Enjoyed this book very much. Had a hard time putting it down. Many unexpected twists and turns through out . The author depicts what honor and commitment are all about. Again enjoyed learning about different cultures and nationalities. Christian values woven through the story. I am very pleased with novels this author produces.
Fields of Grace broke my heart many times, but I found the book to be one that compelled me to want to keep reading anyway. I thought that Lillian and her family were hardworking, God-loving people who weren't afraid to get their hands dirty to accomplish something great. Having chosen to leave their home in Russia, Lillian, her husband, her three sons, and her husband's foster brother venture to America. The decision is made out of a desire to not have Henrik (who will turn 18 soon) be forced to serve in the military. Being Mennonite, they don't agree with fighting, etc. What ensues after they leave Russia is not an easy ride across the ocean and a path paved with all the dreams that were hoped for. Instead, many sad events occur which cause many changes in the characters in Sawyer's story. I found the story to be heavy in many places, but overall it was an interesting historical novel. The year is 1872 when the book opens; a year we can only dream about and try to imagine. Sawyer paints a picture of the journey of this family in that time that is very different than many historical novels I have read. She is an enjoyable read, if you like something a little more substantial.
Reinhardt and Lillian Vogt are living a peaceful life in their Mennonite village in Russia, but their oldest son is soon to be of age to be drafted into the military. War goes against the Mennonite faith, so Reinhardt and Lillian do the only thing they can do to protect their family. They leave everything they know and love and head to America to start over to keep their family safe. Reinhardts adopted brother Eli accompanies the family with hopes of working his own land.When the unthinkable happens on the voyage across the ocean, Lillian and Eli join together in a marriage of convenience so Eli can accompany Lillian and her family to Kansas and help them get settled. This new family faces many trials and amid the trials, love blooms between Eli and Lillian.One of the most interesting aspects of this story is the Mennonite history that is involved. The concept of this story is based on the history of the authors ancestors, which makes the story much more interesting. Overall, this is an enjoyable love story, although, there was a bit too much of a roller coaster between Eli and Lillian. I really enjoyed the bond that formed between Lillians sons and Eli. Those moments were very heartwarming. There are many nice moments in this story that make it easy to keep reading. The writing is very good and flows well from start to finish. The journey to grace was a long one, but it was well worth it and this book is well worth reading. I found Fields of Grace to be a relaxing book and enjoyed it very much.
Fields of Grace by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a gentle love story with Mennonites in 1872 Kansas. Lillian and Reinhardt Vogt must leave their home in the steppes of Russia to protect their son, Henrik, from forced military service. Traveling with them is Reinhardt's foster brother Eli Bornholdt, who will use his farming know-how to help them prosper in their new home in Kansas. But two tragedies aboard their ship forces Lillian to radically change her view of the future and will challenge the faith of the entire family. Sawyer creates a realistic and moving story of facing your worst nightmare and living through it. Her portrayal of pioneer Kansas makes the grassy plains come to life. She keeps the conflict for the most part within the family instead of external. They have to overcome their own struggles and fights while the outside world rarely intrudes, which was probably very true for families who would have been so incredibly isolated during this time in history. A small complaint: the woman on the front cover doesn't look anything like Lillian who is 38, and this young woman is barely twenty. Sometimes the characters seem to change their feelings 180 degrees too quickly, but for the most part Sawyer does an admirable job showing how God works good through all circumstances for those who believe in Him.