Sometimes it takes a barren landscape to see the beauty of God’s creation.
Phineas King knows better than to expect anything but shock and pity wherever he shows his face. Horribly scarred from the tragic accident that claimed his mother’s life, he chooses to keep his distance from everyone, focusing his time and energy on the bees his family raises. If no one sees him, no one can judge him. So why does he start finding excuses to seek out Deborah Lantz, the beautiful new arrival in town?
Deborah can’t get out of Bee County, Texas, soon enough. Once her mother and younger siblings are settled, she is on the first bus out of this dusty town. She is only waiting on the letter from Aaron, asking her to return to lush Tennessee to be his fraa. But that letter never comes. As she spends time getting to know Phineas—hoping to uncover the man beneath the scars—she begins to realize that she no longer minds that Aaron hasn’t sent for her.
As both Deborah and Phineas try to come to terms with lives that haven’t turned out the way they imagined, they discover that perhaps Gott’s plans for them are more extraordinary than they could have dreamed. But they need to let go of their own past sorrows and disappointments to find the joy and beauty that lies just ahead for them both.
About the Author
Kelly Irvin is the bestselling author of the Every Amish Season and Amish of Bee County series. The Beekeepers Son received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, who called it a “beautifully woven masterpiece.” The two-time Carol Award finalist is a former newspaper reporter and retired public relations professional. Kelly lives in Texas with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to read books by her favorite authors. Visit her online at Kelly Irvin.com; Instagram: kelly_irvin; Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author; Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin.
Read an Excerpt
The Beekeeper's Son
By Kelly Irvin
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2014 Kelly Irvin
All rights reserved.
Getting lost might be a sign.
Deborah Lantz wiped at her face with the back of her sleeve to hide her grim smile. Getting lost might be a sign Mudder shouldn't marry a man she couldn't really claim to know—not in recent years, anyway. Abigail Lantz would call such a thought pure silliness and she would be right. Why would God send them nine hundred miles away from their home in Tennessee only to give them a nudge in the wrong direction so they ended up lost deep in south Texas?
Not likely. God had a plan for the Lantz family. Deborah need only be patient. At least that was what she'd been told hundreds of times.
As if it were an easy task.
Deborah wiggled, trying to get more comfortable between Hazel's booster seat and Rebekah, who had her nose pressed to the van window, not wanting to miss a single thing, even after watching the same monotonous, flat countryside for hours. Deborah longed to feel the excitement of her younger sisters. At nineteen, she was old enough to know what she'd be missing back home. All the singings with her friends, the buggy rides with Aaron afterward, the frolics. She would miss the chance to become Aaron's fraa and mudder of his children.
All the things she'd ever wanted.
Wrinkling her nose at the scent of sweat and warm feet, she leaned toward the window to watch the barren countryside now that their driver, Bert Richards, had slowed down as much as he dared on a highway where the speed limit signs read seventy-five miles per hour.
"There! There it is." Despite being only ten years old, her brother, Caleb, served as an able map reader. He pointed with one finger and clutched the map with his other hand. "Tynan, County Road 796. Turn there. Turn there."
"Got it." Bert whipped the steering wheel to the left. The force of the turn sent them all listing in the same direction. Hazel crowed with laughter and clapped her chubby hands. Bert hazarded a glance back, his forehead wrinkled above bushy eyebrows only partially hidden by thick, black-rimmed glasses. "Sorry about that. I didn't want to miss the turn a second time. Is George still behind us?"
Deborah scooped up her notebook from where it had lodged against the van door and turned to peer through the back window. The van that carried their bags of clothes and the boxes of household goods still followed at a steady pace. "Jah. Yes, he's still behind us." Her tone sounded tart in her ears. She worked to soften it. "George is a good driver."
Too good. Maybe a second or third wrong turn and they could wheel around and go home.
Deborah hugged her notebook to her chest, thinking of the two letters she'd begun. One to Josie, her best friend, and one to Aaron, who'd been well on his way to being her special friend. If only she could write to them and say it was all a big mistake and they were coming home. Then she could erase the look on Aaron's face as he watched her get in the van and wave until she couldn't see him anymore.
One more turn. One more turn and she would meet her future.
"Gaitan Road," Bert sang out as he made a sharp right turn at a corner that featured a yellow sign that read Support Beeville Bees. Buy Local Honey. "We did it. We're here."
