Thursday, September 5, 2013

What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Christina Willems was running the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor in 1890 in Kansas.  She'd assumed this responsibility after the death of her parents--who had ministered to the poor for years.  Christina provided a home sponsored by the mission board to several children (including Tommy, a blind boy), a young unmarried pregnant woman, an older couple, some widows and a young simple-minded man.  But a fire breaks out in the kitchen area of the asylum leaving everyone homeless.  Christina spends many hours finding a home for everyone...everyone except Tommy.  No one wants the responsibility of a blind boy.  Finally, Christina approaches the mill owner, a young man named  Levi Johnson, who is carrying scars of his own.  Levi reluctantly takes on Tommy's care but confronts Christina with her molly-coddling of the boy and threatens that he will make 10-year-old Tommy take care of himself.  Through caring for Tommy, Levi faces his past.

The mission board relieves Christina of her duties because it is unseemly for a woman to run an institution like the asylum.  They'd only given her grace because of the recent death of her father.  They are intent on placing the children in orphanages and Christina fights to keep them herself.  But one by one, each of her tenants are finding places of their own and Christina is left to examine her own heart.  Is she doing this for God or herself?  

I'd give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to WATERBROOK PRESS for providing this book for review. 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

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