“When Grace Sings” by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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.

Kim Vogel Sawyer writes like never before in When Grace SingsHer usually sweet overtones lighten the mood and keep serious topics from becoming overwhelming.  While Grace is fully present in this newest work, Sawyer brings a higher level of suspense than in any of her other stories and rivals O. Henry for and ending that will keep you guessing.

With several characters who have only good intentions but are facing pain and familial drama, Sawyer definitely includes the sweet factor.  Somehow she has a way of making the reader understand their deepest intentions and sympathize heartily for the character, even when the character is less than sugary.  Each one has realistic faults, however, and so they come across as the kid next door.

Having grown up near several Old-Order Amish and Mennonite communities, I’m pretty picky about the setting – but Sawyer gets the details right.  She makes these peaceful people feel all-inclusive and yet is careful to describe their differences accurately.  Despite the variety of religious beliefs in the story, she highlights their similarities.

When Grace Sings is full of high drama and emotional angst.  It’s a page turner for sure – until you get to the ending.  Unfortunately, the pages stop long before the reader’s desire for them do, and there are not nearly enough loose ends wrapped up.  That both makes for a fascinating story and a frustrating one, because I hope that Sawyer has the next book written, finished, and at the printer’s.  I don’t think I can wait long for the sequel.

I received a free copy of When Grace Sings from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

What are your thoughts?

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