Thursday, August 29, 2013

What Once Was Lost By Kim Vogel Sawyer Book Review

// What Once Was Lost //
By Kim Vogel Sawyer

{Review By Madi}

Title: What Once Was Lost: A Novel
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Source: Review Book from
Blogging For Books
Number of Pages:
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: September 17th, 2013

Madi's's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

// Book Synopsis //

In What Once Was Lost, award winning author, Kim Vogel Sawyer, invites readers to join a woman meant to serve, a child in the dark, and a man standing apart—as they embrace a God with new plans for them.

A small Kansas farm is the setting as Christina Willems lovingly shepherds a group of poor and displaced individuals, who count on her leadership and have come to see the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor as their home. But when a fire breaks out in the kitchen leaving the house inhabitable, she must scramble to find shelter for all in her care, scattering her dear “family.”

With no other options, Christina is forced to approach Levi Jonnson, a reclusive mill owner, to take in a young blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. Levi agrees with reluctance but finds himself surprised by the bond that quickly grows between he and Tommy.

Christina begins to question her leadership ability, when obstacles pile up against her repairing the farm, wondering if she can fulfill the mission to which she's dedicated her life. And when an old adversary challenges Christina, will she find an unlikely ally—or more—in the aloof Levi? Will Levi reconcile with the rejection that led to his hermit-like existence and open his heart and life to something more, especially a relationship with a loving God?

Kim Vogel Sawyer// About The Author //
Kim Vogel Sawyer is a best-selling author highly acclaimed for her gentle stories of hope. More than one million copies of her books are currently in print with awards including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas, where she and her retired military husband, Don, run a bed-and-breakfast inn with the help of their feline companions. She savors time with her daughters and grandchildren.
// Special Links //
 // Madi's Book Review //
I have read several of Kim Vogel Sawyer's novels, and I wasn't too fond of some of them, but I also adored others. She is the kind of author that has a very distinct writing style, and you have to be able to appreciate that when reading her books. I know that Bethany (my co-blogger) just adores Sawyer, and is always anxious to get her hands on her newest books. I, on the other hand never thought of her as a favorite author. Until now. What Once Was Lost made me realize how precious her books are. Every one of them has a moral to it, and every one of them has their own unique style. This book was so filled with compassion that it made me want to jump into the book and experience this story first-hand. I love how the author incorporated the message of Christ in the pages of this new favorite of mine. I loved how she demonstrated how Christians should act toward "outsiders".  If we are the body of Christ, we need to reach out to those in need, Christian or not. The Bible says that "You will know them by their fruit", and this story just enforces that in a way that will almost bring tears to your eyes.
Christina Willems "inherited" the poorhouse that her father maintained for most of his life. She is willing to shelter anyone who needs it, as long as they act in a respectable manner. She has a heart for children and is very gracious. It is her graciousness that lead her to take young, blind Tommy under her wing. So much so that she smothered him and made him feel worthless, and like a burden to others. When the poorhouse burns down and is uninhabitable she is forced to scatter her dear little "family" all over town, including Tommy. No one in town will shelter Tommy, everyone is at loss for how to act toward him because of his disability and the scars on his face. So Christina takes ten year old Tommy to her last resort, Levi Jonnson.
Levi Jonnson owns the local Mill, and lives a very solitary existence. He has let past hurts make him bitter and hard-hearted. He has given up on God, himself, and the hope of ever having a family. And that's the way he likes it (or at least that's what he tells himself). When pretty Christina brings Tommy to his door and implores him to take care of him until further arrangements can be made, he balks. He has a business to run, he doesn't have the time to nanny a blind boy. When forced with no other choice, Levi gives his consent, but he can't stay forever! He refuses to molly-coddle the boy, and as a result Tommy has more self-confidence than ever in his abilities to care for himself. Why, Levi even lets him do small jobs around the house and his mill. Tommy comes to love living with Mr Jonnson, and when he is forced to leave, bad things happen.
Will these three ever find an even ground? How will Christina care for her charges without the mission boards approval? Will Levi ever come out of his shell and allow God to heal his hurts? Read it to find out!

/ / My Favorite Quotes From What Once Was Lost / /

"Remember, they're only doing what they think is best for you. Even if you can't appreciate what they do, you can appreciate why they do it. "
"She didn't want to be ensnared by fretfulness. Her father had often preached on the futility of worry. 'Worry', he'd said, ' is telling God you don't trust him.' "
~ Madi For The Literary Maidens

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