Friday, May 9, 2014
Book Review: Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Title: Through the Deep Waters
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
2014, Waterbrook Press
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
A past filled with shame can be washed away with a love that conquers all.
Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to excape, Dinah purses her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn't old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.
The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past. When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her. Despite his self-consciousness about his physical disability and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ's love. But can she ever accept a gift she so desperately needs?
I wasn't too sure about this book... prostitutes and chicken farmers? Seems like a weird combination, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Set in 1883 first in Chicago and then west to Florence, Kansas. The POV is from Dinah, Amos and Ruthie.
Until she turns 18 Dinah works as a chambermaid in the Clifton hotel when she can become the waitress she's always wanted to be. The Clifton's waitresses have excellent reputations and must be morally above reproach to work there. Having lived in Chicago and growing up in a brothel, Dinah desperately wants to have these people in this new town see her as a worthy and respectable young woman.
Amos Ackerman was injured as a boy and cannot carry on the family business of farmer like his father and brothers. He moves away and buys a chicken farm and sells his eggs to families in the local town. He prays his farm can be successful enough to support a family someday and to prove to his father and brothers that he can be good at something even though he has a disability.
These two fall in love, but when Amos learns of Dinah's past, can he see beyond her lies and the terrible lifestyle she comes from? Can he forgive God for allowing him to fall in love with her? Can Dinah learn about a God who loves her regardless of her past?
This book has one more important character - Ruthie. Ruthie is Dinah's fellow chambermaid and roommate at the Cilfton. Ruthie is free-spirited and happy. Her father is the local preacher and she has had a sheltered and loving childhood. I found Ruthie's story to be a very interesting part of this story as she battles jealously of Dinah and Amos's relationship. She initially tries to tell Dinah about Jesus, but as time goes on, she has her own battles with her faith as it is tested beyond what she has always known.
This was a pretty complex novel and I really enjoyed it. The characters were realistic and interesting and the story compelling.
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Read Chapter One
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Press through the Blogging for Books program for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.