"Indeed we are." Mudder clapped her hands, her face lighted with a smile. The weariness of the trip dropped away, and Deborah saw an Abigail Lantz she hadn't seen in a long time—not since Daed's death more than two years ago. "We made it. Praise Gott."
Praise Gott. Deborah hoped Mudder wouldn't read her face. If coming to Bee County made her mother happy, then Deborah would make the best of it.
Make the best of it. That was what Daed would've said.
Whatever it was.
Even if it involved leaving behind the only home they'd ever known and all their friends and most of their family because Mudder wanted to marry an old beau who'd stepped aside long ago when she married Daed.
The van rocked to a stop in front of a long, dirty white building with rusted siding and a tin roof. The sign out front read Combination Store. A broken-down black buggy sat in front of it as if someone had parked it there and left it to waste away until it collapsed and disappeared into the earth.
"Come on, come on, don't just sit there. Let's get out." Mudder slid open the door. "Stephen will be waiting."
"He's waited this long ..." Deborah bit back the rest of the sentence. Mudder did what she thought was best. Deborah had no business questioning. "Are you sure he's meeting us?"
"I told him we were dividing the trip into two days so we would arrive middle of the afternoon today."
Deborah slipped from the van, glad to stand on solid ground. Dirt puffed up around her bare feet, then settled on her toes, turning them brown. If it was this dry in early June, what would it be like in August? A desert? Grasshoppers shot in all directions. Two landed on her apron. She brushed them away, more interested in the deafening sound in the air like a buzz saw cutting lumber. She'd never heard such a ruckus. The smell of manure mixed with cut hay hung in air heavy with humidity. She glanced back at Leila, who climbed down with more grace. She had the same bewildered look on her face as Rebekah. "What is that noise?"
"Cicadas, I reckon." Rebekah shrugged. "Leastways, that's what I'm thinking. Caleb was reading about them in his books."
Bugs. No doubt, her little brother would love this place.
The letters Stephen had written to her mother had talked about Bee County as if it were a garden oasis. Deborah had imagined groves of citrus trees so laden with oranges and grapefruits that the branches hung to the ground. He described wild grapes, olives, and figs, filling Deborah's mind with images of something downright biblical—an Eden sprouting up in Texas. Eden with palm trees. After all, Stephen said the Gulf of Mexico wasn't far. He even said they could wade in the salty water if they had such a hankering.
Deborah definitely had a hankering, but it didn't involve the ocean. She sidled closer to Leila. "This is the promised land?" She kept her voice down. "Citrus and orchards?"
Leila stuck Hazel on her hip and hoisted her canvas bag onto her shoulder. "Mudder sure thinks it is." Despite the sweat on her face and the scraggly blond hair that had escaped her prayer kapp, Deborah's younger sister didn't look the least bit concerned about meeting the people who would be her new community. "She's as happy as a bee on honeysuckle."
Rebekah tittered and Hazel joined in, even though at three, she couldn't know what was so funny.
"Are those twisted things trees?" Leila wrinkled her nose as if she smelled something bad too. "They sure are stunted looking."
"Live oak, I think." Caleb loved to share all the tidbits of information he squirreled away in his head from his beloved books. "The cacti are called prickly pear. The fat parts are nopales."
He stumbled over the pronunciation of the last word. It came out no-pails. Whatever they were called, they didn't look like they would be featured in the garden of Eden. They were more like the wilderness Deborah imagined when the bishop preached about the Israelites wandering around for forty years.
More thoughts she would keep to herself.
"Stephen mentioned the drought." She tried to fill her voice with bright hope for the sake of her brother and sisters. After Stephen showed up in Tennessee for a wedding, Mudder had started to smile more. Deborah liked her mother's smile. "Some of the fields are green. Look over there—see that garden. It's nice. They irrigate. And there's a greenhouse. I'm sure that's what Stephen was talking about. That's probably his farm there across the road."
The farm would one day be their home if Stephen had his way. And he would. Otherwise, why had Mudder agreed to move here?
The door of the Combination Store opened and Stephen strode out, one hand to his forehead, shielding his eyes from the sun. Onkel John marched right behind him, along with their cousin Frannie. Stephen had the lightest white-blond beard Deborah had ever seen. It matched blond hair that curled under his straw hat, and he had eyes the pale blue of a summer sky. "You made it. I've been waiting for you. We didn't know what time you would get here, or the whole district would've turned out to greet you."
