Kim Vogel Sawyer's latest book was something I may not have chosen to read from the back cover blurb if I hadn't read all of this author's others books and knew I could trust her writing.
Blurb: "Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel...Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive." The short beginning section was difficult to read because Dinah Hubley lived a difficult life in Chicago, but it also made me even more sympathetic to the heroine, and left me cheering on her and the hero, chicken farmer Amos Ackerman, as they encounter the bumps along the way to finding their true happiness.
Like Dinah, give yourself a chance to experience God's love and the love of a good man in this novel.
This book was a gift from the publisher, but this review is my honest opinion.
This is the third book I've read by Kim Vogel Sawyer and I think it is my favorite of hers thus far. I tend to like stories with a little grittier background to it. I find that certain difficult situations help make characters more life like and it also brings problems that people don't think about forward.
I will say as a disclaimer, this story deals with a topic some people may find hard to deal with, rape, but it is handled in a respectful way. As I said, certain situations allow characters in a story become life like, and these circumstance made Dinah come to life with the emotions she battles and the thoughts that plague her afterwards.
Dinah is a girl who has not led a happy life. She is the unwanted child of a prostitute. She has no real friends, expect for the cook in the brothel....she was born and raised in the brothel, so because of the circumstance she born into, she is shunned by everybody. When she finds out her mother is sick, she wants to help, but the method that is provided is not the way she wanted to help. Unfortunately, her say was stripped from her and scars she carries makes her close up to those around her. When her mother passes away, Dinah flees Chicago to a smaller town to have a fresh start. Here, she can bury her past.
In Florence, Kansas, Dinah is introduced to a new way of living. It is a smaller and quieter life then she has experienced, and new people. One being her new roommate, Ruthie. I'm just going to say it, Ruthie rubbed me the wrong way from her first introduction. She reminded me instantly of a couple of people I've met and as I progressed, my thoughts proved true to how her role would shape up, but thankfully, lessons are learned.
Another person that Dinah is introduced to is Amos. A local chicken farmer who was disabled in an accident when he was a boy. He is a hard working man who has had to deal with a tough situation, but instead of wallowing in grief, he has risen to the occasion. I enjoyed reading about Amos. He was laid back and a little naive about women, but it made him all the more real.
This is a story of brokenness and emotional scars. They are the injuries that can't be seen and unless you can read a person thoughts, you won't know what they are going through. It's like the saying I've seen floating around, "Don't judge. You have no idea what trials they are going through." This story is a good reminder.
Thank you to Blogging for Books, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
This is the third book I've read by this author and she continues to impress me with her story telling ability. Each story she develops at least one character that I find extremely endearing. In this story there are two, Dinah and Amos, our two main characters.
Both of our main characters are broken in their own way. Each struggle to find acceptance, yet Amos had his faith that he leaned on. Dinah broke my heart with the depth of her pain and the feelings of worthlessness. I saw myself in Dinah as I think many women will. Ruthie, Dinah's roommate and co-worker was also a great character and I enjoyed watching her as she struggled with how to handle her new roommate. However, in many ways my favorite character was Mr. Irwin.
The story itself is well told and not completely predictable. It's well paced and I found myself drawn in from the opening pages.
This is a stand alone story. If you've read and enjoyed other Kim Vogel Sawyer books you will absolutely love this story. If she's a new author to you this will give you a great introduction to a talented writer.
Sometimes the person we have a difficult time forgiving is ourselves. Sin has a way of doing that. Ingraining itself into your soul, tormenting you every minute of the day and night, reminding you of your mistakes over and over again. Yet nothing can free us from that feeling unless we are willing to turn it over to God first. Nothing we do, can erase that guilt and sin like He can.
In Kim Vogel Sawyer's latest novel, Through the Deep Waters, Dinah Hubley has lived every girls nightmare. Making a decision at 16 to save her mother from being thrown out on the streets when she became ill working at the Yellow Parrot, a brothel in 1883 in Chicago, she does the unthinkable. When the owner of the brothel, Flo, informs her that no one stays for free in her hotel unless she can pay, she offers Dinah a one time opportunity for just the man willing to pay her to settle her debts to care for her mother. She takes Flo up on her offer and suddenly realizes her mistake, But before she can leave, the man refuses to let her go and forces Dinah to fulfill her commitment.
Knowing that she will be forever scarred by that one act, she flees to Kansas to work as a Harvey Girl as a server in their hotel. She hopes with distance, she can leave her past in Chicago. Only the night terrors and guilt will keep her in bondage even at her new job. Since she isn't quite 18, she takes a position as a chambermaid, cleaning rooms with another girl, Ruthie, who hopes that they will become close friends. But since Dinah carries so much guilt with her, she can't even see the honest friendship that Ruthie is offering her. Instead she forces herself to remain alone in a self imposed prison hoping to do her work well enough to get hired as a server.
But Dinah's beauty will only serve as an invitation to many men who fancy her good looks, and none more so than the local chicken farmer, Amos Ackerman. He's been praying to God to send him and wife, but knows that the wagon accident he had a child living him with a limb, will likely live him living alone without the possibility of a wife or family. He can only hope that someday, someone like Dinah might see something more in him than the disability that limits what he can do! Will God find a way to answer his prayers or will be forced to live a life all alone with nothing but his chickens for company?
I received Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer compliments of Waterbrook Multnomah for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. This is such a beautiful story of forgiveness and redemption among the least of us that deserve it. It also highlights the awareness to childhood sexual abuse and the implications that can be carried throughout the lives of those impacted for years. Just the burden they have to carry with them can be more painful than the act itself and one they feel that they are to blame. Such a beautiful story of how happily ever afters can happen even in light of something so horrible! I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars. A reading discussion guide is included at the conclusion of this novel for book clubs.
Dinah was not only born in a brothel but was raised there until she turned seventeen. The cook at the brothel told her about advertisements for Harvey Girl waitresses in hopes of getting her out of the brothel before she became like the others. To her disappointment she would have to be eighteen to be a waitress but to her great surprise they would hire her as a housekeeper at the hotel. She will finally be able to put the stigma behind her of being shunned by the community as being tainted.
She is determined to stay to herself and work hard at Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas so she can move on to becoming a Harvey Girl when she turns eighteen. She catches the interest and admiration of a Florence local chicken farmer, Amos Ackerman. She is flattered by the attention but stays in fear of someone finding out about being the daughter of a prostitute. She avoids making friends with the girls she works with but takes up their invitation to join them in going to church. She is shown nothing but love and respect from everyone. She wondered why anyone, much less God, would care about the illegitimate daughter of a prostitute?
The author has written a sad tale of an illegitimate girl searching to find respectability. More so she yearned for unconditional love. The character Dinah had little confidence in mankind and for good cause. She was shown little more love than an unwanted rodent. This story reveals God had other plans for Dinah beyond anything she could ever have imaged. It was a heart-wrenching tale turned by redemption and reconciliation. Then there is sweet tender love growing in the heart of a most unexpected young man for this lovely lost girl.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books/WATERBROOK PRESS for an honest review.