Ours for a Season: A Novel

Ours for a Season: A Novel

by Kim Vogel Sawyer


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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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735290082
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 509,355
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

KIM VOGEL SAWYER's titles have garnered awards including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband Don. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and a bevy of grandchildren.

Read an Excerpt


Pine Hill, Indiana

Marty Krieger Hirschler

Marty followed her husband to the front door, keeping enough distance between them to prevent bumping her knee against the bulky suitcase that hung from his hand. Anthony gripped the battered case’s handle hard. Angrily hard. So hard the tendons stood out on the back of his hand. She stared at the discernible ridges and wished his angst were for the same reason as hers.

The carved front door—one of Anthony’s woodshop projects—stood open, but the screen door sat firmly in its frame, the little hook latch secured to prevent the seemingly endless Indiana wind from bouncing the door against the casing. When Marty was a child and let the screen door smack into place, Mother always scolded, and Marty had determined early she wouldn’t yell at her children for letting the screen door smack. Not that she’d had the chance to honor the vow.

Anthony unlatched the hook with a flick of his finger and put his palm against the door’s frame, but then he stood frozen, gazing outward. A question hovered on her lips—Have you changed your mind about going? She tried to swallow the knot in her throat, but it refused to budge. No words could work their way past such a mighty lump, but her heart beat with hope.

Still facing the mesh screen, he spoke through gritted teeth. “I hate arguing with you.”

“I won’t argue anymore if you’ll stay.” The words rasped out, as if sliding over sandpaper. She worried her apron skirt in her hands, waiting, hoping he’d take his broad hand from the door’s wood frame and carry his suitcase back to their bedroom.

A sigh heaved from his chest. Hand still braced, he angled an unsmiling look at her. “You know, it’d be a lot easier on me if you’d try to understand.”

Easier on him? What about him making things easier on her? The hope swept away on a gust of frustration. She released the wad of fabric and raised her chin. “I do understand. That’s the problem. You’d rather spend time away from me than with me.”

He released the door and ran his hand over his face. Slowly. Drawing his tanned skin downward. Even after he lowered his hand, his lips remained downturned. “That’s not true. I go because I have to make a living.”

“You could use your business telephone and computer to do the subcontracting. Your team of workers is dependable. They’d perform just as well without you there acting as supervisor. You don’t have to travel to every jobsite and oversee every project, but you choose to.” Her voice quavered with her attempt to control her emotions. She wanted to rail at the top of her lungs, but good Mennonite wives did not raise their voices to their husbands. She’d failed in so many other things—at the very least she could refrain from yelling.

She clasped her hands at her waist and pressed hard against her aching stomach. “If you have to go, then take me along.”

He groaned. “We’ve been over this. And over it and over it. A construction site is no place for—”

“I wouldn’t go to work with you. I’d stay in the hotel. Or do some sightseeing. At least we’d have the evenings together.” How she hated the long, lonely days when he was away. But then, sometimes it was lonely with him home.

Anthony drew in a breath that strained the buttons on his chambray work shirt. Thirty-six years old and more broad shouldered and muscular than he’d been at twenty. But she hadn’t changed, still as slender as she’d been the day they exchanged vows. How she envied the women with broadened hips, pooching bellies, and sagging breasts.

His shoulders seemed to wilt as his lungs emptied of air. He set the suitcase on the floor with a light thud and cupped his wide hands over her shoulders. “Martha…” He called her Martha only when his patience was spent. He’d called her Martha more times than she could count over the past two years.“Noblesville is lots bigger than Pine Hill, that’s true, but there aren’t enough sights to see to keep you busy for a full week.”

“Then I’ll—”

“And before you say you’ll stay in the hotel room and read, I already told you no.” His blue eyes, usually the color of a cloudless summer sky, darkened, as if a storm brewed within. “I need to focus on the job, on the materials, on the workers. Sure, my men can be trusted, but some of the subcontractors aren’t honest. If I’m not there to inspect things, they might bring me warped boards or watered-down paint, thinking they can put one over on a simpleminded Mennonite man. That’s why I go to the sites. So my reputation doesn’t get banged up because somebody else didn’t do their best.”

“Knowing why you go doesn’t make me any less lonely.”

He rubbed his palms up and down her short sleeves, the firm touch sending shivers across her frame. “Then don’t stay here by yourself. Invite some of your friends to the house for cake and coffee. Drive to Lafayette and browse the mall.”