He stumbled over some invisible rock. His face turned a deeper radish red under his sunburn. He hadn't changed at all in the four months since they'd seen him back in Tennessee. "It's good ... very gut to see you again."
Mudder's face turned a matching shade of red. "I thought you might be in the midst of chores."
"I'm here." Stephen stopped short a few feet from where Mudder stood, arms dangling at her sides. His massive, sunburned hand came out. Then, as if he thought better of the idea, he wrapped his fingers around his suspenders and snapped them. "I've been waiting to see you ... and the kinner."
Mudder wiped her hands on her apron, then smoothed her prayer kapp. Deborah opened her mouth to try to break the strange pause. Leila elbowed her. She closed her mouth.
"Well, don't just stand there. Say hello to Stephen and your Onkel John." Mudder slipped past Stephen and accepted a hug from her brother as if to show her brood how to do it. "I'm so grateful to be here. What a long drive. My legs couldn't take much more of that. Come, kinner." Mudder grabbed Deborah's arm and tugged her forward. "Onkel John is offering us a place to stay in his home. I reckon the least you can do is say hello."
Squeezing past Stephen without meeting his gaze, Deborah nodded to her onkel, who towered over her, the sun a halo around the flat brim of his straw hat. He settled for a quick wave, while Frannie studied her sneakers as if caught in a sudden fit of shyness.
"Let's get your things out of the vans. That's our place right there yonder." John pointed to an L-shaped house down the road from the store. "No point in moving the vans. I'm sure the drivers are ready for supper and a place to lay their heads. They'll have to drive back to Beeville for that."
"I'll take care of it, John. Y'all visit." Stephen strode toward the back of the first van, Caleb, Leila, and Rebekah straggling behind him. "I imagine the kinner are hungrier than bears and tired enough to hibernate for the winter."
He chuckled. Deborah searched for the humor and couldn't find it. Mudder had packed plenty of food for the trip. They'd turned the meals into picnics at the rest stops along the way. If she admitted the truth, those picnics had been fun.
"I'm Frannie, remember me?" Frannie had her mudder's wiry frame, upturned nose, and freckles. She had grown taller since the last time Deborah had seen her, but she was still a bundle of sharp corners. "Come on, I'll help you. Careful where you step. The horses have been decorating the road today. Don't worry, y'all will get used to this heat."
Thankful for a friendly face on someone close to her own age, Deborah veered in Frannie's direction, careful to avoid the horse droppings she'd been so kind as to point out. Deborah wanted to put off the moment when she would have to enter one of the houses with rusty siding, desiccated by the wind and sun, and submit to the reality that this would be her home from now on.
Appearances meant nothing. She knew that. Still, hardscrabble dirt and the buggy junkyard next to the store and the sorry-looking houses bothered her. Because they didn't look like home. She liked her district with the neat yards, freshly painted wood-frame houses, plain but clean. She liked the pinks, purples, and yellows of the flower garden Mudder planted every spring. Would God find fault in these folks for not picking up the place a little, making it more pleasing to the eye? He created beauty, didn't He?
God didn't make mistakes and God made this place.
If God didn't make mistakes, why did Daed have to die? What kind of plan was that?
Too weary to try to sort out her disconcerting thoughts and impressions, all tangled up like fishing wire and piercing hooks, Deborah led Frannie around to the back of the second van. A strange, shelled brownish-black creature with a pointy face, pink nose, and long, scaly tail trundled toward her on four short legs. It stopped within inches of her bare toes and sniffed.
She stumbled back, arms in the air, screeched, lost her balance, and plopped on her behind in a heap on the hard, rocky ground.
The ugly animal changed directions and scurried into the scraggly, brown grass, apparently as afraid of her as she was of it. "What was that?"
A man with a shock of dark hair hanging in his eyes under the brim of his straw hat tugged a trash bag of clothes from the van and plopped it on the ground. "I've never had anyone scream at the sight of my ugly face before." Despite his nonchalant tone, a scarlet blush burned across his face, deepening the ugly hue of the thick, ropy scars that marred it. He had the same twang as Frannie, but it was at odds with his hoarse voice and the harsh sarcasm that underlined his words. "Guess there's a first time for everything."CHAPTER 2
Embarrassed heat coursing through her, Deborah scrambled to her feet. She brushed dry leaves from her dress with shaking hands. It had taken her less than two minutes to show her cousin and this stranger how clumsy she was. She tried to look away, but the man's marred face seemed to hold her gaze hostage.
