When Mercy Rains: A Novel

When Mercy Rains: A Novel

by Kim Vogel Sawyer


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She left her Old Order Mennonite commuinty, heavily weighted with secrets. But God reveals all things, in His time. And He redeems them.
Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own.
Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love, again.   
Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne’s prolonged secret—one that changes everything.
Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope for mercy–and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307731319
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Series: Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy Series
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 619,298
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Kim Vogel Sawyer is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million books in print, in several different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades 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, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope and redemption. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.

Read an Excerpt


Spring 1994

The hiss of approaching tires on wet pavement broke the tense silence between the mother and daughter seated on the bus-stop bench. Suzy flicked a look at Mother and dared a timorous comment. “Here it comes.” Now that her leave-taking was upon her, would her mother’s disapproving demeanor soften?

The lines of Mother’s mouth remained etched in a stern line, the furrows between her brows forming a V so deep it might never depart. Suzy hunched into her wool coat—a coat far too cloying for the damp May dawn but also too bulky to fit in her small cardboard suitcase. She’d be gone well into the winter months, and Mother insisted she’d need it so she should wear it. And she always did what her mother said.

Well, almost always. Who knew one foolish mistake could hold such farreaching consequences? I’m so sorry, God.

The bus groaned to a stop at the curb, and Mother curled her hand around Suzy’s elbow, forcing her to rise. Although Mother’s grip was hard, impersonal, Suzy welcomed it. Her ordinarily demonstrative mother hadn’t touched her even once in the past two weeks, as if fearful Suzy’s stains would rub off. So she pressed her elbow against her rib cage, needing to feel the pressure of Mother’s work-roughened fingers against her flesh. But the coat proved too thick a barrier. Suzy blinked rapidly.

“Get your case.”

The moment Suzy caught the handle of the old suitcase, Mother propelled her through the gray drizzle toward the bus. The slap of the soles of their matching black oxfords sent up dirty droplets from the rain-soaked sidewalk, peppering their tan hosiery. The dark spots reminded Suzy of the dark blotch now and forever on her soul. She pushed the thought aside and looked into the opening created by the unfolding of the bus door.

The driver glanced from Mother to Suzy, seeming to focus on their white mesh caps and dangling ribbons—Mother’s black, Suzy’s white. Accustomed to curious looks from those outside her Mennonite faith, Suzy didn’t wince beneath the man’s puzzled scowl, but she battled the desire to melt into the damp concrete when Mother spoke in a strident tone.

“I am Abigail Zimmerman, and this is my daughter. She is traveling oneway to Indianapolis.”

One-way… Suzy swallowed hard.

Mother gave her elbow a little shake. “Show him the ticket, Suzanne.”

Suzanne. Not Suzy as she’d been tenderly called her entire life. She gulped again and drew the rumpled ticket from her pocket.

The driver eased himself from the seat and plucked the rectangle of paper from Suzy’s icy fingers. He stared at it for a moment and then bobbed his head and waved a hand in invitation. “Come on aboard. Long drive ahead of you.”

Suzy gritted her teeth to hold back a cry of agony. He didn’t realize how long. She turned to Mother, silently praying the mother who had dried her tears and bandaged her childhood scuffs would reappear, would read the fear in her eyes and offer a hug. A kind word. A hint of forgiveness.

Mother leaned close, and Suzy’s heart leaped with hope. “The people at the…in Indianapolis know what to do. You do what they say.” Mother’s harsh whisper raised a slight cloud of condensation around her face, softening the fierce furrows of anger etched at her eyes and mouth

“I will.” Questions Suzy had fearfully held inside pressed for release. What had Mother and Dad told Clete, Shelley, and little Sandra? Did the fellowship know she was leaving? Would she be allowed to call home?

“Afterward you can come to Arborville again. It will be as though this never happened.” Mother took a step back, shoving her balled fists into the pockets of her lightweight trench coat.

Tears flooded Suzy’s eyes, distorting her vision. The suitcase encumbered one arm, but she lifted the other, her fingers reaching fleetingly toward her mother. “Mother, I—”

“At least you will be able to bless your cousin Andrew and his wife. God will redeem your sin. Now go, Suzanne.” Mother jerked her chin toward the rumbling bus. “Go and put this unpleasantness behind us.”

