Through The Deep Waters was my introduction to Kim Vogel Sawyer's books, and honestly, I'm surprised I haven't picked them up before.
One of the things that made me pick up this book is the Harvey Girl theme. Ever since I watched the old Judy Garland movie The Harvey Girls, I have really enjoyed reading stories about them. In a day and age where waitressing was NOT respectable, the Harvey Girls WERE respectable young women. In many ways they pioneered the profession for young women today.
An emotional book, Through The Deep Waters is a story that most of us can relate to in one way or another. This isn't just Dinah's story but it is also Amos's and Ruth's, each of them having much to learn about God's love, forgiveness, friendship, and true love.
This is a well-told story and I found it to be very emotionally compelling. It not only entertains but leaves you contemplating your own life, and where you need both forgiveness and to forgive.
As I read the book, it faintly reminded me of the Biblical Hosea and Gomer. I have no idea if the author intended it but personally I liked that little thread running through the story.
Fans of Kim Vogel Sawyer, historical fiction, or Harvey Girl stories will love Through The Deep Waters.
(I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.)
This is the first book by Kim I have picked up, although I have heard she is wonderful writer. Ive discovered myself its true.
In Through the Deep Waters Kim weaves a story of heartache and hope.
From the first chapter this book gripped me and drew me into Dinahs story. She is living under horrible conditions and reaches a point of wanting to escape and help her mother all at the same time. She tried to be honorable and to the right thing but when things dont work out she does what she never thought she would do.
Wounded and afraid Dinah tries to build a new life in Florence, Kansas but her past is always right behind her. She lives in fear of someone finding out her secret, the horrible thing she did.
My favorite line in the whole book is when Dinah meets Amos for the first time and she sees his limp. She asks him, What broke you? It reminded me that some peoples brokenness is on the outside for all to see while others carry their brokenness inside and we can hide it more easily, such is the case with Dinah, but it always spills out.
Another important character in this book is Ruthie, Dinahs roommate at The Clifton. Ruthie tries to reach out to Dinah but Dinah continually pushes her away, she wont let anyone get too close.
Being in Dinahs head is a bit depressing at times, shes so sad. But Kim does a great job of having a thread of hope as Amos sees more in Dinah and as Ruthie struggles with her own feelings toward her new roommate. I knew redemption would come but I didnt know how and youll just have to read the book to see how Kim works it all out.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
Amos Ackerman wants to be a prosperous chicken farmer. He has left his family of wheat farmers to strike out on his own in this new venture. Due to an accident when he was a boy, he has a bad hip and walks with a pronounced limp so crop growing isn't an option. He meets Dinah and is instantly smitten. He begins to court her through exchanging letters, even though they live in the same city, and meeting twice a week for lunch at the hotel where Dinah works. He thinks his plans are working well and his life on the right track when he discovers something about Dinah that causes him to break off their relationship. He is angry with her, himself and God. He feels compassion for her stirring, but ruthlessly stomps it out. He wants to hold on to his bitterness. Can he realize his dreams of prosperity in the midst of his upside down life?
Dinah Hubley is a young woman born to a prostitute, unable to attend school regularly so has only an 8th-grade education and another secret that haunts her. She is initially nervous around Amos and other people, being afraid they might learn her secret. She also knows nothing about God until her roommate Ruthie invites her to church. Dinah wants so much to have someone love her unconditionally, but fears the discovery of her secret will banish her to a life of loneliness. As she gets to know Amos better, she imagines a permanent future with him. Then, a chance encounter with a hotel guest has a disastrous outcome for her Cinderella future she has imagined for herself.
This is a heart-warming romance that depicts the all too human consequences of trusting ourselves and avoiding God. God's love for us knows no limit and His forgiveness is complete, which is aptly demonstrated in this story. Dinah had endured such an awful life. I could feel how very painful her past was to her thanks to the character development and skilled writing from the author. I also could identify with Amos' sense of betrayal and anger over what he thought he had lost. These very realistic human emotions are deftly penned. Dinah's healing transformation once she accepts God into her life was just wonderful to read, and her newfound strength, poise and confidence supplied by God very satisfying. I look forward to reading more of these novels of hope and God-centered lives.
Through Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer was a bit harder for me to read in the beginning, but I kept on as I am a fan of her work and I knew it would be worth it in the end and it was. It was only hard because of the content.
17 yr old Dina Hubley is the daughter of a prostitute who didn't want her. Dinah wants to escape the Brothel to become a Harvey Girl waiting tables along the railroad in a respectable hotel. Through some very sad events, she is able to start our as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel because she is not old enough to be a Harvey Girl at the time.
She falls for Amos Ackerman, a chicken farmer and has to decide whether to leave her dreams behind to be a Harvey Girl or keep following her dreams. She doesn't feel worthy because of her past, but Amos has struggles of his own.
Oh my, what a sweet, sweet story! Kim Vogel Sawyer chooses tough topics and turns them into grace filled masterpieces. Dinah's story is no exception. From the first pages of the story to the end, I was captured in the emotions. The story flowed smoothly over the pages. It's been a while since a book has moved me to tears, but this story did that and more.
The characters, especially Dinah, were flawlessly written. I've read several stories about girls with Dinah's background, but I can't remember one that has faced the same turmoil and degradation as Dinah. Watching her struggle through life afterwards was heartbreaking and at times I wanted to shake her! That, to me, made the story more realistic. Amos Ackerman was also a refreshing character. He wasn't the "perfect" male character that a lot of romance novels contain. He had a physical imperfection, and was also starkly human. He had his flaws. Ruthie was a breath of fresh air at some points, and also a great supporting character for Dinah. Even though she was written very human, she exemplified the Christian faith and how a Christian should act.
All of the characters, Dinah, Amos, and Ruthie, had to struggle to accept the message God had for them. Dinah struggles to accept the fact that she is not worthless in God's eyes. Amos struggles to come to grips with the fact that God knows what's best for him and keeping his eyes on God's will for his life. Ruthie struggles to understand God's will for her life might not be her own and she needs to pray and listen for her answer.
Overall, the story was sweet and refreshing. It provides an overwhelming sense of God's grace and love for all of us. I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace: whose mind is stayed on thee..." Isaiah 26:3
**I received this book for free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.**