WHAT ONCE WAS LOST
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 leaving the house uninhabitable, 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 Johnson, 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 growns between him and Tommy. As obstacles to repairing the farm pile up, Christina begins to wonder 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 to something more, especially a relationship with a loving God?
Published in 2013
Faith and hope have the potential to help desperate characters overcome overwhelming odds -- they just have to believe in themselves enough to make things happen. Sawyer has chosen to tell the story from multiple points of view and that made for more of a fulfilling read for me, though it did lessen the emphasis on the romance between Christina and Levi.
Christina has been managing the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor on her own after her father's death. I love the way the novel begins -- giving the reader a clear vision of how she has created a family out of a rag tag group of souls down on their luck. From orphans to the cast out to impoverished widows -- everyone has a place at the table and a purpose to fulfill in their simple home. But when disaster strikes, Christina is challenged on so many fronts it's overwhelming.
Levi's one of those challenges, though he turns into a blessing. A taciturn recluse, he doesn't want anything to do with Christina or the blind orphan boy she implores him to take in until she can find the means to restore their home. There's an ingrained kindness buried under all his crusty layers and a bond builds between boy and man, It isn't long before Christina becomes part of the equation and Levi is drawn back into the land of the living.
But there's treachery afoot, naysayers to prove wrong and a despicable villain to overcome before these two can ever hope to contemplate a happily ever after.
If you would like a chance to win a copy of What Once Was Lost, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 1 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.