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Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love. Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne's prolonged secret-one that changes everything. Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercy-and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: 2014
Availability: In Stock
Just As I Am: A Short Story Extra for What Once Was Lost - eBookKim Vogel SawyerWaterBrook Press / 2013 / ePub$0.99Availability: In StockCBD Stock No: WW43609EB
But God reveals all things, in His timing.
And He redeems them.
Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own.
Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love.
Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzannes prolonged secretone that changes everything.
Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercyand how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?
DavidsMomLouisianaAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5TOUCHING STORY!February 20, 2015DavidsMomLouisianaAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This was a very touching story that only kept you on the edge of your seats and would surprise you in ways you wouldnt expect. It was a great read, and I believe it will be a great series. You dont have to read part 2. This is a complete story, but if you want to see how the characters lives unfold, then you will most definitely want to get part 2 when it comes out.
This story reminds us of all the times you let a sin way you down and change your life. Then all of sudden you get to witness Gods Mercy as it rains on you and you open your eyes to His forgiveness and really get to embrace life. This is such a good read that lets you realize that maybe you didnt get where you are today by the way you think is right, but God has held you tightly in his care. You are here for a purpose. God knew you at birth, your past doesnt matter, and He has a great plan for you! Just hang on to this! If you know someone that has dealt with getting pregnant out of wedlock and dealing with not forgiving themselves, this would be a great book for them. Either way, we can all learn something by reading this Amish novel. Thank you WaterBrookpress. "I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this Honest review."
lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5MercyJanuary 27, 2015lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Be prepared to have your heart touched deeply when reading this wonderful work of fiction depicting heartache, regrets, love, forgiveness and hope. Those were just a few of the descriptions I could think to attach to the brilliantly written story by Kim Vogel Sawyer. The tale begins with a young girl and her mother waiting for a bus. The daughter is longing for a loving touch; the mother is sitting like a cold stone. No words are spoken until the mother issues her instructions once more before the girl boards the bus.
Suzanne was the girl at the bus stop many years ago. The story then takes the readers to where Suzanne is now a grown single mother. Decades have passed and though she was instructed to return home Suzanne never went back home. The only communication with home is a yearly letter from her mother. Suzanne is raising Alexa in Indiana where she is a nurse at the local Mennonite Hospital and her love and compassionate nature excel. Now Suzanne is asked to return home, but does she have the courage for the secrets long kept to now be revealed?
This is a tale that people around the world long to have be their reality, the restoration of relationships. Yet that is not all as the story reflects the human desire to be restored, forgiven, and loved for who they are and not what they can do. I couldnt put the book down until the end as the tension between mother and daughter was so strong, and I desired to see how the author would bring it all to a conclusion. I felt empathy for the daughter who longed for a loving touch or word from the mother. I felt like rejoicing as Alexas love for giving touches breaks into the hardest of hearts in the characters.
Simply put the novel reflects the longing of human hearts with both the pain and the joy that comes from choices, their consequences and the deep desire for mercy to reign.
GazpachoClare, MIAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Stirring Family Dynamics: Can a Family Heal?January 24, 2015GazpachoClare, MIAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4This is a story of family dynamics, secrets, hidden sin and its consequences. Ultimately there is redemption, forgiveness and peace, but the journey from heartbreak to healing is long and rocky, full of twists and unexpected turns, lies and deception. The question that continually ran through my mind while I was reading this book was, "How could such a seemingly invisible act lead to such enormous, far-reaching consequences?"
While this is a character-driven book dealing mostly with mother/daughter issues, the author manages to ramp up the tension and suspense by revealing only a little bit of information at a time. The reader is forced to make numerous assumptions which turn out to be erroneous when major bumps in the road appear. This is the writing strategy that keeps us on the edge of our seats and turning the pages. Because of this, I managed to read the 344-page book in just a few days.
Another thing I liked about this book is the complexity of the situation. Suzanne had a large family, and her disappearance made ripples that upset the lives of her former boyfriend, all her brothers and sisters, her mother and father, and Alexa. The book explores many of these problem areas while still keeping the focus mainly on Suzanne, her mother, and Alexa. At times, it didn't look as if any resolution could be reached with Mrs. Zimmerman and some of the family members. But in the end, the seemingly impossible becomes possible and the final events resolve satisfactorily.
