A Kim Vogel Sawyer Marathon
Kim Vogel Sawyer is one of my favorite authors, and I proved it by reading three of her books in the past ten days! (See the review I posted June 20th for the review of A Hopeful Heart.) I had read My Heart Remembers about two brothers and a sister who are adopted out to separate families who finally find each other as adults a couple years ago, so I was very eager to start its semi-sequel.
I call it a semi-sequel because In Every Heartbeat does catch us up on what is going on in the lives of Maelle and her siblings over a decade later, but it also introduces three other orphans who have been raised together and now go off to the same college. Libby, Pete and Bennett all have their own hopes and plans for the future, but, as usual, life gets in the way, and some of those plans have to be altered. And, as in all of Kim Sawyer's books, we see how the hand of God is guiding the characters along the way, even when they don't acknowledge Him. And we learn along with the characters how God knows even better than we do when it comes to planning our future. Set while the US teeters on the brink of entering WWI, the reader can learn about history while enjoying a super story.
The third book I read in my marathon was Courting Miss Amsel, about a schoolmarm in her first year of teaching in a small town in Nebraska. Edythe Amsel raised her siblings after her mother's death, but kept studying for years, and has finally reached her dream of becoming a teacher. She loves the students and teaching, but some of the townspeople distrust her unconventional ways of presenting the lessons to the students.
Two of her students are being raised by their uncle, Joel Townsend, after the death of their parents. Joel admires Edythe and lets her know he would like to court her, but she refuses since she spent her own youth raising her siblings and doesn't think she can raise someone else's kids again.
Will the school board ask Edythe to return for another year? Does she even want them to if it means watching Joel with someone else? The author shows how God's plans are even better than our own, if we will only trust and obey. A happy ending with surprises makes for a great read!