Deep, angry scars sprawled across his cheeks, nose, and chin. Gashes had healed in brownish-red ridges that made his stretched skin pucker in painful-looking zigzag lines. One misshapen ear hung at an odd angle, and the bridge of his crooked nose sported a permanent knot. "It wasn't you. It was that strange animal ..."
His gaze jerked from hers toward the overgrown weeds that lined the dirt road. "You're telling me you screeched like a girl over an armadillo?"
"I am a girl, but that has nothing to do with it. It just ... I've never seen an armadillo before. I've heard of them, but you don't see many in Tennessee." She shook her head, willing herself not to stare at the vicious scars. He had blue-green eyes that reminded her of the lake back home when the afternoon sun shone on its shimmering water. They studied her with an unnerving, unwavering neutral stare. She forced her gaze to float over his shoulder. "Are they common around here?"
"You see them now and again." He had a sandpaper-rough voice that suggested little use, or maybe his throat had been damaged by whatever had done this to his face. "That's why they're the mascot of the Lone Star State."
"On the trip here, my brother read to us all about the Lone Star State. Sam Houston, the Alamo, Santa Anna." It had passed the time, and whether she wanted to admit it or not, Deborah had found the history lesson interesting. And knowing more about her new home made the move seem less intimidating. "He didn't mention the armadillos, though."
"We eat armadillo all the time. It's a delicacy. Eve's serving it for supper in your honor. She'll be awful offended if you don't ask for seconds."
"Give her a break, Phin. Daed asked you to help with the bags, not badger the new folks." Frannie pushed past Deborah, her hands on her skinny hips. "She'll figure out what's what."
"I know people don't eat armadillo." At least not where she came from. Deborah didn't need her cousin to defend her. "I came here to help my family get settled. I'm going home as soon as I can."
Even though the thought of being separated from her mudder, bruder, and schweschders was almost too much to contemplate. Nothing was more important than family. Not even her own happiness.
"It's just as well then, if you think you're too fancy to eat armadillo. Around here we eat what God provides and count ourselves blessed." Phin tossed two bags over his broad shoulders and strode toward her in an easy long-legged stride, as if his burden weighed nothing.
The rolled-up sleeves of his faded blue shirt revealed more scars on his hands and lower arms. "Besides, we have enough mouths to feed, and you're too scrawny to be much of a workhorse."
"I am not scrawny." Deborah planted her feet. It appeared he would sideswipe her with the bags as he passed by in a straight line for Onkel John's house. Certain she'd end up on her behind again, she took one quick step to the left. "I do as much work as the next person."
"Don't mind him." Frannie hitched up the skirt of her gray dress, climbed into the back of the van, and dragged another bag toward Deborah. "He's always like that."
"Who is he?"
Excerpted from The Beekeeper's Son by Kelly Irvin. Copyright © 2014 Kelly Irvin. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Author Kelly Irvin gave us another fantastic book in The Beekeeper's Son. This book held my attention from the beginning and is so fascinating. I love Author Kelly Irvin's style of writing and it makes her books very well-written. The specific details and descriptions makes the characters seem realistic and that I'm literally experiencing the same joys and troubles. For me, The Beekeeper's Son was unpredictable and has a couple of surprises, which I extremely enjoyed. I highly recommend reading this book. I love and enjoyed The Beekeeper's Son and feel Author Kelly Irvin wrote a fantastic book to start a new series called The Amish of Bee County. The Beekeeper's Son is Book One and I'm unquestionably looking forward to Book Two in this series. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and the author in exchange for my honest review. This review is one hundred percent my opinion.
