BOOK REVIEW: WHEN HOPE BLOSSOMS by KIM VOGEL SAWYER

When Hope Blossoms
by
Price: $14.99
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0787-7
ISBN-10: 0-7642-0787-3
Publication Date: Jul. 2012
Formats: Paperback
About the book . . . 
Amy Knackstedt hopes a new start in Weaverly, Kansas, will help heal the pain of losing her husband and provide a better future for her three children. But her new neighbor, Tim Roper, is not pleased to have an Old Order Mennonite family living next to his apple orchard. Tim left the Mennonite faith years ago and doesn’t want any reminders of his former life.

Yet when circumstances throw Amy and Tim together, they form a friendship that surprises them both. Will past hurts always be a barrier between them, or will this tentative relationship blossom into something more?

About the Author . . .     
Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of nineteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women’s fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren. She invites you to visit her Web site at www.kimvogelsawyer.com for more information. 
   

Reader Review . . . 

Tim Roper thought he had left his Mennonite background far behind when he left home as a young man.  Twenty years later, he was unhappy to learn that his new neighbors were Mennonites.  He had no idea just how much he had in common with his new neighbor.  Amy’s life had been fraught with loss and sadness just as his had been, but instead of turning away from God, she had learned to trust Him.  Would Tim still continue to hide behind the walls he had built, or would he open his heart to love?

For some reason, the popular theme in Christian fiction right now is to write about the more unusual religious groups.  The Amish have been popular for the last few years and now the Mennonites are being given their turn in the spotlight.  Fortunately for me, I find these groups to be very interesting. 
Ms. Sawyer has portrayed the Mennonites very nicely; she shows their differences from the outside world while avoiding stereotypes.  Although both of the main characters had been through horrendous tragedies in their lives, the author has not made this a tear-jerker.  The characters feel real, pulling the reader in and causing her to feel empathy toward them.  I hope that Ms. Sawyer will continue to write in this vein; if so, I will happily read more of her work.
4 stars
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”