Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book Review: A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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"A dream of a better life...
A tragedy aboard a wagon train...
A tentative agreement..
Will it lead to love for two seeking hearts?

Hoping to escape the poor conditions of 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines and her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher and their two children set off for Kansas aboard an unusual wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into a partnership with Joss that leaves them both questioning God and their plans for the future. 
As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will they give up and go their separate ways? Or will God use their time in Drayton Valley in a way they never expected?" 

Beautiful. If I could sum up this book with just one word, it would be beautiful. The setting, the writing, the plot, the characters. Mrs.Sawyer painted such vivid word pictures, I could feel the wind tangling my hair, the Kansas grass tickling my feet, and the characters' joys and pains. From the first word to the last, Mrs.Sawyer spun a seamless tale of enjoyment with the redemption power of Christ shining forth as a beacon of light.

The plot flowed effortlessly. Entangling me from the first page to the last. The fact that we meet Mary, Joss' late wife, and come to care about her was an interesting factor. Surprisingly, it didn't hinder me from later wanting Tarsie and Joss to fall in love.

But what really held me captive was the characters themselves. Mary was so sweet-- and selfless. Her trust in God was a great lesson. She trusted the Lord with her life and the lives of her loved ones and it was somewhat heart-wrenching to see her suffer. Tarsie was a wonderful friend to Mary and a great mother figure in Mary and Joss' children's lives. I loved her faith and her Irish spitfire ways. Mrs.Ruth, her husband, and their family-- a "colored" family-- were wonderful secondary characters-- especially Ruth. Her and her husband's love for each other was so sweet-- and they were such a wonderful, godly influence on Joss... which leads me to my most favorite character.

Any book with a not-ideal-not-Christian hero, I love all the more. One who embeds himself on my heart because I'm just yearning for him to come to Christ and turn from his ways. One where I can rejoice in any little change in him because he's the type where he's changing... but gradually. Which makes his complete surrender to Christ that more satisfying-- where I'm crying tears of joy. This sums up Joss. A cold man who loves his drink. Knowing that he was the hero made him a little less revolting, because at the beginning of the book he was def-inite-ly not an ideal hero. But seeing the oh-so-slow changes in him warmed my heart. And when he fell (not literally), my heart ached with Tarsie. But to experience the scene that played out at the end was worth all the pain. It was hard to contain my tears!

I could go on and on. As is evident, I LOVED this book. An uplifting, unique, and uber-spectacular read. A must need addition for your library. Needless to say, A Home in Drayton Valley earns my 5 star badge:-) It can bought at Amazon.

** Much thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.**

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