I found this to be a captivating story. Change is difficult, but God loves to work through the difficult to give us the desires of our heart. Deborah and Phineas struggled to get past their disappointments, and their doubt in the God whom they've been taught to trust. I just love Mordecai with his useless, but interesting facts. With all of the Amish romance novels out there, I wondered if there could a fresh look through their eyes, but Kelly Irvin has managed it once again. I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I had the privilege of reading The Beekeeper’s Son by Kelly Irvin. I absolutely love the way that she develops characters and brings me not only right into the story from the first page, but makes me part of the community. I remember some of the characters from the past, although the Ms. Irvin was wonderful to focus on the new families and new issues. I felt like I was coming home but also being introduced to new friends, kind of the like the town when Abby and her children joined the community. I could feel the hard, dusty ground on my feet, feel the terror of seeing an armadillo for the first time, stinging bees, and other creepy crawley bugs that I wouldn’t normally experience. I also felt the sting of Phineas’ harsh words, but also felt the hurt and gentleness underneath. What I love the most is the way Ms. Irvin develops her male characters. I fell in love with Mordecai King…he sets an example that even the most loving of parents can follow. Her male characters are strong, yet gentle, not afraid to show weakness and in that weakness their true strength shines through. I’m not sure who I felt more sorry for or related to more - Abby or Deborah. Both were misplaced, both were lonely, and both had lost the love of their lives and were searching for permanency. I love how Ms. Irvin resolved both characters’ problems - they were realistic and true to life. I also loved the solution that Abby came up with - ingenious and practical, just like her. Ms. Irvin has the gift of weaving a story that makes me want to keep reading. She effortlessly weaves the spiritual truths that encourage, challenge at times, and comfort the reader as they walk the path alongside the characters. She makes characters real - with real life issues, real life struggles and a way to give it all to God. I am a huge fan of Ms. Irvin’s books and can’t wait to read about the next challenge that she chooses to tackle with either the same characters or introducing yet again new ones for me to fall in love with.
Wow, a great start to a new series from Kelly Irvin. The Beekeeper's Son had me up until 2:30 am trying to finish it. I just could not put it down. I have neer really thought much about Texas having any Amish districts so the whole concept was new to me. Also, my grand-daddy kept bees so that caught my interest from the beginning. But it was truly the story that pulled me in. Kelly Irvin has written a story that just doesn't stop. The side stories were awesome and I knew from the beginning that what brought the Lantz family to Texas would not be happening. (vague I know, but trying to prevent spoilers) Definitely worthy of 5 stars from this reviewer. This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
I loved it. It was clean and the characters were warm and for the most part loveable. I was disappointed when Abigail allowed Stephen to correct or talk mean to her children. Apparently this is ok within the amish beliefs. I am so glad the story did not result in Abigail marrying him.
I read a fair amount of Amish fiction but I enjoyed this book even more than most. Interesting characters and a unique location.
A touching story! -- Yep, another great book by Kelly. I've had this on my Kindle for a while, really wanted it in paperback, and finally 'picked' it out of my TBR list. I felt that it would be a good story and I was right, oh how I love it when I'm right about a book! Many of us have scars, some just aren't visible, unfortunately Phineas's were visible and Kelly does a wonderful job telling the story of how the characters get over their scars and disappointments in life. I will hopefully not wait so long to read the second book in the series, "The Bishop's Son", the paperback is on pre-order right now and it is due out on September 29th but I can't find anything on the Kindle edition. Purchase/Borrow, read and enjoy this book soon if you have not done so yet.
Deborah Lantz, her mother, and siblings move from Tennessee to Bee County, Texas to start over. Her father died two years ago, and her mother is considering marrying her old beau, Stephen, who now lives in Texas. Deborah is disappointed, to say the least. Texas is hot, dry, and barren--so unlike her home. Besides, she left behind Aaron, the young man she hoped would ask her to marry him. Phineas King spends his time caring for the bees his family raises or bird watching. He is convinced no woman will ever want to marry him since he bears horrible scars from an accident that took his mother's life. Against his better judgement, he finds himself thinking about Deborah constantly. When Aaron does not send for Deborah but rather moves away to continue a life without her, Deborah resigns herself to staying in Bee County. Her attraction to Phineas grows, but she doesn't know if she will ever be able to break through the wall Phineas has built around himself. She looks beyond his scars to see the caring man Phineas really is. Will Deborah and Phineas be able to accept the things in their lives they cannot change and discover if God has different plans for them--plans to be together. Will Deborah's mother realize Stephen is not the man for her and forge a relationship with a different man she has grown to love? In The Beekeeper's Son, Kelly Irvin tells a wonderful story of hope, trust, and love. Her characters are well-developed and believable and bring home the message that we are all beautiful, unique, special children of God. If I could give this book more than five stars, I certainly would. Thank you, Kelly, for a touching story with a powerful message. Susan Simpson, Author
The Beekeeper’s Son is a wonderful beginning to a new series. I had not read any books by this author before, but I will definitely be reading other books by her in the future. I enjoyed the story from the start to the finish. The vivid descriptions of the south Texas landscape really made the story come alive to me. I could feel the sun burning down from the sky and the parched land under the characters feet. The descriptions and interactions of all of the characters felt very real to me, as well. This book is packed with emotion and situations that these individual must sort out. The reader meets Deborah at the beginning of the book and it is clear that she is not happy to be moving to this small community that is so unlike her thriving home back in Tennessee. She is lonely, homesick, and heartsick over a young man she left behind. Watching Deborah’s journey as she lives, day in and day out, in this new location and tries to discover what God has in store for her, her siblings, and her widowed mother is very interesting. Another main character in the book is Phineas, a young man who is horribly scarred and has become somewhat of a loner. He does not think there will ever be someone who can look on him without either disgust or pity shining in their eyes. His self-doubts are there throughout the whole book. It is not something easily overcome. Seeing his interactions with Deborah, which started off on a bad note to begin with, were some of my favorite portions of the story. There is also a wonderful thread running through the book about Deborah’s mother, Abigail. She is the reason that the family moved to Bee County. An old suitor wants to court her and she must try to determine the path that God wants her to take. Does she follow her head or her heart? Is this man the person God wants her to be with? Her situation, and watching her search for the right step to take, was also a really good storyline. This is a great start to the series and I look forward to reading the future books set in Bee County. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.
