Saturday, January 11, 2014

What Once Was Lost: A Novel

What Once Was Lost: A Novel
Title: What Once Was Lost: A Novel
Kim Vogel Sawyer
Source: Review Book from
Blogging For Books
Number of Pages:
WaterBrook Press
Public Jennifer's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


A woman meant to serve, a child in the dark, a man standing apart—can these three souls embrace a God with new plans for them?

On a small Kansas farm, 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 uninhabitable, 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 him and Tommy. As obstacles to repairing the farm pile up against Christina, she begins to question her leadership ability and wonders 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? Can 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?

~My Impression~

I adore the Sawyer books. I have read a few of them and some do leave a bitter taste but most are so written with such compassion that you are drawn into the story and cannot wait to see how it all unfolds. This was one of those books. The author does a wonderful job incorporating the message of Christ while demonstrating how Christians should act toward "outsiders". It really bring to light being the body of Christ and reminded me of a Casting Crowns song that said: 
But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them
There is a way? There is a way?

 If we are the body of Christ, we need to reach out to those in need, Christian or not. We are known by our fruits and we this story reiterates the need for those fruits to be shown in our actions by those less fortunate.

The story is built around the loss of Christiana's "poor house" to a fire and she has to search to find a new home for all her charges including a young blind boy named Tommy. Christina, despite her love for Tommy, has actually crippled him further by dotting over him like an invalid instead of teaching him how to stand on his own feet. That is until she is forced to leave young Tommy with Levi, who wrestles with memories of his own father suffering depression over being wronged in business and refuses to cater to Tommy, but instead teaches him to be his own man.

This book comes with a lovely short discussion guide that makes it a nice selection for a readers group and a very lovely author acknowledgement. The book is geared toward adult audience with a strong christian theme throughout focusing on redemption, forgiveness, love and the healing power of God. 

~Links & Trailer~

~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.

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