The Saddle Maker's Son   -     By: Kelly Irvin
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The Saddle Maker's Son

Zondervan / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

The Saddle Maker’s Son, an Amish of Bee County novel, by Kelly Irvin

Two wounded people plus two frightened children adds up to…the chance for a happy ending.  Rebekah feels judged by everyone because her sister left the Amish community for the world of the English…and they fear she may follow suit.  Tobias Byler is trying to escape the memory of a woman he once knew.  Neither feels ready for romance, but in forgetting their own troubles in order to help a runaway sister and brother, everyone is given the chance to find true happiness.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 7.17 X 4.71 X 1.04 (inches)
ISBN: 0310339863
ISBN-13: 9780310339861
UPC: 9780310339861
Series: Amish of Bee County

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Publisher's Description

Rebekah Lantz feels imprisoned by circumstances she didn’t create. Tobias Byler is haunted by regret. Can two young runaways from half a world away teach them the healing power of true family?

Rebekah isn’t like her sister who left the Amish faith, but the watchful gaze of her family and small, close-knit Amish community makes her feel as if she’s been judged and found lacking. The men avoid her and the women whisper behind her back. She simply longs for the same chance to be a wife and mother that her friends have.

Tobias Byler only wants to escape feelings for a woman he knows he should never have allowed to get close to him. Moving with his family to isolated Bee County, Texas, seemed the best way to leave his mistakes behind. But even a move across the country can’t erase the past that accompanies his every thought.

A surprise encounter with two half-starved runaway children forces Rebekah and Tobias to turn to each other to help a sister and brother who have traveled thousands of miles in search of lives of unfettered peace and joy.

In doing so, Rebekah and Tobias discover the key to forgetting the past is the one that will open the door to love and the future they both seek.

Author Bio

Kelly Irvin is the author of the critically acclaimed Amish of Bee County series. Kelly is also the author of several Amish series including the Bliss Creek Amish series, the New Hope Amish series, and the Amish of Bee County series. She has been married for twenty-seven years, and 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. Learn more at kellyirvin.com Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author

Editorial Reviews

'A warm-hearted novel that is more than a romance, with lovable characters...'

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Displaying items 1-5 of 19
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  1. Arden, NC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Thumbs Up to the immigration issues Irvin works in here!
    December 5, 2016
    ADFehl
    Arden, NC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Teaching Assistant Rebekah Lantz feels her Amish community is harshly (and wrongly) judging her for the actions of her sister, who chose to leave the Amish faith. The women gossip, the men hesitate to court her.

    Meanwhile, Tobias Byler is trying to work off the shame of a failed relationship with an Englisch (non-Amish) woman. He was tempted to drift away from all he knew to be with her but soon realized he didn't want to (could not, even) abandon his Amish roots. Heavy with the guilt of leading his lady love on only to have to break things off, Tobias comes to Bee County to begin anew.

    The paths of Tobias and Rebekah connect when both are brought together to help two lost children who stumble into the community of the Bee County Amish. At first glance, these two children seem to have the look of runaways, but the truth quickly comes out. Tobias and Rebekah don't have the smoothest introduction right off. In fact, in pretty much no time flat Rebekah is already fighting feelings of guilt for bringing Tobias into a situation where she has to ask him to lie for her, before they hardly know each other at all.

    Spanish turns out to be the native tongue of the lost children. Neither child seems to know more than a word or two of English, but luckily Rebekah knows enough conversational Spanish to gather that the older child, a girl of 12, is named Lupe while her brother is Diego. They say they were sent by their grandmother, on their own, from El Salvador (Central America) to Texas to try to locate their missing father. Lupe and her brother show signs of being a bit malnourished and seem to be wary around grown men -- any adult men, always fearing they might be "the bad men" -- and jumpy at the sound of guns.

