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.
My thoughts: I read the novella in the collection by Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid and Kelly Irvin before I read this. So I knew somewhat who would marry whom when I went into the story. That contributed to the predictability of this story, so it was all my fault. I remember reading an early book by this author and thinking that the hits just keep coming. And it is true in this story. One, right after another, a tragedy occurs. The writing was stellar, but really had no passion in it. It didn't come alive for me.. Unfortunately, I didn't fall in love with any of the characters. I didn't like Stephen, whom Mamm planned to marry - and Abigail herself was disenchanted with him. But what would be the final straw, the one that ended the deal? I wanted to find out. I liked Deborah and Phineas (not real sure how to pronounce that. Fin-E-as? Fin-ease? Fine-as?) and the bee-keeping aspect was interesting. I wondered what it would take for Amish to settle in a non-agricultural friendly area, in the hot, hot desert of southern Texas... It takes a special type, for sure. If you are interested in Amish fiction or of Kelly Irvin, then pick up a copy of THE BEEKEEPER'S SON. Ms. Irvin excels in description, making the heat and the citadel bug "screaming" come alive. I could see the prickly pear cactus and see the dust rising.