Ours For a Season (2018) by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a phenomenal stand-alone novel. This book comes in all forms including eBook, and is 352 pages in length. With a full-time job and a very busy six-year old at home, this novel took me six days to read. I received a copy of this book in ARC paperback form from the publisher, WaterBrook. In no way has this influenced my opinion of the story. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give Ours For a Season 5+++++ STARS. This story is a Contemporary Christian Fiction novel.
About the Book
An Old Order Mennonite couple’s vows and beliefs are challenged in this stirring contemporary novel for fans of Cindy Woodsmall or Shelley Shepherd Gray.
Anthony and Marty Hirschler are part of an Old Order Mennonite community in Pine Hill, Indiana. The couple has grown apart since a doctor confirmed they would never have children. Marty longs to escape the tight-knit area where large families are valued, and the opportunity to do so arises when her childhood friend, Brooke Spalding, resurfaces with the wild idea of rebuilding a ghost town into a resort community. Brooke hires Anthony to help with the construction, drawing the Hirschlers away from Indiana and into her plan, and then finds herself diagnosed with cancer. Moral complications with Brooke’s vision for a casino as part of the resort and the discovery of a runaway teenager hiding on the property open up a world neither the Hirschlers nor Brooke had considered before. Will they be able to overcome their challenges and differences to help the ones among them hurting the most?
Our earth hurts people. Women who desperately desire to be mothers are barren. Children who long for a family are homeless, hungry, and alone. Humans battling horrible illnesses are dying no matter how hard they fight. And, marriages that long to be happy are falling to pieces. Sometimes, it is easy to look at this earth and all its awful, demoralizing, devil-induced problems and fall into a sense of overwhelming despair. But God doesn’t want us to give in to the ugly. God made each of us for an amazing purpose that might not change the entire world, but that can absolutely change ours for the better if only we give in to His will for us.
Ours For a Season is a book unlike any I’ve read before. I had no idea what I was getting into when I began this book. Honestly, I thought is was going to be another stereotypical Amish-y type story that I would be able to read through quickly. Yeah, that’s not what this book is AT ALL! This novel took me six days to read — probably the longest I’ve ever taken to read a novel. Ours For a Season is beautifully, flawlessly written. It is a well crafted book filled with characters who are beyond endearing. And, the plot flows so well. But, this book is hard to read. Ours For a Season deals many tough issues — a broken marriage, a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatments, homelessness, and sex trafficking just to name a few. All of the stressful and painful topics in this novel are dealt with respectfully and honestly, but made for a story I had to walk away from for a couple of hours in order to catch my breathe. I recommend a box of tissue or two while you’re reading this story!
This story is told via three perspectives: Marty, her husband Anthony, and her best friend Brooke. I really appreciate when an author shows me multiple character points of view. To me, it makes the story all the more rich, and I feel like I get to know the characters better. Of the three main characters, I identified with Brooke the most. Brooke has had a very rough childhood — her father is nonexistent and her mother is an abusive alcoholic. Of the many issues Brooke traverses in her fictional lifetime, it’s the notion of not having a father that struck a chord with me. Brooke never knew an earthly father, and her mother was never a mother to her, which means that Brooke has had to always do life on her own. Brooke doesn’t need anyone. When she is 36 years old, she finally is confronted with a weakness that forces her to rely on someone else. It is during this time of weakness that Brooke realizes she needs to fall into the arms of the only Abba that actually matters, our Heavenly Father. It takes her some time to build trust in God, but once she takes the leap, Brooke realizes that God’s love and security as a Father is all she really needs.
The notion that God is the only Father I will ever need really resonated with me. I am blessed to have two earthly fathers — my biological dad and my step-dad. I love both of my fathers very much, and do feel like God has blessed me big time by putting these men into my lives. But, as do all humans on this earth, my two dads have some flaws that I superimposed onto my benevolent Heavenly Father. My biological dad is smart and funny and genuinely cares as best he can, but he is also angry and runs away from everything and everyone. My step-father is wise beyond his years, loving, and excellent to talk to, but he has a mean streak that has punched my heart a time or two. Before my walk with God matured to where it is today, I used to think that God the Father was a big meanie. Yes, He loved, created, and cared, but He also could be angry, mean, and absent. As I got older I realized that I was unfairly attaching my earthly fathers’ negative qualities to my Heavenly Father, and sought to discover God’s true qualities. Like Brooke, it took me some time, and lots of Bible study and prayer, to uncover God’s true fatherly qualities, but once I accepted that God loved me as a dad should, that He’s my one true Abba, my life totally turned around for the better.
Ours For a Season is another fabulous novel that I cannot do justice to in one review. This novel is poignant, beautiful, heartbreaking, and hopeful. It made me cry hard. It made me angry. And, it made me so happy and hopeful. I definitely ran the gamut of emotions with this one! Ours For a Season is another 2018 must-read that I highly, highly recommend.
I am giving away ONE (1) paperback ARC of Ours For a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer. The giveaway begins today, 9-22-18 at 5:00 pm (PST) and ends on Wednesday, 9-26-18 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!
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