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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Review: What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Christina Willems is in charge of the Brambleville Asylum for the poor a duty she lovingly took over when her father passed away.  When a fire breaks out making it impossible for anyone to live in the house, she must find temporary shelter for all of the inhabitants including herself until she can get the funds sent from the mission board to fix the house.  She has the hardest time finding shelter for a young blind boy and when faced with no other options convinces Levi Johnson, a reclusive mill owner to keep him just until she finds someplace else.  Levi is surprised how quickly a bond forms between him and Tommy and how much he comes to care for him so quickly.  In the meantime, Christina's troubles continue to pile up.  The mission board refuses to send the money as they have decided it is "unseemly" for a woman to be in the position of authority over the poor farm.  Her residents that are like family to her become scattered, two of the boys turn up missing, and Christina ends up in jail.  When everything falls apart, Christina finds an unlikely ally in Mr. Johnson, and they both come to realizations about their lives and faith in God.

I enjoyed this book very much.  It can be really hard sometimes to write a book review without giving the entire story away, or being too vague and not saying anything at all.  But for this review I am going to talk about one of the themes that I liked in this book and that is the idea of what a "good Christian" is and isn't.  Levi Johnson is a reclusive outcast in his town and Christina is not happy to have to leave Tommy with him at first.  She also is given a hard time from other people for leaving him with a heathen even though they refused to shelter and care for him.  Yet Levi treats Tommy as a person, cares for him, and gives his life purpose that nobody else had before.  He believed in Jesus even though he has had doubt and lost some of his faith due to circumstances in his life.  At the same time, a "good Christian" treated Tommy as nothing better than an animal, and looked down upon others who were "sinners."  I loved how this topic was handled throughout the course of the story.  I loved all the resolutions in the story and that even though things did not go back to being as Christina wanted, God's plan was much better than hers and He worked it out in the end.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of What Once Was Lost for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations.

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