The Bishop’s Son was conceived from a discussion that occurred several years ago when I told my writers’ group I planned to switch from writing romantic suspense to Amish romances. My friends, who admitted to not knowing a great deal about how the Amish practice their Christian faith, did know that most Amish do not evangelize. As evangelical Christians, my friends pointed out that Scripture very specifically calls us to win the lost and make disciples.
That question percolated in my brain for quite some time. I try not to judge how my Christian brethren across denominations choose to practice their faith. (Don’t judge, least you be judged and found wanting!) The Amish believe in keeping themselves apart from the world so as not to be sucked into the ways of the world. They live their faith by example, but mostly they would rather we not pay attention to them at all. Every denomination has its rituals and rules, but we all have one thing in common: We believe Jesus Christ is our one true savior. I don’t want to be like the Pharisees and the Sadducees who made the way faith was practiced and following the rules more important than following God. Still, I had to ask the question, what happens when a young Amish man feels the calling to become a minister. He wants to devote his life to bringing people to Christ. In most Amish districts, ministers are chosen by lot. No man would be so arrogant as to suggest that God has chosen him to be the leader. In order to follow his calling, Jesse Glick will have to give up his family and friends and the woman with whom he has fallen in love. My hope is that readers will put themselves in Jesse’s shoes and ask the hard question: Would they be willing to do the same? I certainly asked myself that question as I wrote the book. Self-examination can be a scary proposition and we might not always like the answers.
Those questions are at the heart of The Bishop’s Son. Before we judge, we might want to examine our own hearts.
The Bishop’s Son
Leila Lantz is in danger of losing her heart to a Plain man until she discovers he’s not so Plain after all.
Leila has been drawn to Jesse Glick, the bishop’s son, since the first day she met him at his father’s store, and she knows he feels the same way about her. But she can’t understand why he seems to make overtures one day, then withdraw the next.
Jesse has a secret. He has been attending an Englisch church youth group, and he’s starting to believe he’s being called to be a minister, something Amish men cannot be unless they draw the lot. He’s considering leaving his Amish community to follow his calling. The only reason he has stayed is Leila. Will, Jesse’s cousin, has his own feelings for Leila, but he has stood back in deference to his cousin for many months. Until he can’t stand the thought of Leila being hurt.
Leila can choose Will and know that she will never have to leave her home or family. Or she can choose Jesse and the love her heart desires, knowing she’ll have to say goodbye to her entire community. The day comes when Jesse, Will, and Leila all have to make their choices, choices that will deeply affect their small, close-knit community of Plain families.
Kelly Irvin is the author of The Bishop’s Son, the second novel in the Amish of Bee County series from Zondervan/HarperCollins. It follows The Beekeeper’s Son, which received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, calling it “a delicately woven masterpiece.” She is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest Housing Publishing. She has also penned two inspirational romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.
The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years, including ten years as a newspaper reporter. She has worked in public relations for the City of San Antonio for twenty-one years. Kelly is married to photographer Tim Irvin. They have two young adult children, two grandchildren, 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.