The Tinderbox

The Tinderbox

by Beverly Lewis


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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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764232831
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/02/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 30,875
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Beverly Lewis penned her first story at age nine while living near Lancaster County Amish farmland, where she grew up. She welcomes her many reader-friends each day on Facebook and personally replies to fan mail. Lewis lives with her husband in Colorado near their family. Visit her website at

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The Tinderbox 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I love it when Beverly Lewis writes a series. This was a quick read due to not being able to set it down. Looking forward to the Timepiece.
GrandaddyA 6 months ago
Have you ever had the experience of unintentionally stumbling onto something totally unexpected that you wished you had not found? What did you do with whatever you had found? What if it was not completely unintentional? Let’s say the opportunity was there to do some “snooping” and you had been told to leave something alone, but you went against what you knew to be right and proceeded. Sylvia was in the latter category. Her father had told her to leave his tinderbox alone but, unlike the many other times she had been in his shop over the years, suddenly she found the box unlocked. What choice would she make? What difference would it make if she did look? Can a wrong action result in good? We all make choices every day. Many are inconsequential, but others have consequences that have a ripple effect much like tossing a rock into a pond. In life, the ripples often continue for years into the future, touching lives of those who aren’t even born yet. Her father had made choices over twenty years prior to this time. How would they affect his family? Beverly Lewis continues to write wonderful stories that captivate her readers. You will enjoy this one.
LucyMR1 7 months ago
What a great way to start a new series. This is a slow paced book but well worth savoring. The secrets of the past are revealed through a daughter’s curiosity and it was astonishing to me the punishment inflicted upon Earnest. Makes me grateful for Christ and the forgiveness He bestows upon us, instead of man determining what is appropriate. I love the realistic characters and how they show vulnerability, humility, and forgiveness. I also enjoyed the surprise at the end that leads into part of the storyline for book two. I could picture the beautiful clocks Earnest handcrafted and the beautiful jars of canned food, as the written word came to life on the pages. I can’t wait to read The Timepiece. An enjoyable, thought provoking read. I was blessed to win a copy of this book. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
summer_no9 More than 1 year ago
This book was an authentic beautiful writing and compelling to read with that also had great story that will bring us to discovery of life and a secret had been hiding and keeping away from a family was had to be found in the tinderbox from their young teenage daughter Sylvia Miller that making her had a question for everything from the passed and to be moving on in their future. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book.” I received complimentary a copy of this book from Bethany House for this review “.
RockandMinerals4Him More than 1 year ago
This was a fun and easy read: I enjoyed it a lot! It was also not typical for Amish fiction, and that was also really nice. So much Amish fiction is . . . essentially the same thing, all the time, and this one was different, so that was really nice. Sylvia was an interesting character, although she did fall a bit flat in my perception. She is about to get married when she discovers a big secret of her father's in his old tinderbox, and then Things Happen™. This book was interesting because it took a glimpse into life in the Amish community, and made it less perfect than it seems on the outside. The Amish community is harsh, and it is not forgiving to those who trespass. This book was HEAVY. With as quickly as I read through the book, it would have seemed that the book was light and easy to read, but it was not the case. The story was hard to read sometimes, and that was because of the characters. The characters were very well written: they seemed real and had their own struggles and fears. There was a plot twist at the end, which was quite inTereSting! The book ended on a cliffhanger that will be continued in the next book. Overall, I enjoyed this book as an Amish fiction story: it was out of the ordinary and it gave a better look into actually living life as an Amish person. The characters were also well written and did not fall flat. My Rating- 3/5 (would be a 4/5 or 5/5 when rating Amish fiction, I just don't normally rate Amish fiction /that/ high on my personal ratings). Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review; I was not required to write a positive review. This review first appeared on:
tickmenot More than 1 year ago
