gale in 2010 and 2011.

The Kansas native is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters in Crime. She also serves as secretary of the ACFW San Antonio local chapter Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers. 

A graduate of the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism, Kelly has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years. She studied for three semesters at the University of Costa Rica, learning the Spanish language. As a journalist, she worked six years in the border towns of Laredo and El Paso.

She has worked in public relations for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department for 19 years.Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-six years, and they have two young adult children. They recently became grandparents for the first time. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories, read books by her favorite authors, and play with her new granddaughter.

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