This book was delightful! It perfectly entwined being humorous yet heart-touching. I was always sad to set it down and eager to pick it up again. The characters were amazing - extra colorful and such fun to read about! They came to life for me. This is a sweet story, all in all, relaxing and easily moving.
"Song of My Heart" by Kim Vogel Sawyer features the story of a young woman named Sadie Wagner. Her stepfather is badly injured and unable to work to provide for the family. Twenty-two year old Sadie hears of a job opportunity available in Goldtree, Kansas. Her desire for work to help her family compels her to relocate from their home in Dalton, Indiana, to Goldtree, where she knows no one except for her cousin, Sid. Sadie soon finds herself caught up in a complicated romantic quandary with two young men vying for her affection. She quickly settles in to her employment, one job working as a clerk in the local mercantile and the other as a singer in the "opera house". Sadie bonds with her mercantile employers, twin sisters Melva and Shelva who quickly grow to love their new employee. Her opera house boss, Asa Baxter, brother to the twins, quickly proves to be manipulative and unscrupulous in his quest to earn money and shed a past nickname.
Thad McKane, the town sheriff, was hired specifically to deal with rumors of bootlegging. He and Sadie develop a beautiful friendship which turns complicated as Asa asks Sadie to compromise her beliefs in order to further his monetary gain. Eventually all is worked out and Sadie is free to be with her true love.
The main characters were likeable and the story flowed well. It was an enjoyable, light read, albeit a bit predictable. I appreciated Sadie's desire to help with providing for her family. Her strength and resolve to move many miles away deepened that appreciation. Both Thad and Sadie learned and grew much through their experiences. In the end, they both had a great awakening to the grace and mercy of Christ which transformed them and prepared them for the future that lay ahead for them.
(I've received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers through the Book Blogger program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
Kim Vogel Sawyer's books are a joy to read. Her characters reach out and grab the readers' hearts. Song of My Heart is no different. Sadie Wagner and Thad McKane are the center of this story that is a page-turner. Putting the book down in order to sleep was difficult. It was so tempting to stay up all night to complete it, but that would have created problems at work. I recommend that you read Song of My Heart and find out for yourself whether Sadie and Thad can listen to the songs in their hearts and follow God's plans for them.
First, a big thank you to Bethany House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!
To be honest, I have been out of the historical fiction (especially of the western type) loop for a loooooong time, and I had a difficult time getting back into it. But, once I got back into the groove with this book, I really enjoyed it! Sawyer is a very talented writer, and I felt a quick connection with the main characters, Sadie and Thad. I very much admired Sadie's devotion to her family - even if she was a bit naive. I mean, it seemed a bit obvious to me what was "unusual" about Asa's opera house, and what exactly he wanted from her...but I realize that she put up a mental block because she felt such a strong need to provide money for her family, especially after her father died.
I loved Thad and the fact that he was such a good Christian man. I kept thinking, "Why can't ALL men be like that?" And when Sadie kept pushing him away because Asa wanted her to put her job first (and to keep the sheriff away from his business) I wanted to scream "NO! Run away with Thad, Sadie!!!!" He was definitely swoon-worthy.
And then there was Sid, Sadie's cousin (but not by blood, only by marriage), who was head over heels in love with her. I really felt for the guy. He was a sweet guy who meant well, but, well...the whole cousin thing (even if it WAS by marriage and not blood) would have creeped me out too. Plus, who could live up to Thad? I just hope that Sid finds someone special too. :)
I really enjoyed this book - it was exciting, heartwarming, and romantic! Take a visit to Goldtree, Kansas and check it out for yourself!
Summary: Sadie Wagner has always been devoted to her family. So when her stepfather is injured and can't work, she decides to leave home and accept a position as a clerk at the mercantile in Goldtree, Kansas. Goldtree also offers the opportunity to use her God-given singing talent--though the promised opera house is far different from what she imagined. With her family needing every cent she can provide, Sadie will do anything to keep her job. Thad McKane comes to Goldtree to investigate reports of a bootlegging operation. Once he earns enough money from the sheriff work, he plans to use it to pay for his training to become a minister. Thad is immediately drawn to the lovely young singer who performs in Asa Baxter's unusual opera house. But when he hears her practicing bawdy tunes, he wonders if she's far less innocent than she seems. And when Sadie appears to be part of the very crimes Thad has come to investigate, is there any hope the love blossoming between them will survive?
I had a real difficult time getting into this book. I found Sadie at the beginning of this story to be unbelievable. I can see being self-sacrificing but not to the extent she was. I did not care much for Sid either. He was the kind of person to avoid. Self-serving and selfish therefore I could not understand the two ever being close. The characters grew quite a bit throughout the story and that mad continuing to read it worthwhile. I also found the swing in Sadie to be unlikely. To tolerate things that she knew to be wrong and would constantly repeat the things her father told her seemed to lend credence to the unlikeliness of these actions. Thad was the only main character I liked. He was driven to do right and never wavered from that. The Baxter sisters were great and provided the comic relief without being ogres as bosses. The ending was a little too convenient although finished the book nicely.
I would like to thank Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.