She shrugged. “I don’t know…”

“Well, then visit Dawna. You’ve hardly gone out to the farm since she had her last baby. She’d probably appreciate help with the other kids, especially now that school’s out and all four of ’em are underfoot.”

He couldn’t have hurt her more if he’d skewered her with a sword. For him to suggest such a thing meant he didn’t know her. Not at her core, where she desperately needed his understanding. She hugged herself and battled tears. “I…can’t.”

His expression hardened, and his hands stilled on her upper arms. “Then stay here by yourself and be lonely. I don’t know what else to tell you. But I’ve gotta go.” He dipped his head, his lips puckering. She shifted her face slightly, and the kiss landed next to instead of on her mouth. He released a soft snort as he let go of her and picked up the suitcase. “I’ll call when I get settled in the hotel. Bye, Marty.”

At least he’d called her Marty.

She trailed him as far as the edge of the porch, then remained rooted in place, bare toes curled over the gray-painted planks, arms loosely wrapped around a post. He tossed his suitcase into the bed of his pickup truck in one smooth motion and opened the driver’s door. He paused, his head low, as if he was contemplating something important, and a tiny flicker of hope came to life in the center of her heart. Was he rethinking his decision to leave her behind? Would he let her come?

Without glancing in her direction, he jolted, climbed behind the wheel, and pulled the door shut with a firm yank. Moments later the engine roared to life. The tiny flicker was extinguished as effectively as a birthday candle from a puff of breath. As he pulled out of their gravel driveway and onto the dirt street, the neighbor’s children darted across their grassy yard and chased after him, kicking at the billows of dust stirred up by the truck’s rubber tires. Their laughter rubbed salt into the ever-festering wounds on Marty’s heart, and she scuttled inside.

Even in the house she could hear the childish voices that carried through the screen, so she closed the solid inner door. Silence fell. A silence so big it threatened to consume her. Although the room was uncomfortably warm, chill bumps rose on her arms. She sent a slow glance across the neat living room, and her gaze stilled on the wide band of morning sunlight flowing through the plate-glass window. The beam glittered with hundreds of dust motes—a shower of diamonds—and made the pink roses on the area rug glow like rubies. So bright. So beautiful. A smile tugged at the corners of her lips.

While she watched, transfixed, the beam began to shrink. First shorter and then thinner. Thinner and thinner, until it disappeared. She hurried to the window and peered out. A large bank of clouds had drifted across the sun. The sun still glowed behind the clouds, but its beams had been erased. A sense of loss gripped Marty, and she blinked rapidly against the sting of tears.

“There’ll be days in life when the S-U-N-shine hides behind a cloud, but there ain’t any cloud so big it can hide the S-O-N-shine. So you always walk in the Sonshine, Martha Grace, you hear?”

Great-Grandma Lois’s gentle voice whispered from the past, and in Marty’s memory she heard her own childish reply.

“I’ll walk in the Sonshine always. I promise.”

Marty turned from the window with a sigh and trudged to the kitchen sink. How she’d relished her week every summer at Granddad and Grandma Krieger’s farm in Pennsylvania, where Granddad’s mother, Lois, also lived. As much as she loved her grandparents, she’d spent most of the time with her kind-faced, warbly voiced great-grandmother, who was no taller than the wire tomato cages Granddad fashioned for the garden. She taught Marty to knit scarves, embroider flowers on pillowcases, and stitch squares into little quilts and talked from morning to night about the One she loved most, the God she faithfully served.

Guilt pressed hard. Marty hadn’t honored her promise to Great-Grandma Lois. But it wasn’t entirely her fault. The Sonshine had stopped shining on her a long time ago. Or so it seemed.

She drained the now-cool water and ran a fresh basin. Lowering the few breakfast dishes into the steamy, sudsy water, she glanced out the small window above the sink into the backyard. Anthony’s garage and attached workshop took up more than half the yard, leaving a narrow grassy patch with a garden at the far end. A century-old oak tree stood sentinel in the middle of the remaining yard, its branches casting shade over all but the corners of the rectangular patch of grass.