Even though the subject matter is serious and the darkness of discord runs constantly throughout the plot line, the author was still able to add moments of humor and light. Suzanne's former boyfriend, Paul Aldrich, had gotten married after she had left. He had a son Danny before his wife died of cancer. The boy has a great sense of mischief and lends comic relief to the story. Many times, the author also defuses tense moments through Alexa's light and cheerful personality. One of my favorite funny moments, however, occurred when Mother Zimmerman, Suzanne, Alexa, and Shelley took a day trip to Wichita. Just when you think Shelley's bad attitude would ruin the trip for the women, Mrs. Zimmerman's former wry humor finally broke through the awkwardness and anger. It was a moment of hope and a turning point in the story.
Finally, in spite of the fact this is not a romance story, Suzanne's former love interest is another major element of the story because Paul is the carpenter refitting the house to accommodate the wheelchair. He is constantly present and both Paul and Suzanne realize they must come to terms with their former relationship and their current feelings for each other. Unfortunately, this is one of the threads that remains unresolved by the end of the book. But I have hopes it will be settled in the next book, which focuses on Alexa's new life among the Zimmermans.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Waterbrook Press and the website, Blogging for Books. 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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
cathyKansasAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5When Mercy Rains by Kim Vogel SawyerJanuary 19, 2015cathyKansasAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5When Mercy Rains by Kim Vogel Sawyer is the first installment in the Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy so I expect that we can expect to have 2 more novels from this great Amish/Mennonite romance author. The book begins by giving the background of Suzanne Zimmerman's teenage years. Back to her mother sending her off to an unwed mothers home to have her baby and then give it away. Now 20 years later as Suzanne is raising her only child as a single parent. She has done well. She has friends, she went to college to become a nurse, her daughter, Alexa, is a 19 year old to be proud of but she still misses her family and home. That is until her brother, Clete writes her a letter and begs her to come home and take care of her mother. Can she return to care for the woman who sent her away as a pregnant seventeen year old? And what about her old boyfriend who presumably still lives there with his new family? Can she forgive the family who discarded her when she most needed them and help them when they most need her? Will the community forgive her indiscretions and treat her well or at least understand that she was young? So many questions and to find them out read this book.
As a lover of Amish/Mennonite romances I quickly read this novel in a little over a day. It is well written and easily carries the interest of the reader. Ms Sawyer is as always a good author and it is a pleasure to read her work. Thank-you for this newest beginnings a the series.
This book was provided by Blogging for Books for this review.
ShannahAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5What Happens when Mercy rains?January 16, 2015ShannahAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Wow! Kim Vogel Sawyer knows how to write. This book was fantastic. The plot is engaging, serious, and well thought out. While the focus of the plot was on the lies, betrayal and anger, it wasn't heavy or hard to read. There were moments of dialogue that provided comic relief to keep the story flowing effortlessly.
The characters were phenomenal. I loved Suzanne and Alexa.Suzanne's character was weighed down by guilt and shame. Her attitude through it all, though, was what really amazed me. She was strong, courageous, and kind-hearted despite her past angst. Alexa was a sweet, innocent girl that provided much needed relief to the story. Paul's character was also well-written. He was a great father and worked hard to emulate Jesus in his every day life. Abigail changed the most, in my opinion. At the beginning of the story, she was spiteful, bitter, and angry. I cringed every time she talked! By the end, though, I wept and laughed right along with her!
The message of the story is aptly summed up in the title of the book. Mercy certainly did rain down on this family. As Alexa says, "...when mercy rains, lives become fresh and new." When we allow our past mistakes to bog down our lives, we generally react in one of two ways: like Suzanna, who tried to cover her lies and past with secrets; or like Abigail with bitterness and anger. God doesn't want that for us. As far has He's concerned, when we ask for forgiveness, we are washed clean; like it never happened. That's how we should live our lives! That's what God wants!
Overall, this was a sweet story of God's mercy and grace.
**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.**
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