Monday, April 20, 2015

When Grace Sings - Kim Vogel Sawyer

When Grace Sings
Kim Vogel Sawyer
WaterBrook Press, Mar 17 2015, $14.99
ISBN: 9780307731333

Chicago-based Real Scoop editor Ken assigns reporter Briley Forrester to look behind the kind pious façade of the Amish-Mennonite communities featured in their rival Illinois Times.  Briley heads to Arborville, Kansas believing when he uncovers the dirt he will be rewarded by becoming a featured journalist at the tabloid rather than a minor player buried in the middle of the rag.  In Arborville, Briley stays at Alexa Zimmerman’s Grace Notes Bed and Breakfast.  He learns she is not Old Order Mennonite but lives their lifestyle as her adopted mom Suzanne (see When Mercy Rains) is.  Attracted to each other, the guest and the hostess share in common childhood abandonment issues.

Steven Brungardt and Anna-Grace Braun are engaged.  However, he recently inherited his late grandfather’s farm in Arborville.  Though he prefers to be a teacher, he considers working the land to please his parents and his fiancée.  However, having learned that her biological parents reside in Arborville, Anna-Grace has doubts about relocating there as she does not want to meet them.

The second Zimmerman Restoration family drama is an exhilarating entry due to a three-dimensional ensemble cast.  Although like its predecessor the pleasant storyline lacks closure, When Grace Sings is a well-written novel that leaves the audience wanting the final story released yesterday.

Harriet Klausner

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