Monday, September 23, 2013

What Once Was Lost

by Kim Vogel Sawyer
WaterBrook Press

Christina Willems is the loving owner of Brambleville Asylum in Kansas. She is the only hope of many a lost, displaced soul, and they love her and the farm without reservation. Her "family" admires and looks to her for leadership and guidance, and they trust that she will care for them no matter what. But when a fire breaks out, her home is disbanded because the house is no longer livable, and the people who have become everything to her are scattered to the winds. 

Christina's biggest concern is a young man by the name of Tommy Kilgore. He is blind and needs constant attention to get around. So when Christina has to find someone to take Tommy in, she reluctantly is forced to entrust Tommy's care to the reclusive mill owner, Levi Johnson. When obstacles spring up in repairing the farm and restoring what was destroyed, she is discouraged that her life's mission may be just a dream that will forever be out of reach. Will what once was lost ever be restored? Or is the asylum that was passed down to her by her father gone for good? 

The element that impressed me the most of this story was how Sawyer described the world from blind Tommy's point of view. Seeing things from his perspective was unique, fresh, and original, and much more colorful than simply telling us he couldn't see. The rural setting, the ups and downs of the restoration process, and all the emotion Sawyer packs in this novel makes it a book I will gladly revisit. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and all the characters contained therein. A highly recommended read for any lover of historical fiction. 

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