    The Amish of Bee County -- the children especially -- seem to take to Lupe & Diego quite quickly. Likewise, Lupe & Diego are fascinated with the culture and find they pick up English quickly here. The whole situation also gives Rebekah a break in that the town gossips let up off her a bit, instead showing their support and encouragement for her interest in the children. Many community members agree that any relatives of the children should try to be located, though some fear what it might mean for Bee County legally should word get out that they might be harboring undocumented immigrants. Rebekah herself of course wants to locate any of Lupe and Diego's relatives, but also worries that if none can be found, that these children might fall victim to being shuffled around and lost in the States' foster care system after they've already been through so much. There are also those who air their suspicions that the children might have ties to terrorist plots.

    Rebekah, to ensure that the children have the best chance possible at a good life, enlists the help of none other than her sister Leila....the same sister who left the faith and put so much strain on Rebekah's own life. But Leila's husband just happens to work with non-profits that provide assistance to newly immigrated families, work that has him interacting with immigrants and the immigration office pretty much on a daily basis! Rebekah figures if there is anyone who knows their stuff, it'd be him!

    Okay, so first off I have to vent and say that I was not impressed with the spoilers author Kelly Irvin left in her Note To Readers at the beginning of the book, regarding the other books in this series. I've seen quite a few reviews where readers have mentioned picking this book up without having read the previous (as I did) but way to kill some of the surprise if and when they might choose to go back to the earlier stories! Not cool!

    Alright, that out of my system... on to this book and my thoughts. I do like the themes Irvin works with here. Not only does she illustrate the pain of being shunned (either literally or figuratively) by the people you most love for things you cannot control, but also uses her characters to show that one can work through the forgetting or forgiving of mistakes through the process of helping others worse off. Perfect reminder any time of year but especially nice to read during this holiday season. :-)

    Rebekah herself is an admirable character, strong in her sense of self, comfortable with sharing her thoughts and opinions... a trait that gets her the label of "firecracker". Been there, girl. I can relate! {You say firecracker like it's a bad thing, ammirite ;-)} I also enjoyed experiencing the warm and caring sisterhood between Rebekah and Leila. I only have a brother myself, but this is what I imagine having a sister must feel like -- when you're on good terms with them that is!

    As far as the slow burning romance between Rebekah and Tobias, it was molasses slow for me! I can appreciate a decent slow burn but with these two I just kept wanting to hit the FF button already. Nope, just too lukewarm and dragged out IMO. I even laughed when at around 200 pages, after pages of started-cute-now-tedious bickering, Rebekah says "maybe we should start over..." What? aww no girl, there's only like 155 pages til final curtain so let's just wrap this forced mess up already, 'kay? Susan and Levi had a better story on that front (at least for me).... and the closing of David and Bobbie's story was pretty touching.

    My interest was primarily held simply on the story of the bundle package of cuteness known as Lupe and Diego. I found their journey to the States very much relevant to the times now, given the uncertainty many US citizens have over our newly elected president's statements / stand on immigration issues. This is just one story that illustrates that yes, borders have to be protected, but at the same time there are lives of children, CHILDREN, at stake... a reality that should not be taken lightly or approached with an all or nothing point of view. It's not and won't be a clear cut, black and white issue... there will be plenty of layers of gray for some time to come and at the very least we have to acknowledge that with an empathetic heart.

    _________________

    Note To Readers: This is the third book in Irvin's Amish of Bee County series. As I mentioned previously, I have not read the first two. While there were some minor points in the story where I felt something was being referenced that I did not quite catch the importance of, feeling like it must have been a nod to the earlier books, I still had no trouble reading this as a standalone piece. You can also find some of Irvin's short stories (set in this community, I believe) in the Amish themed anthologies An Amish Market and An Amish Christmas Gift.

    BONUS: Irvin throws in a little something extra for her readers at the back of this book. In a nod to the Salvadoran heritage of her characters Lupe & Diego, Irvin offers a few Salvadoran recipes for you to try out!

    ____________________

    FTC Disclaimer: TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book with a request that I might check it out and share my thoughts. The opinions above are entirely my own.
  2. Grand Prairie, TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Such a Great Story!
    November 29, 2016
    Britt98
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I have enjoyed the entire Amish of Bee County series. The Saddle Maker's Son is book three, plus there are also a couple of related novellas. Each one has been SO good! If you have not read the other books, I definitely recommend them. But, if you pick up The Saddle Maker's Son without reading the other books, I think you will still be able to enjoy it as a stand alone. For me, each book has been a wonderful experience of returning to this unique community and seeing what is going on with each family.