Anthony had wanted to cut down the oak and build his shop in the middle of the yard, but she’d asked him to leave it, pointing out the sturdy limb that begged for a swing. Of course, back then she’d envisioned a child’s tire swing, but she had come to enjoy the double-sized cedar swing Anthony crafted for her thirty-fourth birthday almost two years ago. She’d thanked him with manufactured enthusiasm for the gift, realizing he had meant well, but underneath she still mourned the silent message it sent. He didn’t expect to ever hang a tire swing.

She gave herself a mental shake and returned her attention to the dishes. Her daily chores still needed to be checked off her list. By noon, they’d be complete. Then she’d go to her basement sewing room and work on the little quilt she should have finished weeks ago for her newest niece. The basement was cooler, and the hum of the machine would mask the otherwise deathly silence of her too-empty house.
Kansas City, Kansas

Brooke Spalding

Brooke signed her name to the bottom of the check with a flourish. She set the gold-inlaid pen aside, pulled the check from the pad with a satisfying scriiiitch, and pinched it up by opposite corners. Holding the business check at arm’s length, she ignored the burn of acid in the back of her throat and lifted her attention to the six men seated along the sides of the long table in the bank’s meeting room. “Done.”

Ronald Blackburn—the gray-haired, big-bellied, sagging-jowled banker at her right—inched his hand toward the check. His smooth pink palm and short, pudgy fingers absent of calluses spoke of years behind a desk. He licked his lips, a fox ready to devour a hen. But Brooke was no hen.

With a casual sweep of her arm, she presented the check to the man on her left, an unpretentious older gentleman lacking the gleam of greed that showed in every other pair of eyes around the table. She knew the gleam well. She’d glimpsed it in her own reflection. “Here you are, Mr. Miller. As they say, it’s been a pleasure doing business with you.”

The man held the check gingerly, as if fearful it would shatter. His gaze seemed locked on the amount written in black ink in her meticulous handwriting. She stifled a chortle. She’d seen dozens of businessmen gawk at her handwritten business checks. Why use computer-generated checks if a person wrote legibly? Every one of her purchases culminated in a personally inscribed check—what those in the corporate real estate business world called her trademark. That and her fuchsia suits, always with skirts instead of trousers. In all likelihood, however, the dollar amount on the check held Harvey Miller’s attention.

She leaned slightly in his direction. “Is it correct?”

He zipped his gaze to her. His mouth opened and closed several times, like a goldfish releasing air bubbles, and he nodded. “Yes, Miss Spalding. It sure is.” His thick eyebrows rose, and he let out a throaty chuckle. “I sure never thought that chunk of land my father left me would amount to this.”

Mr. Blackburn cleared his throat. “Of course, you must remember there are fees and agent commissions, as well as escrow costs, title insurance costs, surveyor—”

Brooke put up her hand, and to her satisfaction the man abruptly ceased talking. “Mr. Blackburn, does Harvey Miller seem like the type of person who would cheat these gentlemen”—she swept her arm to indicate the other men in Armani suits—“out of their agreed-upon payments for their assistance in this transaction?”

The banker settled back in his chair and harrumphed. “I never intended to intimate—”

“All fees, commissions, and costs are outlined in the contract Mr. Miller signed.” She maintained a firm tone, but tiredness tugged at her. Usually finalizing a business deal left her too buzzed to sit still. Leapin’ lizards, from where was this weariness coming? And when would the heartburn abate? She’d popped two antacids before the meeting started.

She folded her hands on the polished tabletop and forced herself to continue. “Everyone will receive their piece of the pie. Allow the man a few minutes to enjoy the fruits of his deal making.”

Blackburn pursed his lips, irritation sparking in his grayish-green eyes, but he ceased his blather.

Brooke pushed back her executive chair and rose. Every man around the table rose, too, Blackburn finding his feet last. She slid the thick folder containing Mr. Miller’s copy of the multipage contract to the center of the table, then reached for her briefcase, which she’d left resting against a table leg.

