What Once Was Lost
obstacles are neatly cleared up
Christina oversees a mission home housing a group of poor and misplaced individuals. When a fire breaks out leaving the home inhabitable, she must find shelter for all those she has been caring for. She even approaches Levi, a reclusive mill owner, to take a young blind boy.
Christina is nearly overwhelmed when obstacles to rebuilding the home pile up. And then an old adversary returns to the town, determined to ruin Christina.
This novel is a character study of a young woman who is dedicated to helping those in need. She is strong-willed, determined to see Ã¢ÂÂherÃ¢ÂÂ home rebuilt and care to the needy restored. Levi has issues of his own he must overcome and taking care of the blind boy helps him do just that. It seems like the future might be bright for Christina and Levi except for the obstacles that keep coming.
This is a pretty good historical novel, taking place in 1890. Christina's struggle to get the home rebuilt was done well but I was disappointed in how the ending came to be. Christina is rescued, so to speak, and does not have to fight to the end. I would have rather seen her have to battle to the desired result herself.
I received a complimentary galley of this book for the purpose of this review.
November 20, 2013
A beautiful story
Christina Willems is the director of a poor farm, the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor in Kansas, having inherited the role from her father. She has dedicated herself to Christian services on behalf of the poor and needy, but finds her world rocked when the farmhouse is badly damaged in a fire. The need to find temporary homes for the twelve residents brings her into contact with local mill owner Levi Johnson.
I have only read one other book by Kim Vogel Sawyer, and this reminded me why I should seek out more of her titles. Her novels are plainly US Western historical romance, but they have more depth than many of the titles available on the market (not that I have anything against those titlesÃ¢ÂÂI enjoy the more lighthearted novels by authors such as Carol Cox, Jen Turano and Karen Wittemeyer. But itÃ¢ÂÂs nice to find something a little different).
Christina is a well-written character. She is strong-willed and wants to take responsibility for all Ã¢ÂÂherÃ¢ÂÂ peopleÃ¢ÂÂthe only family she has. But in serving others, she sometimes forgets what she wants, and that what she wants might not be what God wants for her. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs something many of us can relate to.
I also liked Levi. HeÃ¢ÂÂs not a Christian, yet still takes in Tommy, the blind boy no one else wants. He has his own emotional journey throughout the novel, as caring for Tommy forces Levi step outside his solitary existence to interact with Tommy and Christina. HeÃ¢ÂÂs also attracted to Christina, and I thought the romantic element of the plot was particularly poignant.
I especially liked one quote from Tommy:
Seems to me that folks with scars [are] the ones who really need someone to treat them like thereÃ¢ÂÂs nothing wrong with them. Hard enough to be different without everybody treating you different.
ThereÃ¢ÂÂs a lesson there. We all have scars, but some are more visible than others. It reminds me that sometimes itÃ¢ÂÂs okay to not mention the elephant in the room.
Recommended for those who enjoy US Western historical romance.
Thanks to WaterBrook Press and Blogging for Books for providing a free ebook for review.
November 19, 2013
Sometimes, rare, but occasionally I choose to read a book that is just an escape. I'm way too serious in my book choices usually. This book was engaging. A story of hope and colorful characters that will be hard to forget. The story had it all, some romance and intrigue and problems galore to overcome for each character. The end was just how I needed it be, for which I'm grateful. I needed a bit of sunshine. The gospel came through loud and proud and some of the sweetest characters lived it out on the pages. Quite refreshing after a heavy season.
*This book was given to me free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
November 18, 2013
Not what I expected but I really enjoyed this book
Christina Willems has been running the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor on a small farm outside of Brambleville, Kansas since her father passed on. This is the only life she has known, helping others who are less fortunate without a place to live. When the kitchen mysteriously catches fire Miss Willems finds herself taking all of the residents to town in search of temporary homes, too bad they aren't all staying in nice happy homes. She notifies the mission board that funds the home, of the fire and their needs, in hopes that they'll order the repairs done so everyone can return home.
It seems like anything that can go wrong after the fire does go wrong, and more! Tommy, the blind boy staying with Levi Johnson, gets lost. Tommy also knows a secret so not only does he feel like people don't like him because of his blindness, he's also getting bullied and is very afraid. Miss Willems and Cora live in a single room in a boarding house in exchange for cooking and serving meals for mean Mrs Beasley. Wes is sleeping in the stable, others are sleeping in close quarters too, some in good homes and others in not so good homes.
When the two representatives come to investigate the property they inform Miss Willems that they will be closing the doors and she no longer has a job. This doesn't stop her from trying to get the house repaired and the residents back home. It is taking so long that some of the residents are finding places on their own, the mission group takes some of the children to Topeka to an orphanage, it seems like she may no longer be needed if this continues, but it still doesn't stop her. Even going to jail doesn't affect her caring heart.
I had trouble with this story at first because I read the prequel and the story isn't what, rather who, I expected it to be about but I soon gained interest and by the end of the book I didn't want to put it down. Yes, I did stay up late, until I was falling asleep and had to put it down, then picked it up first thing in the morning to find out what I was wanting to know. Then there was even more that kept me interested, I had to find out what was going to happen next!
I will be watching for "Just As I Am" to come out later this month, the next book in this series which sets the stage for Kim's next novel, "Echoes of Mercy" due out in January, 2014.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BloggingforBooks.org book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255 : Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.Ã¢ÂÂ
November 4, 2013