Behind us… Suzy’s shame had spilled over and tainted her entire family. She bowed her head, the weight of her burden too much to bear.

“I will see you afterward.”

Mother’s words sealed Suzy’s fate. With a heavy heart, she climbed the stairs, the unwieldy suitcase and her trembling limbs making her clumsy. She trudged down the narrow, dim aisle past snoozing passengers to the very last bench and slid in. Hugging the suitcase to her aching chest—to her womb, which bore the evidence of her shame—she hung her head and toyed with the plastic handle of the suitcase rather than clearing a spot on the steam-clouded window to see if Mother might wave good-bye.

The bus lurched forward, jolting Suzy in the seat. She closed her eyes tight as a wave of nausea rolled over her. Her thoughts screamed, Wait! Let me off! She didn’t want to go so far away. She needed her mother. She would miss her father and sisters and brother.

And Paul.

Her mother’s final comment echoed in her mind. “I will see you afterward.” After Suzy delivered this child and handed it to others to raise. The ache in her chest heightened until she could barely draw a breath. She leaned her forehead against the cool glass and allowed the long-held tears to slip quietly down her cheeks. She would leave her home in Kansas, and she would count the days until she could put this nightmare behind her and go back to being Mother and Dad’s Suzy again.

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When Mercy Rains: A Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Lane_Hill_House More than 1 year ago
Monday, November 17, 2014 When Mercy Rains by Kim Vogel Sawyer, © 2014 The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy, Book 1 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O Lord. -- Psalm 25:7, KJV Suzanne Zimmerman is called back home to care for her mother who was injured in a haying accident. Are they calling for her because she is convenient, or because they want to be restored as a family? Deep hurts have kept them apart. With young children, the other siblings are needing a break. With Suzanne's nursing experience she is qualified. A surprise to the family is Suzanne's daughter, Alexa, they are unaware is coming with her to their Kansas farm. Far from their home in Indiana, Suzanne is taking a leave of absence from her job. Alexa is eager to know her extended family. Dysfunctional at best, one sister harbors regrets and ill will. I am looking forward to a yielding on her heart, receiving freedom to live exposing her pain. The one left behind.... Under the facade of perfection and judging, cracks appear finally able to receive the balm necessary for healing. Restoration and forgiveness indeed are needed as hidden truth comes to the surface. This is a wonderful story of mending and love coming alive in long bruised and hampered lives. Alexa is the bright spot as she gives all, bringing this family to the light of His grace. God's mercy and truth free them to live anew. The transformation that comes into their lives gives them a second chance. An excellent story of a way out of destruction leaving disintegration behind. Deterioration of heart and soul is nipped as they begin to rejoice in the change honest sharing and love bring. Restoring not just themselves, but the community around them brought in to reclaim harmony leaving severed relationships an open door for a future. ***Thank you to WaterBrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books for sending me a complimentary copy of Kim Vogel Sawyer's novel When Mercy Rains for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.*** When Grace Sings, The Zimmerman Trilogy, Book 2, releases March 17, 2015
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mackenzie_carol More than 1 year ago
When Mercy Rains is the first book in Kim Vogel Sawyer’s Zimmerman Family Restoration Trilogy, and is a novel that came as a total surprise to me. Although I was sure I would enjoy it since its description completely captivated me, I never expected it to blow me away. But it did. With its captivating secrets and heartbreaking story, this novel pulled me in, touched my heart, and left me forever grateful I read it. I may have never imagined it would be such a blessing to me, but I am so glad it was. Let me just say, Suzanne is Superwoman. Literally Superwoman. Even after all she goes through, she is strong enough to raise Alexa all on her own, to become a nurse even while a single mom, and most importantly, to forgive. Clearly she has superhuman strength. And God. Her patience is limitless, her kindness knows no bounds, and yet she was just enough imperfect to be human. Finding her to be a relatable character I could look up to, I couldn’t help but love her. I cannot wait to see how her story ends. Now Alexa; Alexa is just like her mother. Although she may have different talents and looks, it was obvious who raised her. She is loving, caring, respectful, and patient, and she obviously loves her mother and Father (the Heavenly one I mean). Her passion and spirited nature made me love her immediately, and I know if we could, we would be fast friends. I could go on like this for really every character in this book. As I got farther and farther into the pages, I began to feel as if the Zimmermans were my family; as if I were a part of the story. I laughed with them, cried with them, and rejoiced for them when things went well. All in all, this heartwarming, touching story about family, faith, and God’s merciful rain will forever be one of my favorites. I give it all five bookshelves without any hesitation, and know that this is a novel I will read again and again. (This review is from my blog, spreadinghisgrace.blogspot.com)