Excerpted from "Ours for a Season"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Kim Vogel Sawyer.
Excerpted by permission of The Crown Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Ours for a Season: A Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Laundry_Whispers 9 months ago
How far would you go to get what you always dreamed of? How would you react if that dream was taken from you? That’s exactly the positions two childhood besties find themselves in. For very different dreams and very different reasons. Marty, a Mennonite woman only ever wanted a family. And family means children, not just a husband. Her dream, her only dream, was taken from her with a miscarriage and her husband contracting mumps as an adult. It’s not like this happened yesterday but even the few intervening years does not lesson the ache of her loss of family. The ache of being around others, especially others with children. She finds herself withdrawing more and more from her community and her husband. How would you react if your dreams were taken from you? Brooke on the other hand was raised by an alcoholic mother, no father to even name, and a childhood that no one dreams of. Her goal is to retire at 40 and she’s so close to exceeding that goal. One more project, this last property flip and the beach dreams of her retirement will come early. Until cancer. How far would you go to get what you always dreamed of? Two women, two completely different backgrounds, one time of growing up besties and they both have to decide how they want to move forward when their life doesn’t match their dreams. Let me caution you here. While this is just another amazing book that truly draws you in and embraces you in a way that only Kim Vogel Sawyer can do. However, there are some hard topics in this book. Not on miscarriage and infertility but childhood neglect, depression, marital strife, and even deeper into sex trafficking, youth homelessness, and child abuse. Due to these topics, this book may not be a good choice for all readers. I strongly recommended this book however I am also aware that some of these topics might be triggering for some readers. That being said though the title is really pivotal in this book for me. In everything there is a season. A season of hurt (through miscarriage, infertility, marital strife, even homelessness). A season of hope (through friendship rekindled and marriage regrown). A season of contentment (just trust me here). Everything in life, everything we have, everything we struggle for, everything we lose is really ours for just a season. This theme goes so much deeper into the story than just what I’ve shared but spoilers ya know. Seasons. The passage from Ecclesiastes (3:1-8) really resonates for me throughout this book. These characters aren’t perfect, and sometimes they are downright annoying. Marty can sometimes come off as whiny and Anthony can be overly self-absorbed. I struggled with Brooke from her sketchy start at life to townhouse in the city to living in a construction trailer. Her flipping from overly independent to excessively needy. She was the best and worst of Marty and Anthony thrown together in one person really. The difference is they find themselves living complex lives with complex events in a complex world. I think all of use would come across as all of these not so positive traits if our lives were dissected down the just a snapshot of time. I like to believe that I am more than the sum of my reactions during a season of time. I really did enjoy getting to know these people and sharing a season of their life. I learned a few of my own strengths and weaknesses through them and through their struggles. Life is not all sunshine and roses. But it’s also n
Becky6 More than 1 year ago
Kim Vogel Sawyer is one of my favorite authors when it comes to fiction about the Mennonites so I knew I needed to read “Ours for a Season.” This was a little different from some of the other books I’ve read in this genre as far as content goes. We see a married couple who have a struggling marriage after losing a baby and finding out they won’t be able to have children of their own. A woman who is a fighter and a desire to watch her dreams come true only to find out she has cancer. There is also a major theme about anti-human trafficking and abused teens. The entire way through readers will find themselves wondering if these characters are going to find the healing they need, how will it affect their futures, and what are God’s plans for this situation? This may just be fiction, but Kim Vogel Sawyer definitely challenges her readers and makes one think about the hard things. It is a roller-coaster of emotions as well. This is a beautiful and poignant story that is both heartbreaking and hopeful. Highly recommended! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
HannahGridley More than 1 year ago
Um--wow! My friend Joleen mentioned being a wolfer of books last week and I definitely felt like I was emulating her on this one. I started at 6 and finished at 9. This is a regular-length book, but it felt like it only lasted 100 pages, and I wanted it to be at least twice as long! This is the first time I have ever put a book remotely dealing with plain folk (these are Old Order Mennonites) on my favorites shelf, but it most definitely deserves the spot. It's hard to say much about the plot without spoiling some of the joy of discovering it for yourself, so I'll just say that Marty and her dear friend Brooke are probably some of my favorite characters of the year. And Anthony is plenty fine as well, though the women's friendship is what really makes this story sparkle. If you enjoy meaningful stories of friendship, be sure to add this one to your reading list. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free ebook copy. A positive review was not required.
thedanielsr More than 1 year ago
This is a great book that shows how many times God answers our prayers in ways we never could have imagined. Loved the story!