Surprising Consequences! It is very unusual for someone who did not grow up Amish to give up modern conveniences, and join the plain people. But that is exactly what young adult Earnest Miller did. After the passing of twenty years, he has built up a successful business. During that time, a loving marriage to Rhoda took place, and together they have had many children. Earnest has become a well-respected member of his adopted Amish society. But he has also been keeping a secret. Earnest has always kept a locked tinder box on a tall shelf in his clock shop. Unknown to him, his daughter Sylvia has always thought the life he led before becoming Amish a fascinating mystery—and would like to know more about it. She has been equally curious about what is inside the tinder box. It has drawn her for years. The day it was mistakenly left unlocked, she gave into temptation to look inside. By her opening it, Sylvia sets into motion a sequence of events that not only change all their lives, but may very well be their undoing. Amish life can have lots of twists and turns, and this story is no exception. While the entire family is reeling from the consequences of opening the box, another surprise lands in their lap–the arrival of a stranger. This outsider, Adeline Pelham, has an unbelievable story that she says involves them. Will Sylvia see what kind of guy her fiancé really is, along with the control his mother has over him? Can Rhoda ever get back the loving relationship she once had with Earnest? Could it be possible the story Adeline tells them is true? The book ends on a cliff hanger, so the answers to all those questions will have to wait for the conclusion in The Timepiece. I was disappointed to have to wait for The Timepiece, to answer the above questions, but this is a well-written book. Because of that, it is easy for the readers to understand how the characters feel in different situations they face—and it will keep you turning the pages for more. In life, secrets have a way of finding their way out, and The Tinder Box is proof of that. This non-offensive, 5-star story is told from a Christian viewpoint, and it will be enjoyed by fans of Amish, or well-written fiction. Bethany House Publishing has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of The Tinder Box, for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
THE TINDERBOX is book one of a new series by the Queen of Amish fiction, Beverly Lewis. Amish fiction readers who only read Lewis or Brunstetter will stand up and cheer! Those who read any Amish writer might cheer too. Recently I've found Ms. Lewis's work to be subpar so I didn't go into this with high hopes. However, I fell quickly in love with Earnest. Wow, I hurt for him! I was stunned to see the Amish made a big deal over his visiting his own great uncle! That was cause for discipline? Really? The hidden secrets were enough cause for the punishment but it ripped this family apart. However, the ending had you see why they needed to be and I can't wait til the second book in this series comes out. So much was unresolved. Welcome back, Queen Beverly Lewis. THE TINDERBOX is a piece of brilliance. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
Creative2xmom More than 1 year ago
As part of the Hickory Hollow series, The Tinderbox follows the story of an eighteen year old Sylvia and the secret that she uncovers. As her father's past comes back to haunt the family, Sylvia wrestles with the role she has played and how it affects her parent's future. Meanwhile her parents, Rhoda and Earnest, struggle to rebuild trust. Will their marriage be able to survive the threat of the Bann? Or will this secret tear apart a family, an engagement, and a community? I've always enjoyed Beverly Lewis' work and this book was just as enjoyable. There are so many layers of story in The Tinderbox... Rhoda's sister struggling with a miscarriage, the romance between Sylvia and her fiancé, the loss of a dear friend and mentor, Earnest's struggle to find his place... and salvage his marriage to Rhoda... all of it wrapped into on beautifully written book. While the beginning started out slow, once Earnest's secret came to light, I found that I couldn't put the book down. This is a beautiful story of hope, forgiveness, and the power of commitment. The Tinderbox left me with a lot of questions and I look forward to reading the sequel this fall. *Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Homesteading More than 1 year ago
Minor Spoiler Alert! The Tinderbox is an intricately written story encompassing the lives of several members of an Old Order Amish family in Hickory Hollow. While this story is not fast-paced, it is steady in its forward progression. I found a lot of enjoyment in the slower pace and details regarding the Miller’s, especially the dad, Earnest. It was an intimate glimpse into a community that continues to fascinate me and at the same time repel. The characters show great love for their own until one transgresses, then even after the most beautifully heartfelt and sincere confession and repentance, still harsh discipline is meted out; a six week Bann. That broke my heart. I realize this is the Amish way but it made me appreciate being a Christian and knowing that never do I have to fear that kind of discipline from my Heavenly Father or church Elders. My head and heart were heavily invested in this story and I’m sure that’s why I was affected as deeply as I was. Lewis knows the culture and it shows. And she has added a rather shocking twist at the end that I am eager to read about in the conclusion coming out in September 2019, The Timepiece. I received a paperback copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. No compensation has been received.