An enjoyable and feel good story. A little slow paced and predictible, though.
Phineas is an Amish man and the beekeeper’s son. Phin was eight when riding in a van and a semi truck hit the van. Phin went through the windshield then got thrown up to the bumper of the truck and then was thrown down on the paved road. Phin’s mother had been killed and Phin had almost died as he had landed on his face. Some others that had been in the van also got hurt but nothing like Phin had. It had been twelve to thirteen years ago. Phin’s face and arms were really scarred up. Phin hadn’t talked very much before the accident but now he talked even less. Deborah had come with her mother Abigail and five siblings from Tennessee to Texas for an old boyfriend that Abigail had known before she married Deborah's father who had passed away. Phin does not believe anyone will ever see past his scars and is mainly a loner. Deborah is very homesick and wants to go back to Tennessee but wants to see her mother happy also. I enjoyed this story alot. It wasn’t to long before you knew what this story was about and reminded you of which was a Beauty and The Best scenario Amish style. Also to have Phin refind his faith in God and for Deborah to follow God’s path for her. I enjoy Amish stories and really liked this one as it was a little different then most. Their was the extra challenge of Phin losing his mom so young and his scars and Deborah being so unhappy when she first got to Texas. I liked the ins and outs of this story alot and i recommend this story. I received an Arc of this story for an honest review.
A great story that I could not stop reading. This is a true love story.
I really enjoyed this .
Good read, was not disappointed
Wonderfull stories love all the charactors. They keep me interested.
Sunday, June 21, 2015 The Beekeeper's Son by Kelly Irvin, © 2014 The Amish of Bee Country series, Book 1 A change is coming to Bee County, Texas! Wondering how this desolate looking place can be a harbor for anything to anchor them down, Deborah Lantz looks backward to what she has known, not seeing the richness before her. "All in the perspective," those who live here would say to this newly arrived family. Beauty in the eyes of the beholder. Immediately, warning signs prevail; I hope Abigail Lantz will heed them! Concern for her children and her heart, I want better for them than is portrayed in the beginning moments and days. Can what has been left behind truly be worse? She has it right. She has been seen as an image and not a real person in the memory of one who has built her up to more than she can be. Oh, to be recognized for who she is. She is more than a commodity. She is flesh and blood and worthy of love, true love that endears and beholds. I liked how this story unveiled, gently and beautifully as risks are taken to be known. Walls come down as we let others in to reveal themselves in the safety of our sight unhinged by preconceived notions. A very good story of building trust, not rushed but daily being open a little more. Kelly Irvin is the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series. She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine. Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-six years. They have two young adult children, two cats, and a tank full of fish. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors. ***Thank you to author Kelly Irvin and to Zondervan/HarperCollins for sending me a copy of The Beekeepr's Son for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Deborah and her family up and move to Texas. Anna decides it best and comes to live with her brother John and his family in Bee County, Texas. Deborah is surprised when she finds a strange animal. Phinas King is help unloading the truck and looks at her and thinks Deborah is horrid by what happen to him and his scar. Anna is said to be committed to a man who want her has is wife. Though it possible that she find her second true love here in Bee County, Texas. Deborah is waiting to hear from her love in Tennessee. She is determine to return home. Though Deborah is somewhat courious of the man behind the scars. Is it possible that Phinias is hiding behind his scars. Things start to get a bit turned upside down. There is tons of twist and turns. Whatever happens to Anna and Phinas dad or Stephen. Who will Anna choose. Deborah and Phinas will they find true love. What happens to them. Though Phinas happens to help Deborah and her family. There a house fire and what happens then goes from strange to something surprising. The book seems to have two love stories.
