Monday, October 20, 2014

Review of "When Mercy Rains"

Review of When Mercy Rains 

by Kim Vogel  Sawyer 

21473060

She left, heavily weighted with secrets.
But God reveals all things, in His timing. 
And He redeems them. 
Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own. 
Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love. 
Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne's prolonged secret--one that changes everything. 
Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercy-and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?

MY REVIEW:   Kim Vogel Sawyer has a true gift in her writing.   She is able to express deep emotions through her characters and allow the readers to feel those same emotions.   I most definitely felt the fear, shame, and regret that Suzanne felt in the story.  To be sent away from home as a young teen and left to bear the shame and regret is simply awful.   I can certainly imagine how horrible it was for Suzanne to experience this.   Then to be asked to return home to care for the very same mother who sent her away is almost too much to bear.  Suzanne is faced with a dilemma as she certainly had the right to refuse the request.   This book causes readers to reflect on conflicts they have had with their own families.   Can love and forgiveness occur?  Is it even possible in such a case?  
      I have a great respect and fascination for the Amish and Old Order Mennonites but I must be honest that I have a very hard time understanding their desire to send children away in shame.  I simply do not think that I could do such a thing to one of my daughters.    I would want to help them and love them unconditionally.  As I read and reflect on Amish and Old Order Mennonite works that I have read including this one, I don't see a great deal of unconditional love expressed among families. What do my blog readers feel about this issue?   Does it seem that the Amish and Old Order Mennonites show a great penchant for conditional love and do they also then place that same restriction on God?   It is just something I found myself pondering again as I read this book.   Can the characters turn this around and make it work for good?  Readers will need to read this 5 star Old Order Mennonite fiction to find the answers to this and other questions.  
I received a print copy of this book from bloggingforbooks in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author:
Kim Vogel Sawyer

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen 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.

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