Title: When Hope Blossoms
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: July 1, 2012
Amy Knackstedt hopes that moving to Weaverly, Kansas will be a great new start after the death of her husband. She hopes that healing will take place and a better future will exist for her three kids, their new neighbor isn’t pleased to have an Old Order Mennonite family living next to his apple orchard. Amy isn’t going to let that stop her from giving her kids a new life away from the speculation, though.
Tim Roper doesn’t want any reminder of his former life as a Mennonite. He even changed his name to get away from it. The last thing he wants or needs is a Mennonite family moving in next door. He tries to stay away and not get involved, but Amy and her kids keep finding him and melting his heart with each visit. He doesn’t want to love again after losing his wife and son in a car accident, but he really doesn’t want to fall in love with a Mennonite woman and he kids, but it seems like The Lord has another plan.
Trying not to lose their hearts to someone of different faith, Amy and Tim find themselves falling for each other despite their determination to not. They just have to get over that little fact that Amy won’t leave her Mennonite faith and Tim won’t go back. Without that detail fixed their attraction could just fizzle and die. They don’t know how this is going to work but all things are possible with God.
Will Amy and Tim fall in love or will they realize that it’s time to open their hearts to the possibility? Will Tim be able to come to peace with his past or will he remain bitter towards Mennonites and ruin everything? Will Amy leave the Mennonites for him or will she convince him that not all Mennonites are like his childhood? Will Tim be able to heal from his wife ad child’s death or will he spend the rest of his life with guilt?
I didn’t know this was an Amish/Mennonite book when I requested it and when I found out that it was I was sure I was going to hate it, because I have read Amish fiction before and didn’t like it at all. However, this book altered my opinions of Amish fiction and allowed me to see what good Amish fiction is. I love Kim Vogel Sawyer and I really love how she was able to transition from great historical fiction to great Amish fiction.
The romance in this book is typical for this author, innocent and cute, but progressive and heartwarming. I liked how the romance really started through the kids, most of the time in romances that involve children the children either aren’t involved or they meet and fall in love with the children then realize that they love the mom. This book fell in the latter, but the romance between Amy and Tim was throughout the book and the children were involved in every aspect. I loved how this romance progressed. It warmed my heart.
I loved the storyline as well. A former Mennonite who resents his past falls in love with a stout Mennonite woman. I usually dislike Amish fiction but this storyline and the different look at the Amish community than I’m used to really made this story really cute and made me look at these books differently. I now am open to reading more Amish fiction and now probably will review these every now and again.
The thing that I liked about this book was the positive look it gave about their beliefs. I usually only get a negative look at it, but the positive really made the book. I may not agree with their beliefs, but the look that I got in this book made it seem more like a belief and less like a cult. I really liked that. I may not read every Amish book that comes out nor will I jump at the opportunity to read them, but I believe now I’ll be less hesitant to read them.
I’ve read Kim Vogel Sawyers books since I first started reading Christian books and she’s always been a favorite of mine. I was a little disappointed when she decided to go into Amish fiction, but now I can see that she is fantastic with it. She’s actually better at this then she was at her historical fiction, though those are still fantastic. I you’ve never read a book by this author, do it. She’s an amazing author. If you don’t like Amish, though I recommend you check it out, look at some of her earlier works set in and around the mid-1800’s. I love this author and recommend anyone check her out.
Overall, a great book for any book, but the fact that I think it’s great, as an Amish book, holds a lot of weight. I highly recommend this to fans of this author or for fans of Amish fiction. I recommend this for teens and adults, even mature tweens. I give this book a four out of five.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*