When I picked up this book, I was expecting to read about Mennonites as I understood them--ones who were not that different from me. I was always of the opinion that the Mennonites were more "normal" than the Amish. But I quickly learned how wrong I was. There is such a thing called "Old Order Mennonites," and this book prompted my doing some searching on my own, and I discovered that the Amish and Mennonites came from the same source, and I felt like this book pushed me to learn more about these fabulous groups of people!
Lest you think that this is just an informational book, you are wrong. I knew that I had read one other book by Kim Vogel Sawyer, but I couldn't remember which one it was. And then I discovered it was one I didn't like--"Song of My Heart." That was a sappy romance that was very forgettable for me. This book is nothing like that! This book has depth, love, romance, humor (I love it when books make me laugh out loud), and real spiritual lessons. I was incredibly inspired as I read this book!
The characters in the book are 3-dimensional, and I found myself connecting with the story on several levels. I think that Tim, the male interest in the story, helped me understand another man in my life. I am always amazed when God uses fiction books to speak to me, but why not? After all, God can use everything, and I am pleased to say that God spoke to me through Kim Vogel Sawyer. While I would never want to be a Mennonite, I am already to go visit a community. They sound like such wonderful people, and they believe in truly taking care of each other. I never felt that the rules they had to follow ever came across as legalism. My hat goes off to people like this, and I can recommend this easy-to-read, feel-good, clean Christian romance to everyone!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
It has been three years since her husband died, and Amy and her children decide to make a new start in a Mennonite Community in Kansas.
Tim is an orchard owner, and neighbor to Amy and her children. When Amy needs help promoting her memory quilting business she goes to him to help her set up a business website.
When Hope Blossoms is an enjoyable read with heart-warming characters and sweet moments of humor. I liked how all of the characters were well well developed and each of the children stood out and shone on their own uniqueness.
Bekah struggles with fitting in and being Mennonite while Tim is still healing from the death of his wife and son, and I felt that those characters especially grew throughout the course of the book.
The characters had great interaction with each other and I learned more about the Plain Mennonite lifestyle.
Overall this book was touching and engaging. And I felt that the relationships progressed naturally. I really liked how the characters felt real, because they had their flaws, but somehow that only made me like them more! A book that I would definitely recommend!
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Amy Knackstedt is looking for a new start in Weaverly, Kansas after losing her husband in a grain elevator accident. She hopes to leave the questions behind as to the reason for his death, the insurance has paid her and she wants to move on with her three children. With the help of her community they helped her to find a house and get her moved, now she won't have to face the questioning looks, whispers and turned heads when she walks down the street.
When Tim Roper, a former Mennonite, left home as a young man, his father told him never to return. Tim moved to Weaverly for a new start, which he got. He eventually bought an apple orchard, married Julia and they had a son. One day everything changed for him, after the loss of his wife and son, he started playing the 'what-if', game. Then when a new Mennonite group moved to town, he hated his life even more, he wanted nothing to do with them because of his old memories.
Tim discovered his new neighbors when Porter and Adri were found in his orchard. Porter had climbed one of the apple trees and little Adri was picking the blossoms. After Porter fell out of the tree, Tim took the kids home and informed Amy to keep her children off of his property. Not only did he not want kids living next door to him and invading his memories, they were also Mennonite. Then the dreams started and he didn't know what to do.
Shortly after getting settled the men of her new community came to Amy and asked if they could have their Sunday meetings in her house until they could find another place large enough to meet. Amy agrees but when Tim hears their singing for the services and the friendly mingling afterwards, he gets more irritated than ever.
This is a story about dealing with the loss of loved ones and trying to move on. The stories they have will pull at your heartstrings. Kim does a great job of keeping you interested and wanting more. It was hard to put this book down. Have you ever lost a spouse and/or child, how did you deal with it?
Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
When Bethany House asked me to review Kim Vogel Sawyer's new book, "When Hope Blossoms," I got excited. Having read some of Sawyer's Amish fiction, I knew that I liked her writing style and that her plots always drew me in. This particular book is sort of like Amish fiction with a twist, the twist being that the main characters are actually not Amish at all, but are Mennonite instead. For those not familiar with Mennonite culture, they are a denomination of Anabaptist that originally descended from the same tradition that the Amish did, but branched apart at some point in history. They share many similarities, but also have some differences.
This book was a little harder for me to get into than some of the others Sawyer has written. I'm not sure why, but I had a harder time relating to the characters, and I really disliked the older daughter, even though I knew her behavior was completely logical given the circumstances in her life. That said, I did enjoy the book a great deal and am always pleased to read a good Christian book with clean morals and family values, and look forward to reading whatever Ms. Sawyer writes next.