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Kim Vogel Sawyer has done it once again with Ours for a Season. While reading this story, I experienced a variety of emotions - from giggling to grabbing a box of tissues. I honestly was not sure what I thought of Brooke at first, but she grew on me within the first quarter of the book. I absolutely loved Marty from the start. Her and Brooke had a special bond. So great to see such a great friendship. This plot to me was relatable with true to life issues. Ours for a Season gives me yet another reason why Kim Vogel Sawyer is one of my favorite authors. I highly recommend for those who love a good, clean, and inspiring story. I give it a well deserved five plus stars. I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
LJShuck More than 1 year ago
Ours for a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer is the first of this author’s work I’ve read in awhile. I suppose you could say I enjoyed it; let me explain, it made me weep and rejoice at the same time. Thus, it was a really good read. Two women, best friends since childhood, Marty Hirschler and Brooke Spaulding have maintained contact over the years, mostly by letter. Marty is the spouse of Anthony, both members of an Old Order Mennonite sect. Brooke is a successful business woman preparing for what could be the biggest development project of her career. Both women are dealing with some major disappointment in their lives; Marty has become bitter and emotionally estranged from her husband after learning they would never be able to have children of their own. When Brooke receives a devastating medical diagnosis, she steps up her plans for the development of an abandoned community in Kansas. There is only one thing holding it all back, she wants Marty’s husband to be the construction company to do the work. When Anthony and Marty receive permission to accept the job, they leave their Pine Hill, Indiana home to travel to Kansas for at least a year. Marty soon finds her hands full lovingly caring for Brooke as she endures brutal cancer treatments. Meanwhile, Anthony and his crew discover that they are not the only people in the small abandoned community. When a young squatter is found in one of the buildings, a serious problem in the nearby town comes to light. As this and building delays accrue, a year is soon up and the two must decide if they will continue or return home to Pine Hill. When an unknown detail comes to light, the couple strive to determine the best decision, leave Kansas or stay, permanently. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and am under no obligation to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions, therein, are solely my own.
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
OURS FOR A SEASON is Ms. Sawyer's most recent novel. A Mennonite couple from Indiana relocate to a ghost town in Kansas... This story starts very slow. It kind of dragged at first, and I was getting tired of reading about Marty's woes, but it was a necessary part of character development, so stick in there if you struggle, too. By page 73 something piqued my interest, so I read more willingly, and by the end of the book I didn't want to put it down. This book didn't go where I thought it would go in a way, and yet, in another way, it did. I liked Anthony and Marty once I got to know them. I could relate to Brooke's struggle with cancer, with even the anti-nausea drugs not working (ugh) and Elliot, I just wanted to reach out and hug him. OURS FOR A SEASON is a sweet women's fiction book about a couple finding themselves, finding God's plan for them, and going the extra mile to achieve it. Recommended. Fans of Amish and other Plain fiction, or fans of women's fiction, will likely love this book. i was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
Shopgirl152ny1 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this story that dealt with some hard topics but ultimately had hope. I really liked all of the characters and especially that we got the viewpoints of Marty, Anthony and Brooke. I felt for Marty as she struggled with knowing she'd never have children and she questioned why God wouldn't give her this desire of her heart. She was really struggling in her faith. Anthony was a wonderful guy who wanted a child also but didn't seem to struggle as much; Brooke wasn't a Christian and had never really thought about God until she got cancer. I loved that her love of music was an important part of her personality. There were also some minor characters, some Mennonite and others English. I liked that there was a mix of people from different backgrounds and views of God. There's a couple of wonderful passages about faith, one where Anthony was feeling like a failure because Brooke and Elliott hadn't come to faith and he realized he was being prideful and was trying to do it himself instead of in God's power and another passage where Brooke and Marty have a great conversation about God and the prodigal son. There was some suspense as someone was stealing food on the property and sex trafficking and homelessness are brought into the story. I liked how Marty realized how sheltered she's been and that seeing the pain and evil in the world propelled Marty, Anthony and Brooke into action. Here's my favorite quote from the book from a stained-glass artist they met, "these projects are like life, with some days more broken than others, but when a master designer puts the pieces all together again, something of beauty emerges." This was a great story I recommend. I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
GailHollingsworth More than 1 year ago
