Friday, November 23, 2007

Today's Feature: Kim Sawyer's "Beginnings"

Today I'm pleased to tell you about my friend Kim Vogel Sawyer's latest release "Beginnings."

A while back I reviewed the first book in this three-book series published by Barbour , "Bygones," and have been patiently waiting to find out more about the characters in this small Kansas Mennonite community. I wasn't disappointed.

Bygones focused on Marie, who had been raised in the community as old order Mennonite, but as a very young woman had eloped with a truck driver who stole her heart. Soon after her marriage Marie's husband was killed in an accident, leaving a pregnant Marie who had been shunned by her father. She raised her daughter on her own, outside the church. Then through certain circumstances, Marie and her young adult daughter, Beth, were drawn back to Marie's hometown where Marie was reconciled to God, family, and love.

Beginnings is Beth's story and the internal conflicts she experiences as she tries to live in a town where she feels like an outcast. A new believer but not Mennonite, she wants to live among the relatives she's never known, but doesn't know how to bridge the gap. Even her mom has adopted the church family of her childhood and family by returning to the Mennonite community and wearing the prayer cap and plain clothes, while Beth who is now a stained-glass artist is most comfortable in jeans and flannel shirts. I don't want to reveal too many spoilers, but suffice it to say, there is an element of romance as well as hightened relational issues as Beth struggles with her new faith and finding her niche.

Kim does a masterful job of letting the reader get inside Beth's head and heart and and experiencing the struggles alongside Beth. As a reader, I found the spiritual and character arc in Beth most gratifying. Kim ends the book in a satisfying way, yet still leaving the reader wanting more.

The final book in the series, titled "Blessings," is due out in February.

I'd intended to give the book away in a drawing, but last week I accidentally tipped my coffee mug over on the book. With the coffee-stained pages, I can hardly offer it as a prize. But I am willing to give it to the first person who comments here that they would like it. Just be sure to let me know where I can contact you with mailing information. Don't publish it in the comments!


Miralee said...

Hi Pam, I haven't had a chance to read this book yet and I'd love to, coffee spot or not!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had found this sooner. I have seen this book on the shelves at the bookstores but haven't had a chance to read it yet.

Pam Meyers said...

Laura, you may have missed the offer of Bygones but you can sign up by leaving a comment on my review of The Other Daughter and have a chance to win a copy of that book!