Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What Once Was Lost - by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Christina Willems has been capably running the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor on her own, since her father passed away.  She enjoys the work, enjoys the people, and enjoys feeling like she's doing ministry for God.  When a fire leaves the house uninhabitable, she is forced to find temporary arrangements for each of her charges, including Tommy, an 11-year-old blind boy who people continue to turn away.  She finds refuge for Tommy in the unlikeliest of places, with Levi Johnson, the hermit miller who lives outside of town - both physically and emotionally.  Can Christina salvage the poor farm?  What of her charges?  What of her faith?  And will Tommy ever feel safe and wanted?

I admit that it took me awhile to pick up this book; I've read more than my desired share of historical novels in the last year, and I was afraid that this would be just another one like those.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself quickly engaged in Christina's fight to keep her "family" together and safe.  I found myself wishing for some more depth to her character from time to time, but the challenges to her faith and her struggle to be happy for others when it meant losses for herself felt realistic and genuine.  Several of the supporting characters were fleshed out fairly well, and I was drawn to them perhaps even more than Christina.  They kept the book moving along well, and kept me from being sucked into Christina's discouragement too much.  The romance between Christina and Levi was cute and added to the book without being the focus.  It was well done and felt natural for the period setting of the story.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and give it 4 stars.  The caution to make sure your godly choices are actually from and for God instead of yourself are thought provoking enough to make the book stick with the reader more than just another historical romance.

You can find What Once Was Lost HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE.

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I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Press, as part of their Blogging for Books program, in exchange for my honest review.

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