Sunday, April 26, 2015

Book Review: When Grace Sings by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Book Details:
Title: When Grace Sings (Book #2 -The Restoration Trilogy)
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
2015, Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0307731333
Genre: Christian Amish/Mennonite Fiction

Book Summary:
When trouble roars into quiet Arborville, Alexa and Anna-Grace find themselves the target for discord and exposed secrets. Can they continue to seek the God of all grace amidst the fog of confusion?  
Alexa Zimmerman wonders if the Old Order Mennonite community in Arborville, Kansas will ever fully accept her. Her family roots here aren’t what anyone thought when she first arrived, but she is hopeful that her culinary and hospitality skills will win the skeptics over. The bed-and-breakfast she’s operating needs to succeed so Alexa agrees to allow Briley Forrester, the hotshot reporter from Chicago, to stay as a long-term boarder not knowing his real motives for being amongst the Plain folk.
But when Alexa agrees to host her cousin Anna-Grace Braun, the presence of extended family brings out Alexa’s insecurities and sets Briley on the trail to uncovering a web of hidden truths. 
Plans for a secure future and the sweetness of young romance hang in the balance when Alexa and Anna-Grace have to face that their secrets are interconnected, binding the two in ways they could not have imagined. They must trust in a loving, heavenly Father and His plan for their futures.

My Review:
This is the second book in The Restoration Trilogy. If you haven't read the first book, you will be very, very confused.

This is an excellent series. This book is told from four POV's. The setting is a modern day Old Order Mennonite community. We have Alexa, her cousin, Anna Grace, the reporter Briley and Anna Grace's fiance, Steven. This book picks up soon after the first one ends. 

Alexa is living with her grandmother and has opened her B&B. She has learned she is not her mother's biological daughter and is struggling to feel like she really fits in with all her Mennonite family members. She is constantly trying to do what is right so that they look past the fact that they are not her blood family and accept her.

Anna Grace is our next character. We briefly met her in the last book, but this time she is a main character. I found Anna Grace to be a little sickly sweet - a little too perfect. But as the book went on, I liked her more. She became more realistic to me as her perfect world crumbled a little.

Steven and Briley were both new introductions. I enjoyed both. Steven was a little bit of a frustrating character because he was never telling anyone what is real dream was... to be a teacher, not a farmer like his father. I felt like Steven really created a lot of his own problems and at one point wondered if he should even be getting married to Anna Grace, but he redeemed himself to me eventually also.

Briley was a bit different because he was a total outsider. He was a rather jaded man with a very dysfunctional past who was going to dig up dirt on the Plain community. I liked him because he was a very charismatic character, but he was very unhappy with life. I won't give away what happens, but I'm wondering if his character is done for this series or if he'll be back...... 

Of course this book also catches up with some of the other characters through their interactions with these four. Just like the first book, this book is about family, God's grace and the restoring love of Christ. The characters are well developed and the stories are interwoven into each other. I am excited to read the third book and see how all the loose ends are tied up!

Learn More:
Book Info
Author Bio

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books for my honest review. No other compensation was given and all thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.

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