I received a copy of WHEN HOPE BLOSSOMS by Kim Vogel Sawyer, from Bethany House. I had never read a book with a Mennonite protagonist before, so I was excited to learn about the religion and culture. From chapter two onward, I was hook. Sadly, chapter one was a little slow, so I beg you to at least read a few chapters in before making an opinion about the book. By the time I was halfway through, I couldn’t stop, and read late into the night.
Amy, a young Mennonite widow, moves to a new town with her three children. Her son, Parker, suffered a head trauma that left him with a disability. The neighbor, Tim, left the Mennonite faith because of his strict upbringing. At first, he resents the Mennonites, but slowly becomes attached to Amy’s children (which I found a little odd. Throughout the book, I got a sense of their strong relationship, but now how he was with Amy until the very end. Their romance seemed sudden and unprepared, but didn’t make me like the book any less). Little by little, he reopens his heart to the Mennonite faith.
The story was very touching as it showed his progress. I would have liked to see more growth from Amy and the children, but the story really focused on Tim. His character is three-dimensional and realistic. I learned a lot about the Mennonites and hope to find more books about them.