artsybookworm More than 1 year ago
When Mercy Rains by Kim Vogel Sawyer is the first book in the Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy. In some of the author's latest books, I couldn't figure out why they weren't as good as some of her first books, but now I see why - this genre is where she shines! I fell in love with this author's work once again. It has suspense, sadness, bitterness, and joy with realistic characters that you root for every step of the way. I wasn't ready to the let story go, and my only consolation is that there are two more books coming. And the sequel is already out! Whoo hoo!!! Suzanne Zimmerman left home in disgrace when she was seventeen. Her mother told her to give up the baby to her cousins and then return home, but Suzanne never came back home. Instead she made a life for herself in Indiana, became a nurse, and worked at a Mennonite hospital. She hasn't been home in twenty years and has no plans of returning until she receives a letter from her brother, Clete, asking her to come and take care of their paralyzed mother. Shocked, Suzanne can't even think of going, but her daughter, Alexa, convinces her it's the right thing to do. So they head to Kansas for two months. No one knows about Alexa, and Suzanne isn't going to explain herself to anyone especially Paul Aldrich, the boy she loved so long ago. Can she make it two months without spilling all her long held secrets? What follows is a captivating story of betrayal and forgiveness, truth being set free of the lies, joy amidst pain, and finally some peace. The story was a good reminder to not let bitterness take root in your heart especially since it damages everyone around you. Forgiveness was a big component here, and I can't wait to read more about this family. There is still some growing that needs to be done with all the characters.  If you enjoy stories with depth, you will love this book. I highly recommend this book! I was given this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.
4Gazpacho More than 1 year ago
This is a story of family dynamics, secrets, hidden sin and its consequences. Ultimately there is redemption, forgiveness and peace, but the journey from heartbreak to healing is long and rocky, full of twists and unexpected turns, lies and deception. The question that continually ran through my mind while I was reading this book was, "How could such a seemingly invisible act lead to such enormous, far-reaching consequences?" While this is a character-driven book dealing mostly with mother/daughter issues, the author manages to ramp up the tension and suspense by revealing only a little bit of information at a time. The reader is forced to make numerous assumptions which turn out to be erroneous when major bumps in the road appear. This is the writing strategy that keeps us on the edge of our seats and turning the pages. Because of this, I managed to read the 344-page book in just a few days.  Another thing I liked about this book is the complexity of the situation. Suzanne had a large family, and her disappearance made ripples that upset the lives of her former boyfriend, all her brothers and sisters, her mother and father, and Alexa. The book explores many of these problem areas while still keeping the focus mainly on Suzanne, her mother, and Alexa. At times, it didn't look as if any resolution could be reached with Mrs. Zimmerman and some of the family members. But in the end, the seemingly impossible becomes possible and the final events resolve satisfactorily.  Even though the subject matter is serious and the darkness of discord runs constantly throughout the plot line, the author was still able to add moments of humor and light. Suzanne's former boyfriend, Paul Aldrich, had gotten married after she had left. He had a son Danny before his wife died of cancer. The boy has a great sense of mischief and lends comic relief to the story. Many times, the author also defuses tense moments through Alexa's light and cheerful personality. One of my favorite funny moments, however, occurred when Mother Zimmerman, Suzanne, Alexa, and Shelley took a day trip to Wichita. Just when you think Shelley's bad attitude would ruin the trip for the women, Mrs. Zimmerman's former wry humor finally broke through the awkwardness and anger. It was a moment of hope and a turning point in the story. Finally, in spite of the fact this is not a romance story, Suzanne's former love interest is another major element of the story because Paul is the carpenter refitting the house to accommodate the wheelchair. He is constantly present and both Paul and Suzanne realize they must come to terms with their former relationship and their current feelings for each other. Unfortunately, this is one of the threads that remains unresolved by the end of the book. But I have hopes it will be settled in the next book, which focuses on Alexa's new life among the Zimmermans.  Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Waterbrook Press and the website, Blogging for Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