This was a lovely and inspirational story. I cried several times throughout and felt deep joy other times. This was a very emotional ride. The characters were so real and I grew to care about them and what happened to them. The subject of human trafficking and homeless teenagers was brought to the forefront and was very heart wrenching. It also was inspiring to the point of wanting to see what the situation is in my own community. Marty, a Mennonite wife, has been unable to conceive in her many years of marriage. She blames God for something she wants so badly, to be a mother. God it seems always has better plans we just can't always see them at the time. Anthony, her husband, has his own construction company. To help Marty's best friend growing up with a new project, the two of them with part of the construction crew, travel to another state. Her friend Brooke is experiencing health problems along with her plans to renovate a ghost town to usefulness as a resort. God's plans for all of them begin flourishing through their prayers and their willingness to let Him lead. I highly recommend this novel! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to write a review.
tickledpinktammy More than 1 year ago
This story tugs at your heart with real issues many people can relate to. The author does a fabulous job of keeping you engaged always wondering what is coming next - or if your guess is correct! The tough issues of infertility, working in the world, witnessing to an unbeliever, accepting God's plan for our lives are addressed in such a way that bring hope—that good does happen even when we think it won't. The wrap up of the story is so inspiring. It gives a positive actionable ending that more people should consider, even me! There just may have been several tissues used at the end, but I'm not fessing up to it! Great book, Kim Vogel Sawyer! I highly recommend this book. FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book with no expectation in return. The opinions shared above are my own honest thoughts regarding this book. #PRHpartner #partner
SunnieReviews More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read from this author. I must say. she is a really good writer! This story of Mennonite Marty and her husband and her non-Mennonite friend, Brooke is so different! A breath of fresh air, for sure. The story covers some difficult topics and the author does that very well. As Marty's husband Anthony and his crew set out to help Brooke with her ghost town project, some really interesting surprises happen, and you can't stop reading this fascinating story. I have a childhood fascination with ghost towns so this story grabbed me and kept me reading. You will love it as you read how they learn about God's paths for them. Really great read. I received an ebook copy from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.
LucyMR1 More than 1 year ago
Can I give this 10 stars? No one quite writes a story like Ms. Sawyer, as her characters wrap around your heart and leave you a better person when finished. You will definitely need tissues as you read about human trafficking, homeless teens, a woman’s brokenness over being childless, cancer and how all things work together for good to fulfill God’s plan and purpose for our lives. It is a moving tale that transports you into the midst and you feel the heartbreak and joy while learning what “joy breathing deeply” means. What beautiful words. Have you ever been angry with God and blamed Him for something? I encourage you to read this and find out how Marty became an overcomer over the pain and sorrow she was feeling. This is an all encompassing living, breathing sermon without being preachy. You need to put this on your must read list and on your shelf of books that you will read over and over again. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
Deana3452 More than 1 year ago
The story centers around Marty and her husband, Anthony who are faithful Mennonites. Marty used to take great comfort in her faith, but she feels God has abandoned her due to the fact that a doctor has told her and Anthony that they cannot have children. This news has really made a divide between Marty and Anthony. Marty can't move past the fact that she will never become a mother. When Brooke, Marty's best friend from childhood, offers Anthony, a contractor, an opportunity to come and build a new project of hers located an hour away, Marty really wants to go. One, she misses her best friend and two, she feels a fresh start would be just the thing she and Anthony need to heal their marriage and to help her own devastation at not being able to have children. Packing up part of his crew, Anthony and Marty make the trek out to the site and set up temporary homes. When they settle, Marty learns that Brooke is facing a serious medical condition and believes that it is God's timing that they have come when they did. Brooke is alone and Marty is just the person to help take care of her. There are more than one ways to become a mother and while Marty's sadness is making her too blind to this fact in the beginning, opportunities arise in the story that may just make her come back to her faith and see that God always has plans to help us, not harm. I really enjoyed this story. I thought it had an original premise and I was vested in the characters pretty quickly wanting to find out what was going to happen. Also, I usually don't get teary eyed during books, but the way the author described some of Brooke's struggles really tugged on my heart. This was my first book by Ms. Vogel Sawyer and it won't be my last. Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah for the advance copy. All opinions are my own.
WildflowerMom More than 1 year ago
A heartfelt story with a lot of spiritual and emotional depth. Characters whose lives take unexpected turns, struggle with their inner turmoil and search for peace and meaning in their lives.This is a multi layered novel, starting out a bit slow, but picking up the pace as they get involved in each others lives, and reach out to others, stretching their faith and learning to trust God on a deeper level. I liked the character of Brooke the best with her determination for independence giving way to circumstances, and opening her eyes to God's love for her. Some serious issues are touched on in this book, like dealing with infertility, marital issues, serious illness, homeless teens, and sex trafficking. Readers who like stories that include social issues from a Christian viewpoint will probably enjoy this book. (An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.)