Becky5 More than 1 year ago
“Hard work puts meat on your bones...and builds strong character.” Ack, character: for sure and for certain the centerpiece of yet another Amish tale Beverly Lewis has brought us. A family and couple(s) are in crisis. The Tinderbox out in her father’s clockmaking workshop has tempted Sylvia ever since she was small. Little does Sylvia realize the Pandora’s Box she will be opening as she peeks inside. While not a fast-moving book, The Tinderbox deals with some of the strongest human emotions possible: intense human love, lust, (very tastefully dealt with), anger, fear, deceit, betrayal, and despair. I have my suspicions about a few others that we may not realize until the sequel, The Timepiece, is out in September of this year. It has been said that women are emotional creatures. I thought about this a lot as I read The Tinderbox. It was easy to put myself in either Rhoda or Sylvia’s place. I wondered if the stress and emotions would be unbearable. God has said He will not give us more than we can bear. While Rhoda, Sylvia, Hannah, and Earnest all must have questioned this, God provided a special friend for the ladies as well as for Earnest in his time of need. It was fun to visit with the Wise Woman of Hickory Hollow, Ella Mae, yet again. Everyone needs an Ella Mae in his/her life. Five. That many months until the sequel comes out. I need it now. Lewis neatly sets us up for The Timepiece, and I, for one, don’t want to wait! Quotable: “Have you fallen so far that the Lord can’t reach down and pick you up?” I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to leave a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
MollyzReviewz More than 1 year ago
As a long time fan of Beverly Lewis, I was super excited to be able to read this book. I know with her books, I will always get an inspiring story, great characters and an unforgettable plot. That’s what I got with this one. I loved reading Sylvia’s story. Not only did we get to follow Sylvia and her love, but we got to see her father and mother’s story as well. It was really interesting to read this book, with all the secrets that were hidden. That’s not something you see often with the Amish! Seeing the way Sylvia was, the way her father had to deal with his past and his future with the Amish, really opened my eyes. The characters were beautifully chiseled and their roles were perfect. Each page turn had me wanting more and that’s just what I got! The Tinderbox, while starting out a little slow for me, quickly became a fast read for me. I was up late into the night turning the pages of this 4 star read from the ever talented Lewis. With hope and forgiveness the center of The Tinderbox, this is a story that no one should miss. Grab your copy now, open the tinderbox and let God work through your heart. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley, Bethany House Publishers and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
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.
Christianfictionandmore More than 1 year ago
The Tinderbox is the first book about Earnest Miller's Plain family, to be followed by The Timepiece in the fall of 2019. Earnest Miller was raised an Englisher although he had always enjoyed spending time with his Old Order Mennonite grandparents. So it was not surprising that after the death of his parents and other life altering events he chose to seek a life among the Amish, the Plain folk. What was surprising was how those events from his past would come back to haunt him more than twenty years later, and how they would be brought to light. Beverly Lewis has developed a story that probes the themes of honesty and forgiveness, of the value of seeking wisdom from the Lord and from those who have more life experience and spiritual wisdom than we currently possess ourselves. She has developed characters who have the opportunity to allow Christ to help them in the storm or to allow the waves to have their way. Her readers' hearts will be touched by the joy and the pain experienced by Earnest Miller and his family, and they may be led to meditate on the how their own choices impact the lives of those they love. While it felt like this book got off to a slow start, by the time I had finished it, I was glad that I had read it. I look forward to the continuing story in The Timepiece. I am grateful to have received a copy of The Tinderbox from Bethany House via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, and received no monetary compensation.
PinkGranny More than 1 year ago
I liked The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis very much and it hooked me right away. The love shared between Earnest and Rhoda Miller spills over into the lives of their five children. Sylvia, the oldest, has dreams of having a close relationship like her parents have with her new fiancee, Titus. It was her curiosity about the one heirloom her father kept locked on a shelf in his shop that niggled at her imagination and tempted her since childhood. One day, by the merest chance, the box was left unlocked and because of that burning curiosity, she opened it and the ensuing can of worms had a ripple effect on her family and her relationship with Titus. While the secrets in the box cuts deeply into the fabric of their lives, Sylvia begins to notice things about her own relationships along the way to healing her family. Titus, whom she thinks the world of, may not be the man she believed him to be. She is second guessing a lot of things that she took for granted yet she remains the kind, generous spirit her parents raised her to be. As she grows, she begins to think much more independently and I felt myself cheering her on. At the heart of the matter is her father, and his sin of omission before joining the Amish community in Hickory Hollow. The family may never be the same and yet in the midst of it all, they begin to look at their faith in new ways. Beverly Lewis has created characters that have depth and appeal. They are alive with the tension and love that comes from facing serious challenges. I recommend this book for its strong characters, good plot and the promise of hope for better things to come.
