Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Book Review: What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer (2013)

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read Chapter One
Author's Bio

Christina's parents ran a charitable poor farm until their deaths, and now the responsibility falls to Christina herself, a young woman who harbors a deep compassion for the downtrodden. When a fire displaces Christina and the poor farm tenants, she struggles to find places for her little family, at least until the mission board sends the funds to rebuilt. Little Tommy is the hardest one to place, since his blindness makes him a perceived liability around the house, but she finally settles him with a loner who lives on the outskirts of town, Levi Jonnson. The man runs a lumber mill, and is gruff in his ways, but she is left with no alternative. Surprisingly young Tommy takes to Levi almost immediately, and now all Christina must do is wait for the mission board to send funds. Except that they haven't done so, and now her tenants are slowly finding other positions in life. Is it just possible that God has a plan for her life that is apart from her own goals? Can she let the poor farm tenants go, releasing them into new life experiences and options? Only Christina knows for sure whether she is capable of letting go of the past and looking to the future.

Kim Vogel Sawyer is a staunch Christian author whose presence has been felt in the Christian fiction community since 2006. She implements faith elements into her novels throughout the entire book, and What Once Was Lost is no exception. Christian is a young woman of strong moral character and a passionate belief in God. The secondary characters, especially the ones from the poor farm, are equally as dedicated to their faith, and that leaves only Levi who comes to the Lord slowly. Ms. Sawyer surprised me by including an unmarried pregnancy since that can be a touchy subject in Christian fiction, but she handled the topic well.

I wish I had liked this book, but I just could not get into either the story or the characters. I never connected with either Christina or Levi and I found the romance to be exceptionally sappy and predictable. I'm sure that I'm in the minority in this, it's just that I literally despise lines like, "And my heart leaped like a nimble deer" when describing a woman's response to a man's entrance into a room. No, it just did not work for me, at all. No doubt there are plenty of fans out there who love Ms. Sawyer's books, and a part of me is sorry that I won't be joining their ranks, but the book did not work for me. I wish her the best in her future ventures, and with the audience she attracts.

- I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.


  1. I've read some 6 books by Kim Vogel Sawyer in the last few years and although there are some I did enjoy very much, these last months I've read two I didn't like so much at all, so I'm loosing my 'faith' in her writing a bit as well....

    1. Some writers do lose their momentum the longer they write. I don't know what causes it, possibly boredom or burnout. I doubt I'll try any of her other books, not even her earlier ones. But I'm glad I'm not the only one who wasn't entirely pleased with her recent writing.


Thank you for your kind comments, which I adore!