Creative2xmom More than 1 year ago
Mennonite couple, Marty and Anthony, lead nearly solitary lives. Devastated by news of their infertility, the couple has drifted apart and finds it hard to communicate with each other, much less reconnect. While Anthony throws himself into his work, often traveling for weeks at a time, Marty locks herself away in their home, avoiding family and friends. Until one day when Anthony receives a job offer from Brooke, Marty's long time friend and self-made business woman. The job would pull them away from their home for a year and a half, but could it be exactly what's needed to bring Marty and Anthony back together? And what about Brooke? Could she possibly need Marty's help more than she's letting on? Ours for a Season isn't your typical Amish fiction. Interwoven in the story are issues of infertility, identity, foster care, and human trafficking, all relevant in today's society. This book tackles some tough topics without being preachy or condescending, and the characters are real, vulnerable, and authentic. Personally, I was drawn to the storyline involving foster care as this is a road that our family has traveled through the years. I found that the characters felt and questioned in much of the same way that my husband and I did. It's obvious that the author did some thorough research in preparing for this novel. Though the book addresses some serious topics, it remains hopeful and faith-filled. Without being pushy, the author leads us to some undeniable truths: that the world is bigger than our perspective, that the Lord always has a plan, that lives can be redeemed, and that family can be found in many places. Just to name a few. This book was an unexpected journey and I have yet to read anything like it in the Amish fiction genre. I can't recommend this one highly enough. Home run for Kim Vogel Sawyer. *Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own. #PRHPartner
SouthernGalLovestoRead More than 1 year ago
Once again, Kim Vogel Sawyer has written a great story that drew me into her characters' lives from beginning to end. Ours for a Season is a contemporary Mennonite story but is not necessarily what you would expect from that genre. Marty hopes to work on improving her relationship with Anthony by accompanying him on a move for a long-term work project. Issues that arise in their new setting create unexpected challenges that sometimes interfere with that goal. Kim has her characters deal with some very tough topics in this story. In her usual skillfully crafted style, she leads them through those difficulties in such a way that they come out learning important lessons of healing and love. I highly recommend Ours for a Season to anyone who enjoys great inspirational fiction, even if your area of interest doesn't usually fall in the Mennonite/Amish genre. This story can touch your heart and emotions, no matter how you visualize the characters involved. Thanks to Kim and her publisher for providing me with a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.
Pattistep More than 1 year ago
It should be no surprise to any of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s many fans that she has written another meaningful story. This book has some difficult themes: infertility; cancer; depression; and sex trafficking of teenage girls. But Kim Vogel Sawyer is an amazing writer, and she’s able to bring all of these things together to create an inspiring story filled with faith and hope. The characters of Marty, Anthony, and Brooke are complex. Each of their stories are absorbing, especially in how they relate to each other. All three care deeply about each other. Marty and Anthony have grown apart in their marriage because of a tragedy and are struggling to hold on to their faith to find hope again. Marty and Brooke are life-long friends. Marty takes care of Brooke in the aftermath of her cancer treatments, and knows she needs to renew her own faith to be able to offer to Brooke the hope in Christ she so desperately needs. There are some difficult moments during this story, but there’s joy to be found as God works in their lives in unexpected ways. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Teresa More than 1 year ago
Ours For A Season is a beautifully written book with wonderful characters that I loved getting to know. My own family has been going through a very rough and heart breaking few years and so reading this book has been hard but encouraging. Through the characters of Marty, Brooke and Anthony we see their hardships, how they face them and how they are changed. This is a book that brings glory to God and that inspires faith in Him. I received an advanced copy of this book for an honest review. I honestly love this book and highly recommend it.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
You might want to have the tissues handy as you read this book, what a journey the author has given us. There are several subjects that are touched on and they are brought to the forefront by the author, and we are able to put faces on all of these. We walk in Marty’s shoes as she goes through life without the foremost desire of her heart, a baby, and yet you will see that God has bigger plans for her, and yes, it is hard to accept and move on. Brook, I felt God put these people in her life, and we soon find out why, and she and Elliot are here for a reason, and oh how blessed we are to get to know them. Come and enjoy Marty and Anthony’s story and find how touched you are going to be, and when the last page is turned, I still wanted more! I received this book through the Publisher Waterbrook Press, and was not required to give a positive review.