The Saddle Maker’s Son by Kelly Irvin

The Saddle Maker’s Son by Kelly IrvinThe Saddle Maker’s Son Published by Zondervan on June 14th 2016
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian Life, Fiction
Pages: 364
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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.

The Saddle Maker’s Son is the third book in The Amish of Bee County series.  I did not read the first two, but enjoyed this one as a stand alone. (I will admit, though, I think I would love to read books #1 and #2 just to see what I missed.)

This is a romantic story of Rebekah Lantz, who lives in a small Amish community in Bee County Texas.  She feels like her family does not trust her since her sister Leila left the Amish faith to marry Jesse Glick.

Tobias Byler is an Amish man who has recently moved to Bee County along with his father, Levi and his nine siblings. As Levi is opening his new shop of making saddles and training horses he has an accident and the children are left to take care of themselves while he is in the hospital.


Rebekah works as an assistant school teacher and has discovered two dirty and hungry runaway children The children hiding in the shed outside of the schoolhouse traveled across the border from El Salvador.  It is discovered that the children traveled alone and were sent by their grandmother from El Salvador to Texas to hunt out their father, who is living in San Antonio. 

Rebekah also meets Tobias Byler and his father, Levi who brings the younger children to school.  Will Rebekah turn Guadulupe (“Lupe”) and Diego over to the proper authorities?  Will this small Amish community open their hearts and arms to these runaway children?  It was interesting to read how illegal children immigrants are handled.

There is attraction and friction between Rebekah and Tobias as they worked to help the children find their father. Does Tobias have feelings for Rebekah and cannot show it?   There is also another romance going on with Rebekah’s aunt and Tobias’s father.  This story has all the things that makes a wonderful love story and reminds us that God wants us to help each other. 

The Saddle Maker’s Son is very well written story and I could not put it down until the last page.  It was a beautiful story and one that I will remember.

3331118 Kelly Irvin is the author of more than a dozen Amish books. Her latest release is The Saddle Maker’s Son, the third novel in the Amish of Bee County series from Zondervan/HarperCollins,  released in June 2016. It follows The Bishop’s Son and The Beekeeper’s Son, which received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, calling it “a delicately woven masterpiece.” The Beekeeper’s Son is a finalist in the national ACFW Carol Awards Contest in the romance category.  She is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest Housing. She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.

Among her other works are novellas in two collections, including An Amish Christmas Gift and  An Amish Market.

She is currently working on a four-book series, for Zondervan/HarperCollins entitled Every Amish series. The first book, Upon A Spring Breeze, will release in Spring 2017. Her novella, One Sweet Kiss, will be included in a novella collection, An Amish Summer, also slated for release in 2017. An as yet unnamed novella will also appear in a second collection entitled An Amish Christmas.

Kelly’s novel, Love Redeemed, was a 2015 finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Carol Awards contest.

The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for more than thirty years, including ten years as a newspaper reporter. She recently retired after working 22 years in public relations for the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers.

Kelly is married to photographer Tim Irvin.  They make their home in San Antonio, Texas. They have two young adult children, two grandchildren, and two ornery cats. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors, especially mysteries and romantic suspense novels.

I received a paperback copy of this book without cost from the publisher through The Fiction Guild, a Thomas Nelson/Zondervan book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


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