    This novel covers so many different topics, such as immigration, grief, the woman's place in the Amish community, forgiveness, and so much more. Sometimes it was hard to see Rebekah struggle with following the leading of the men in the community. However, the author handled it well, as she did with the other topics in the book, too.

    I loved the romances that filled this story. Both of the couples were equally enjoyable to read about and it was so good to see love flourish between these characters. I really enjoy stories with epilogues and The Saddle Maker's Son had a great one that really made me smile. I loved this book from start to finish.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
  3. Tuscaloosa, AL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    following God's plan
    November 2, 2016
    tumcsec
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Amish stories are some of my favorite. And each different author I read gives a different perspective into their lives. Interesting how they hold fast to their faith in light of the world's circumstances that always seem to come into their communities in one way or the other.

    Rebekah has a sister that left her Amish home to marry Jesse, also Amish but they choose to live in the English world. For this Rebekah has been punished by her family and the boys in her community. They are all watching her afraid she'll leave just like her sister. Tobias has been moved with his family from a cooler environment to the hotter regions of Texas. Quite an adjustment. His dad wanted to get him away from an English girl he had grown to love. Tobias and his Dad make saddles and train horses. Rebekah is the local teacher's assistant. She comes across two dirty, hungry children hiding in the shed out back of the schoolhouse. A dilemma for all. These children have come illegally across the border from El Salvador by themselves. Do they follow the law or try to take care of them in their community? During the process of deciding what to do the children in the school learn some Spanish from Lupe and Diego and they learn English from the school children. The household tries some dishes from the children's country and the recipes are even included in the back of the book.

    In light of the world's standards and today's morals I find the innocence of the Amish and their courting so refreshing. All the blushing at the slightest interest by the opposite sex is so fun. So you will find romance in this story too. The characters were very lovable, even the deacons and bishops that are sometimes portrayed as harsh in their disciplines. All the minor characters added so much interest to the whole story as well. It just all came together beautifully.

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher and wasn't required to give a review, positive or otherwise.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Love the characters Kelly Irvin creates!
    October 18, 2016
    Claudia
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The Saddle Makers Son by Kelly Irvin

    Kelly Irvin writes more than just a romantic boy meets girl story in The Saddle Makers Son. Irvin creates real, flawed characters, each with their own troubles and brings them together in rather unusual circumstances.

    Rebekah Lantz, young Amish woman would love nothing better than to become a wife and mother, but feels there is a black mark upon her because her sister and brother in law left the Amish community to serve God elsewhere. Tobias Byler moves to town with his Daed and family trying to get away from his own past. These two meet under unusual circumstancestwo young lost children from El Salvador. The two little ones steal Rebekahs heart and she is determined to do whatever she can to help them. Tobias seems to run into Rebekah at every turn. She is pretty, but she seems bent on breaking the rules. But who is he to get on someone for breaking the rules after what he did?

    There is also the story of Susan, Rebekahs step Aunt and Tobias father Levi. The many stories weaved into one is what makes Kelly Irvins The Saddle Makers Son such an enjoyable book. Travel to Bee County, Texas and get to know the Lantz and Byler families.

    I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
  5. OR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: Female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Powerful story of overcoming trials
    September 22, 2016
    MaryAnn
    OR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This third book in The Amish of Bee County (Texas) series tugs at the heartstrings, just as the first two did. The Saddle Makers Son focuses on Rebekah and her struggles with faith and family and her desire for her own family. Tobias, a saddle maker by trade, is new to the community. Could she had a chance with him? Both are determined to serve their families and remain true to their Amish beliefs, but working that out in daily life often proves difficult. Throw some El Salvadorian refugee children into the mix, along with an unfortunate accident, and the trials multiply. Readers can identify with the personal and community troubles as they connect with these true-to-life characters. I hope this honey of series continues. I received the book in exchange for an honest review.
Displaying items 1-5 of 19
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