SunnieReviews More than 1 year ago
A box full of hidden secrets. A life of secrets. A very touching story. I have loved everything Beverly Lewis. This book touches on a heart wrenching secret kept by Sylvia's father, formerly Enlisch and not born into the Amish faith. When Sylvia discovers the contents of the box, a life full of secrets starts to unravel. It is a really good book. I loved it and can't wait for the next book in the series. If you enjoy Amish fiction, you will definitely enjoy this book. I received an ebook copy from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.
TrixiO More than 1 year ago
Sylvia Miller snoops in her father’s Tinderbox, setting the course for a twenty-year-old secret to threaten to tear apart her family, her parents’ marriage and her community. It shakes the very core of everything she’s believed and has the potential to implode her relationship with her Dat. How can they all weather the coming storm? When I first discovered Amish fiction early in my Christian fiction reading, Beverly Lewis was the author who introduced me this whole new world. I had devoured everything I could find by her! She’s always written with passion and a healthy respect for the Amish lifestyle. Therefore, I eagerly read this latest novel, barely wanting to put it down lest I miss something happening in the pages. And there’s a whole lot happening here to make your head spin! My heart ached for each hurt the characters experienced, for each doubt and fear and for strained relationships where there had been peaceful harmony. I think what I admired the most, is how they clung even closer to God and His promises in His word. Their faith never wavered and their struggle with their human emotions is something we all deal with from time to time. Sylvia, Earnest & Rhoda Miller are characters that I could easily see meeting if I ever visited the Amish community they were a part of. Though they went through fiery trials, each took it with a measure of grace and grew in faith as they depended on God to help them through it. I know I hate to see characters go through hard things, but I love seeing their growth in the end as it gives me hope in my own trials! Forgiveness, redemption, and restoration are strong themes in this one. Lastly, though I don’t like cliffhangers at the end of a book, there was enough closure to satisfy me and looking forward to “The Timepiece” coming September 2019. This one’s for Beverly Lewis fans, Amish fiction fans and those who want an emotionally charged, faith-filled book with characters to care about. *I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House via Netgalley and was not required to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *
KayleesKindofWrites More than 1 year ago
My Review: Genre: Amish fiction. My Rating: 4 stars. My Recommendation: 16 up. Warnings below. My favorite character/s: Hmm, I guess that would have to be Sylvia, she was an interesting character and I liked reading about her but I kinda disliked her relationship with her beau. It was like it was doomed from the start. *shrugs* That may just be me though. My Verse for Sylvia is Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (King James Version.) My Thoughts: I liked this book, I really did. It's just I didn't love it . . . But that's all on me. In no way is that because of the author. She did a wonderful job with this novel and I look forward to the next book in the series! Let's just go with it's not my cup of tea. Though that ending was slightly surprising and I NEED to read the next one! If you like Amish books you definitely need to check this one out! There was a good bit of intrigue to go along with the rest of the story and the ending has me wanting to read the next book so bad right now! I'm giving it 3 stars but if the whole book had been like the last page I would have given 5 stars. Spoiler Below! Warnings: A character is divorced. I received this book in exchange for my honest review and am truly happy to provide it! All the thoughts are my own.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
Yes, I enjoyed this read, and be aware that all of the answers are not forth coming, there is a sequel coming in September 2019, and I am looking forward to it! What a can of worms this young woman releases when she does what she is old enough to know better, and ready to join the church, but she opens a forbidden object that will change hers and her families lives forever. This is just the beginning of the iceberg, and loved how as we get to the end of this book, there are more bombshells dropped. Watch as the community’s relationships and opinions change, and yes, they are human, and all are sinners. This is a very interesting book; the pages flew and I was too soon at the end! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Beverly Lewis never disappoints. This one leaves the reader eager, not frustrated, for the next book.