Thursday, September 6, 2012

When Hope Blossoms by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Amy Knackstedt moves with her children to Weaverly, Kansas, to escape the speculation surrounding her husband's untimely death. She hopes the new location will provide a fresh start for them all. But her neighbor, Tim Roper, is not pleased to have a Mennonite family living next to his apple orchard. When the children try to befriend him, he resists. Tim left the Mennonite faith years ago and doesn't want any reminders of his former life. Yet Amy and Tim find their paths colliding far more than either could have foreseen. Will this tentative relationship blossom into something more?

Once again, Kim Vogel Sawyer  has written a book filled with characters that captured my imagination and a piece of my heart. Both Amy and Tim have suffered tragic losses in their lives, yet Amy found strength in her faith and Tim wandered a bit from his. To watch her steadfast determination to accept whatever comes her way, work to provide for her family by using her talents, and to trust in the Lord is surely a symbol of hope to other women. Tim was also an encouragement to others who have built a wall to keep people and God at an emotional distance. As the children begin to melt his icy heart, it is a joy to watch him slowing begin to return to a renewed zest for life, love, and faith. His life was broken and damaged, but restoration was available as soon as he reached out for it.

The children in the story were also a delight. Sweet, loveable Adri  loved and accepted everyone with open arms and heart and expected the same in return. Parker was very trusting and innocent, and longed to be able to spend time with Tim and to be his friend. Beckah was going through a time of wanting to know more about the world around her: rebellious, yet respectful--not yet an adult, but with more responsibilities and most girls her age.

The other characters in the book were all people you would want as your neighbors. Some may have seemed to have more of a gruff exterior, but we get to know and love them all as we see the many layers that make them the people they are. Maybe some of the story is filled with people who seem to good to be true or events that seem to resolve themselves too perfectly...but it happens sometimes. No matter what, this was a delightful read that kept my interest and filled me with joy and hope. I really liked it!

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 I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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