JCMorrows More than 1 year ago
This is my first book by Kim Vogel Sawyer… it WILL NOT BE my last! I didn’t think I would enjoy reading about the old-order Mennonites as much as my beloved Amish but the way Kim writes them… I did and I’ll certainly be watching for more! What an amazing story Kim Vogel Sawyer has written! And no easy plot for this amazing writer… no sir. She meets the challenge of a complex plot filled with deep issues and emotions and she does it head-on! This is not an easy book to read. It deals with real issues and you could almost swear the people are real too. The strength of emotion is so strong, it’s difficult for me to describe – but Kim does an amazing job of it. Don’t think it’s overdone though. I’ve read books where you find yourself wishing they’d stop with the description and just get on with the story. But Kim weaves the story right around the descriptions as if they are a tightly woven strand of DNA. You won’t want to put this book down. Review © JCMorrows 2015
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
Wow! Kim Vogel Sawyer knows how to write. This book was fantastic. The plot is engaging, serious, and well thought out. While the focus of the plot was on the lies, betrayal and anger, it wasn't heavy or hard to read. There were moments of dialogue that provided comic relief to keep the story flowing effortlessly. The characters were phenomenal. I loved Suzanne and Alexa.Suzanne's character was weighed down by guilt and shame. Her attitude through it all, though, was what really amazed me. She was strong, courageous, and kind-hearted despite her past angst. Alexa was a sweet, innocent girl that provided much needed relief to the story. Paul's character was also well-written. He was a great father and worked hard to emulate Jesus in his every day life. Abigail changed the most, in my opinion. At the beginning of the story, she was spiteful, bitter, and angry. I cringed every time she talked! By the end, though, I wept and laughed right along with her! The message of the story is aptly summed up in the title of the book. Mercy certainly did rain down on this family. As Alexa says, "...when mercy rains, lives become fresh and new." When we allow our past mistakes to bog down our lives, we generally react in one of two ways: like Suzanna, who tried to cover her lies and past with secrets; or like Abigail with bitterness and anger. God doesn't want that for us. As far has He's concerned, when we ask for forgiveness, we are washed clean; like it never happened. That's how we should live our lives! That's what God wants! Overall, this was a sweet story of God's mercy and grace. **I received this book for free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.**
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
Wow! This story drew me in and would not let me go until the last page was turned! And even then, I did not want the book to be over. I NEEDED book two to be available RIGHT AWAY! How much of a hold did this story have on me? Well, I read it in one day…grabbing every free moment that I had in order to dive into the story and discover what would happen next. One of the things that drew me to this story in the first place was finding out that the main character, Suzanne, would be coming home to her old order Mennonite community and facing all kinds of issues with her family based on the way she left twenty years earlier – aged seventeen and pregnant. But, what I didn’t realize, was that her leaving (and returning) was even more complicated that I could have imagined. The author did an amazing job in When Mercy Rains of surprising me time and time again. I kept thinking I had everything figured out and could see where the story was heading and then BAM…she threw in a twist I would not see coming! This made the book intriguing, and the fact that it was coupled with extremely interesting characters, made it a really enjoyable tale. Not only did I like Suzanne, but I also had a real respect for her daughter, Alexa. What a gem of a daughter Suzanne raised. The way she dealt with family members and situations was admirable. The spiritual maturity in both Suzanne and Alexa served them well when they returned home to their extended family. Paul, Suzanne’s former teenage love, was also a character that I was very fond of in the story. His reaction to truths that he discovered throughout the story seemed very realistic to me. He was a good father to his son and worked hard to be a good member of his community. He loved God, and family was very important to him. I do not want to give away anything about this story that could prove to be a spoiler, so I will simply say that there is one twist that to me left things a little up in the air regarding the future. I am really hoping that somewhere in the Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy, this will be resolved. Because this left me a little unsettled at the end, I am giving 4.5 stars instead of 5 stars on my blog. But I will be rounding up to 5 stars on all bookseller sites. I do have to say that this is one of the best books I have read regarding the subject of forgiveness and the extending of mercy to others. It is very realistic in the way this is handled. God’s forgiveness and God’s mercy toward us likewise is shown in the way the various characters learn to repent, forgive, and accept forgiveness in return for the things that they have done in their lives that have hurt others. This was an emotionally deep story. I would like to express my appreciation to the publisher for the complimentary book that I received through Blogging for Books, in exchange for my honest review.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
