Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blessings by Kim Sawyer

When I received a copy of Kim Sawyer’s latest book Blessings in the mail, I couldn’t wait to start reading it. Unlike the first two that I let linger on my to be read pile, this one got consumed within a couple days of entering my house. And Kim did not disappoint. I LOVED this book and am sad to see the series end.

Blessings is the third book in the Sommerfeld Trilogy and it was a delight to step back into Sommerfeld, Kansas and rejoin characters from the prior books. At the same time, I loved getting to know Trina Mueller better. She’s been a strong secondary character in the other books, but this time we get to see into her heart and mind.

For as long as she could remember, Trina has loved caring for animals. Now as a young woman of 19 her heart’s desire is to become a vet. The problem? Her order does not allow young people to be educated past the 9th grade. Trina struggles – in a very real way – with how to reconcile this desire that she firmly believes is God-given with the constraints of the order. What I love about Trina is she doesn’t do everything perfectly, and she bears the consequences for her actions, yet I couldn’t stop rooting for and crying with her throughout the book.

Graham Ortmann can’t wait to get Trina’s agreement and have their relationship published, one small step away from marriage. Yet, as she chases this dream, she changes, and he’s not sure he can continue the relationship.

The progression and growth that these characters and the community embark on is real. Not everything works out wonderfully and there’s no miraculous moment where everything suddenly changes. Instead, it’s a gradual and painful process for all involved.

The writing is superb as I’ve come to expect from Kim’s books, but it’s the emotional and spiritual journey of the main characters and community that made this a book I could not put down.

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