A beautiful Amish story of Deborah and Phineas. Both young people have experienced loss and disappointments. Phineas has scarred hands and face and chooses the solitary life of tending his father’s bees rather than see the look of pity Deborah would have when she sees him. He’s certain she can’t be interested in him even as he secretly wants to see her. Deborah has a daunting task to convince Phineas that she loves him despite his disfigurement while at the same time he continues to be convinced he is unlovable. Vivid settings descriptions of a barren south Texas and well developed characterizations of the hero and heroine as well as secondary characters. Kelly Irvin is a superb storyteller.
Kelly Irvin has penned a beautiful novel in "The Beekeeper's Son". Set against the backdrop of the harsh Texas climate, this story of a family looking for a new start contains everything I love in a book. Irvin has created strong characters in Phineas, Deborah, Mordecai, Abigail and Stephen. She has a knack for winding you into the storyline and making you care about what you are reading. Deborah can't understand her mother's decision to travel from Tennessee to Texas to meet up with an old beau after her father has died. Deborah, at 19, has every intention of returning to Tennessee after her mother and brother and sisters are settled into their new life, and it can't happen soon enough for Deborah, even though she gets off to a bad start with Stephen. Being content with the current state of your life is a concept I have experience with, and I understand Deborah's questions to God, and about His will. This is a wonderful book, and I enjoyed every page.
The Beekeeper's Son by Kelly Irvin is a lovely Amish romance. Abigail Lantz is a widow of two years and has relocated her family (four girls and one boy) from Tennessee to a small settlement in Texas. Her brother, John and his family life in Bee County, Texas along with an old beau, Stephen. Abigail's brother convinced her to move to Bee County. He is hoping romance that Abigail will marry Stephen. Abigail wants to get away from all the memories of her husband, Timothy. She loved him dearly. Abigail's oldest daughter, Deborah, is not thrilled with the move. She is leaving behind her beau, Aaron and her best friend, Josie. Deborah is hoping to get her mother settled and then move back to Tennessee. Stephen Stetler is a bachelor in Bee County. He is growing fruit trees and grapes on his property to make ends meet. Mordecai King and his son, Phineas have bee colonies. They sell honey, lip balm (from the wax), beeswax candles, and even bees. Both men are interested in Abigail, but only one of them will catch her heart. Phineas King was in a terrible accident as a child. He ended up going through the windshield of the van and ended up with his face severely disfigured. Phineas also lost his mother in the accident. Doctors were not able to fix Phineas' face and he is left with many scars. It has caused him to retreat from society and keep to himself. Deborah's looks past his scars and into his heart, but will Phineas be able to open up his heart to Deborah. Bee County is a tough area to live in. It is very hot and the soil is not ideal for crops. The people do not have much money or conveniences. They do not even have ice! The community of Bee County will have to work together to overcome many hardships, but they have each other and God. The Beekeeper's Son is a just a delightful book. I just loved it and could not put it down. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars! Happy Reading! I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
How hard it must have been for Hannah, a young woman getting ready to court and eventually have her own home and family, to move hundreds of miles away. Her Dad has passed and her Mom has decided to move to Texas, and possibly rekindle a relationship with a former beau. Bee County, Texas must have been one rude awakening when the Lantz family arrived. They had left lush Tennessee and now are in a rather barren land, in the midst of a drought. God does have plans for this family, and although you might see it sooner than the character does, it is really sweet how things are placed in their paths. There are a lot of surprises, and actually some good information about the keeping of bees and honey production. Sometimes we test our own will against, what is really planned and where we need to be. Opportunities are presented to these strong women, and they can leave and go to other, or to what we perceived to be more hospitable climates. We are presented with a young man who has overcome some of his disabilities at being disfigured, but he hasn’t been able to remove himself and enter the world without being self-conscious. Phineas, love the biblical names, is seeking what all Amish men want a frau and family, but he will have to put himself out where the world can see his scars. This is a quick and heart warming read, and I hated for it to end. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Zondervan and was not required to give a positive review.