This a great story with more secrets than first meet the eye. My jaw nearly dropped when about eighty pages in a new secret was revealed. I did not see it coming. I love the different point-of-views (POV) that Kim uses in the book. Very affective. Every character is struggling with something and their own thoughts reveal this. Suzanne frustrated me because I just wanted her to be honest and tell the truth, to tell Paul about their child. We soon learn that Abigail, Suzanne’s mom, isn’t as grumpy as we first think her to be and actually just wants what is best for her daughter. But what she thinks is best might not be what the Lord thinks is best. I think this story especially touched me because it reminded me of my sister when she came home to the family after living in Las Vegas. The longer she was home the more secrets were uncovered and the more she was set free. The same is true with Suzanne. This is a great start to a trilogy that Kim is writing. I can’t wait to read more. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
Writer4God More than 1 year ago
I thought this book would be a romance, but surprisingly, it wasn't. It was a story of forgiveness and healing amongst a family torn apart. I read it very slowly, but it wasn't so much that I lost interest in it or found it boring, it was just that it was so day-to-day life that it was a book I could just pick up here and there and read a little bit at a time. It wasn't super adventurous or thrilling, but it was a good story of restoration amongst family. There were a few unexpected twists thrown in, and that made it more interesting. It wasn't my favorite read by Kim, but it wasn't bad. I guess it was more touching than anything, a few parts made my eyes water. So anyway, overall a good book! I received this book for free from Water Brook Multnomah publishers in exchange for my honest review.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story and had a hard time putting it down,  it would be hard to be in a community where you are looked down on for making one mistake even if it is a bad one.  It is well written and does well in leading towards redemption.  I grew to like all the characters, even the crotchety mother.  I received this from Blogging for books for a fair and honest opinion.
gccbookworm More than 1 year ago
Page turner by Kim Vogel Sawyer  Kim Vogel Sawyer latest book, When Mercy Rains, captured my attention immediately. So much so that  I had a hard putting the book down. Needless to say I read it in record time!! We are introduced to Suzanne  Zimmerman being sent away from her family and her Old Order Mennonite community by her mother because  she is in the family way. Then we skip ahead twenty years when Suzanne receives a letter from her brother  asking her to return home to help care for their invalid mother. But the family does not know about Alexa, Suzanne's daughter. Thus begins the inner conflicts of going home or staying put in Indiana. Alexa wants to  meet her extended family unaware that they do not know of her existence. They go home to Kansas. This is  where the story begins to unfold between mother and daughter, between old loves, and between family: bitterness, resentment, secrets. Can this family find healing? Or is it too late? The twist at the end only leads  one to want to read the next part in this new trilogy.   I received this book for free to review from WaterBook Press.
Janine_S More than 1 year ago
“When Mercy Rains” by Kim Vogel Sawyer is not a romantic book but it is full of love, healing and so much more. This is a book that I had to make time to read, as I am the type of person who prefers to read books basically in one sitting and life has taken several twist and turns lately, but man oh man after finishing this book, I SHOULD HAVE made the time for this book much sooner. This is a book that I would strongly suggest to everyone to make the time to read this book. This book has so much more to it then what is stated on the back of the book to be honest. There is so much pain, anger and even more secrets, that fill this book that I am glad that it was read in one sitting for there is no way I would have been able to put it down, and if I had to put it down I wouldn't have been a happy camper. I even kicked my fur babies out of my room so that I could read it without any distractions. And when the reader thinks they have everything worked out and know how it is going to end, well there is a twist that personally I never saw coming. As the back of the book states there is a reason why Suzanne left her Mennonite community, and though it might make a few people uncomfortable with out of wedlock pregnancies, I loved how it was approached for the consequences were there for more than just Suzanne. I kind of