Review: What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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Cover Rating:

Date Published: September 17, 2013
Pages: 352
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Romance
ISBN-10: 0307731251
ISBN-13: 978-0307731258
Book Source: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest opinion.


A woman meant to serve, a child in the dark, a man standing apart—can these three souls embrace a God with new plans for them?

On a small Kansas farm, Christina Willems lovingly shepherds a group of poor and displaced individuals who count on her leadership and have come to see the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor as their home. But when a fire breaks out in the kitchen leaving the house inhabitable, she must scramble to find shelter for all in her care, scattering her dear “family.”

With no other options, Christina is forced to approach Levi Jonnson, a reclusive mill owner, to take in a young blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. Levi agrees with reluctance but finds himself surprised by the bond that quickly grows between him and Tommy. As obstacles to repairing the farm pile up against Christina, she begins to question her leadership ability and wonders if she can fulfill the mission to which she’s dedicated her life. And when an old adversary challenges Christina, will she find an unlikely ally—or more—in the aloof Levi? Can Levi reconcile with the rejection that led to his hermit-like existence and open his heart and life to something more, especially a relationship with a loving God?

You can purchase it Here:
Amazon  *  Barnes & Noble  *  *  BAM

Author Bio:

Kim Vogel Sawyer is a best-selling author highly acclaimed for her gentle stories of hope. More than one million copies of her books are currently in print with awards including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas, where she and her retired military husband, Don, run a bed-and-breakfast inn with the help of their feline companions. She savors time with her daughters and grandchildren.

You can find Kim Here:
Website  *  Facebook  *  Twitter

Favorite Scene:

He took her by the elbow and turned her toward his house. “Let’s get you back, and then I’ll set out again.”

She jerked loose. “No! Mr. johnson, please, I must keep looking for the boys. They are my responsibility.” Tears glistened in the corner of her eyes. “I must find them.”

Even though she spoke the words in a rasping whisper, her tone held an intense fervency. Levi frowned. “What does it matter who finds them as long as their found?”

“It matters.” She turned her gaze away, her chin trembling. “You want to blame yourself for Tommy’s running away, but you aren’t to blame. I am. I…I failed Tommy today.” Bringing her head around, she fixed him with a pleading look. “I can’t fail him now. I must find him. And Joe.” That stubborn jut returned to her jaw. “If you don’t want to keep looking, I understand. But I would appreciate the use of your lantern while I continue the search.”

Levi shook his head. Headstrong female! She’d probably catch pneumonia. He might too. With a muffle growl he set the lantern on the ground, yanked off his hat, and plunked it on her head. She looked ridiculous with it settled around her ears, and the wind seemed more chilly with his head uncovered, but what else could he do? He’d never met a more modig woman. Despite the grim situation, a grin twitched at his cheeks. Mor would like Miss Christina Willems.


For Christina Willems, serving others was all she had ever known, so when her father passed away leaving her in charge of the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor, she followed in his footsteps willingly. The residents at the poor house were like family after all and Christina enjoyed having them close. They were a mix-matched bunch from an elderly couple, Herman and Harriet Schwartz, to 7 year old twins, Joe and Florie, to an 11 year old blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. When the poor house catches fire, Christina is devestated and scrambles to find temporary shelter for all her charges. With only Tommy left needing a home, Christina puts all of her hope in the town’s last resident, Levi Johnson. Will he open his home and his heart to Tommy?

Levi Johnson has remained alone for years. He finds comfort in his solitary life and peace working alone in his swamill…or so he thought. When beautiful Christina Willems shows up at his door with a blind boy in tow, Levi gruffly refuses to take him in. He has been fighting his own demons for years and doesn’t have time to take care of a young boy, but something in the way Christina mollycoddles the boy and the way Tommy withdraws into himself tugs at Levi’s heart and he finds himself agreeing to her request. Before long, not only is Tommy weaving reeds, but he’s also weaving his way into Levi’s heart. Can Levi forgive himself for the things from his past and give up his solitary existence? Will Christina find solace in Levi’s arms?

What Once Was Lost is a story of love and forgiveness, hope and friendship and the coming together of a community during crisis. I loved the fact that the residents at the poor house were such a diverse group of people. Elderly, young, simple-minded, blind. Even though they were all different they fit together beautifully as a whole. The characters in the book always kept hope alive and they glorified God and forged ahead during a crisis with an overall message that He will take care of His children through any circumstance. This story was so well written that I found myself sighing and wiping tears all throughout. The way Tommy and Levi took to each other just melted my heart. Levi was so standoffish at first but he soon became a character I adore. I admire Christina’s Faith and strength and the way she automatically takes care of everyone around her. Simply put, I LOVED this book and I highly recommend it to anyone that loves historical romance or any romance, for that matter. This was my first book by Kim Vogel Sawyer but, with her talent for weaving a story, it definitely won’t be my last!

My Rating:

**While I was given a free copy of this book for my honest opinion, I was in no way compensated for this review**


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