Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review: Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Kim Vogel Sawyer is another of those authors whose books I have noticed for years, but have never taken the time to read.  After reading Echoes of Mercy I think I'll read her books more in the future.  This book was even better than I expected.  It seem like so many authors do a spin on a woman in the 1800s or early 1900s who pretends to be a man, for whatever reason.  This undercover-woman of course falls in love with a  man, but must keep it a secret since she is masquerading as a man herself.  I think that plot is getting a little old.  But the plot of Echoes of Mercy was a fresh twist.  Although the woman was undercover, she was a real investigator and never pretended to be less than a woman!  She was gutsy, brave and a little sassy!
Caroline Lang is an investigator for the Labor Commission in Kansas in 1904.  She travels around the state and goes to work in various factories to investigate safety measures and child laborers.  When another investigator dies mysteriously at Dinsmore's World Famous Chocolate Factor in Sinclair, Kansas, Caroline is sent to determine if his death was accidental, or if he was murdered.  In Sinclair Carrie meets Ollie Moore, a janitor at the factory, who just happens to be undercover himself.  His father is Fulton Dinsmore, the owner of the factory, and he has placed Ollie in a low-level position to learn about the business.  Every time Ollie and Carrie meet, sparks fly.  They disagree about nearly everything, but they are drawn together by three local children with a  very sick father.  Ollie agrees to help Carrie with her investigation, even though he might not be happy with what she finds.  Ollie sees something in Carrie that he hasn't seen in anyone before.  When she asks him to pray about a situation, he realizes that he doesn't know how to pray, and he will set off on a spiritual quest to have a personal relationship with God. 
I loved the character of Caroline Lang!  I loved her tenacity and her spirit, and her resolve.  I loved that she fell in love with Ollie in spite of herself.  I loved that she was a woman who was able to take care of herself, and who wasn't timid or shy about standing up for what she believed.  I loved that Ollie was a man who wasn't afraid to admit that he didn't have it all together.  He came to God honestly and humbly, and learned to trust on his own.  I only wish that salvation had been explained a little better.  It has to be about more than just believing and trusting.  I wish there had been some sorrow and repentance in Ollie's story, to show what salvation really is.  The Holcomb children were a sweet addition to the story too.  They really completed the cast of characters perfectly! 
I can't pinpoint just one thing that made me like this book so much.  It had interesting characters, an intriguing plot, and just enough twists that I couldn't predict the ending (even though I thought I did!)  If Ms. Vogel Sawyer writes all of her books as well as this one, I need to read more!

Happy Reading!

I was given a digital copy of this book in exchange for my review.  All opinions are my own.

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