like the fact that Suzanne and Paul made a mistake, but they dealt with it, in their own way, which made sense for each of them with what they had to work with. Things for Suzanne were not easy and that almost seemed to be made a point that things were not made easy for her, but she worked hard to get where she is now. I found that really made her to be a woman who truly worked hard, and someone anyone could/should be proud to call her a heroine. There are four different point of views in this story and frankly with how Ms. Sawyer made it so easy to tell whose point of view was whose, I might have a hard time going back to what I am use too. The point of views are clear and defined that is for sure which made it so easy to follow along with what was going on. I have to say that I loved seeing all the different point of views for each one of the characters has something so very important to add to the story and the over all message of the story. There are several messages that I took away from this book. Truth being one of the them for if the truth had been out there from the start then things could have been so different, and not only that if the truth had been there from the start people might not have been hurt like they were. It is never too late to change is another message that I took away from this book, for changes happened though it wasn't easy but determination won out anyway. Love was so huge in this story as well, and I am not speaking of the romantic love, but the love of family being so important and worth keeping at it. I was a little disappointed that this was not quite what I expected for I expected a little happier of an ending, but then again I love this book and the ending was just perfect, just not quite what I expected. That is part of the twists that took place in this book. Now there is a preview in the back of the book so I wonder if maybe something is going to happen in the next book that I had hoped for with this book, but then again I guess not all hero's and heroine's are meant for each other, so I will be okay with whatever happens. I strongly encourage people to read this book that is for sure. *Disclaimer ~ I received this book from “Blogging for Books” in exchange for an honest review*
PattiJoM More than 1 year ago
WHEN MERCY RAINS by Kim Vogel Sawyer is an exceptional read. Suzanne Zimmerman was sent away from her Mennonite home as an unmarried, pregnant teen. Almost twenty years later she's summoned home to care for her ailing mother. Suzanne, accompanied by her daughter Alexa, arrive on the family farm in Kansas but their arrival is met with challenges. Throughout the story secrets are revealed and past hurts are revisited, yet lives are changed for the better, as only the Lord could orchestrate. I did not want this story to end, as the characters truly came alive for me. Reading WHEN MERCY RAINS was just another reminder of why Kim Vogel Sawyer is my favorite author! Highly recommended and FIVE STARS!!
RGNHALL More than 1 year ago
Kim Vogel Sawyer has a true gift in her writing.   She is able to express deep emotions through her characters and allow the readers to feel those same emotions.   I most definitely felt the fear, shame, and regret that Suzanne felt in the story.  To be sent away from home as a young teen and left to bear the shame and regret is simply awful.   I can certainly imagine how horrible it was for Suzanne to experience this.   Then to be asked to return home to care for the very same mother who sent her away is almost too much to bear.  Suzanne is faced with a dilemma as she certainly had the right to refuse the request.   This book causes readers to reflect on conflicts they have had with their own families.   Can love and forgiveness occur?  Is it even possible in such a case?         I have a great respect and fascination for the Amish and Old Order Mennonite but I must be honest that I have a very hard time understanding their desire to send children away in shame.  I simply do not think that I could do such a thing to one of my daughters.    I would want to help them and love them unconditionally.  As I read and reflect on Amish works that I have read including this one, I don't see a great deal of unconditional love expressed among families. What do my blog readers feel about this issue?   Does it seem that the Amish show a great penchant for conditional love and do they also then place that same restriction on God?   It is just something I found myself pondering again as I read this book.   Can the characters turn this around and make it work for good?  Readers will need to read this 5 star Amish fiction to find the answers to this and other questions.   I received a print copy of this book from bloggingforbooks in exchange for my honest review. 
happyhomeschoolmom More than 1 year ago
I LOVED it!  I actually sat down on a Friday evening to read while the children were watching a movie.  I could not put it down.  I kept reading all the way until it was bedtime and I had to stop with only two chapters to go! After getting the children into bed, I finally got to go back and finish. Kim Vogel Sawyer does an outstanding job of pulling her readers right into the story.  I loved the story and the characters.  There was a character that I had made my mind in the beginning that I wasn't going to like, but it turned out I was wrong.  There is a wonderful message in this story about our lives and the effects the decisions that we make have on other people.  But, more importantly there is a message of compassion, forgiveness and mercy.  The importance of extending compassion, forgiveness, and mercy to to others and accepting it for yourself as well. "Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness" sake, O Lord." Psalm 25:7 Now the only problem is I have to wait until spring until the second book, When Grace Sings, comes out.  I will be looking forward to that book's release as well. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As I read When Mercy Rains, I was deeply moved by the characters’ thoughts, feelings and actions.   I could actually feel their sorrow, fright and joy.   The storytelling and descriptions, as only Kim Vogel Sawyer can do, carried me into the world of the characters.  In fact, during those moments when it was necessary for me to “leave” Arborville to return to my life, I would anxiously await my next visit to the Zimmerman farm and anticipate reconnecting with my “new friends.”  There were times, although I had put the book down, when the characters and their struggles would stay with me, well into the night and the next day. In her ever present style of clearly human and relatable characters, Kim weaves a tale of suffering souls searching and finding the ever present WELL of forgiveness from the One who has always known their hearts and has always loved them.  Through His Grace and Mercy, they are able to discover the same forgiveness for themselves and within themselves.  Kim’s characters  show us life, as we live it, and the truth of how we can come to the Throne of God and find the Grace we all need.   It is a true testament  to Kim’s abilities, as an author, to create such  endearing and realistic characters. Friends that become part of your heart that you take with you, wherever you go.   I would suggest that anyone who is a fan of books that offer  readers a chance to feel, live, and connect with its characters, even for a little while, to pick up Kim’s book, When Mercy Rains, and experience, as the characters did “A mercy rain. . . [and learn that] . . .when mercy rains, lives become fresh and new.” 
MzKCKitty More than 1 year ago
This book is a Kim Vogel Sawyer masterpiece. She just keeps reaching deeper and deeper. I've made it my business to read everything that comes out by this author for several years now and this one is just beyond wonderful. I could not put this book down to get anything done today and I finally finished it this evening and was relieved to see that the sequel is in the works already. There is definitely some unfinished business at the end of this book and I am anxious to see the next installment.  This is the story of Suzy (an old order Mennonite girl), who gets pregnant when she and her boyfriend have sex. Her mother sends her away to have the baby and have it adopted by a cousin and then return and resume her life. Instead of coming back to Kansas, she stayed in Indiana and went to nursing school. Nineteen years later, her siblings ask her to come back and take care of her mother who has been injured in an accident and she returns with her daughter to help. No one knew about her daughter and it was all a surprise. Complicating matters was the fact that her former boyfriend, now a widower with a young son, was the contractor working on adapting her mother's house to her disabilities.  All the characters in this story were interesting and their various means of dealing with emotions was interesting. So many surprising things happened in this story and the setting was so compelling that I just wanted to keep reading about it even after the last page was read. I'm counting on the sequel to be full of more fascinating people and settings. Being a native Kansan, I am always excited to read about Kansas anyway but this book make it even more special.  I received this book from the author for the purpose of writing a review, but if I hadn't been chosen for the task I would have purchased it anyway because I can't pass up anything new from Kim Vogel Sawyer's pen. 
DeboraL More than 1 year ago
Kim Vogel Sawyer’s new release “When Mercy Rains” is a wonderful inspirational read.  Her book is an honest, touching, at times heartbreaking story of an Old Mennonite family and their struggles with forgiveness and mercy. I had a hard time putting the book down once I began reading and I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves books that  are inspirational, meaningful and make constant reference to prayer and seeking God’s will. This is an awesome book! 
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
I just loved When Mercy Rains. Kim Vogel Sawyer is a master at storytelling. She can tackle any genre and still create a wonderful story.  When Mercy Rains tells the story of forgiveness, redemption and revelations. There is a touch of mystery that accompanies Suzanne's secrets. The reader is kept guessing what her secrets could be. I love envisioning the Mennonite community and setting and felt as though I was part of the family.  I look forward to Book 2 of The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy. I can't wait. Fabulous Read! 10 plus stars.