Ours for a Season

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If you want a deep, thought-provoking, but slower read, this is the perfect fit.

Content-wise, I can think of nothing negative. Marty and Anthony are in a struggling marriage, Brooke is going through a dreaded disease, and each character has important lessons to learn as they go through difficult—and very realistic—struggles.

Romantically, there are a couple of discreet mentions about intimacy. Since Marty and Anthony are already married and beyond the “honeymoon stage,” there really was not a big emphasis on romantic feelings and physical attraction.

Human trafficking is a subject explored in this book. It is done in, what I feel, a very appropriate manner. It raises awareness, doesn’t gloss over the awfulness of it, but also doesn’t get explicit.

Spiritually, this book was spot on. There was a solid plan of salvation, characters who were real in their doubts of God, truths very clearly displayed, and God’s Word held in high standard.

My only critique comes in the execution of the story. It was really slow, and for the most part, I was ready for a slow read. But it still felt a little jerky with paragraphs of explanation when a chunk of time had passed. But I realize that this is just my picky reader self.

Loved this quote:
“When you drop a pebble in a pond, countless circles grow from that small pebble. Each of those circles represents a life trajectory. If you send one person’s life in a better direction, then the generations that follow will also be improved.”

*I received this book from Net Galley and happily provided my honest review*
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Sawyer has quickly become one of my favorite authors when I read the Amish genre.  She weaves the stories in a manner where the characters draw the reader in and you don't want to leave when the book is over.

In this Mennonite book, a couple have struggled with being able to have children when the wife's friend shows up with a deal to hard to pass up.  Moving from Indiana to Kansas for the construction project has the promise of a new start for the couple but complications arise throughout the move.

Great book which deals with modern day world issues while trying to maintain the integrity of their faith.
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This was a really great story. I loved how the writing exposed each characters feelings. My heart went out to Marty and Anthony as they both initially fell into the age old "pity party" for themselves. The story takes on a different look when Marty's best friend employs Anthony's company for her project. This is when eyes are opened to trials and struggles in life so that goodness through faith can prevail. Quite an amazing read!
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Anthony and Marty Hirschler, Mennonites in Indiana, find themselves growing apart. The root of the trouble seems to be their childlessness and Anthony’s demanding contractor business which keeps him away from home too much. Marty is lonely and longs to be with Anthony instead of left home to keep things going there. She is unfilled and mad at God for her circumstances. She doubts and chafes in the small community. 
Brooke Spalding, a childhood friend of Marty’s, comes to the rescue with an offer for Marty and his company to rebuild a ghost town she has purchased. Somehow Brooke seems to know that Marty needs a change of scenery and asks her to be part of the team and manage meals for the work crew. Brooke sets up the work crew nicely and the situation gives Marty and Anthony much needed time together. 
Brooke, though, has just been diagnosed with cancer and reluctantly relies on Marty to help her through treatments. An unbeliever, Brooke is now part of the small community at the work site and she begins to learn about God. There’s an extra story within about runaway teens and how to minister to them.
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Kim Vogel Sawyer’s newest novel, Ours for a Season, is an atypical Mennonite story.

Marty and Anthony Hirschler, unable to have children, are floundering in their marriage. Neither knows how to cross the ever-widening chasm that is growing.

Marty’s best friend since childhood contacts her wanting to hire Anthony, who is a general contractor, to rebuild a “ghost” town, thus offering them a change of scenery and pace.

I felt a myriad of emotions during the reading of Ours for a Season. My heart ached for the Hirschler’s and their inability to have children, along with growing antipathy toward each other. The story also deals with some weighty issues, from teenage runaways to sex trafficking, infertility and cancer.

I took a little time to warm up to Marty. I felt she was a little harsh with her husband. I also felt Anthony wasn’t as sympathetic and understanding as he could have been. However, as the story progressed, I came to care for both of them, along with the other characters who are introduced.

The story flows well, from one situation to the next without your feeling as if you’re on a roller coaster ride.  There is a lot of insight and spiritual profundity in the story, which will leave you thinking about it for a long while after reading it.

I received this book from WaterBrook Publisher’s, NetGalley and the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
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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.
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I quickly became caught up in the story of Marty and Anthony Hirschler.  Their story is an emotional one and had me reading for hours before I took a break.  At times I felt sorry for Marty when its clear she desperately wants a child of her own which can never become a reality based on confirmation from a doctor, but then there were times I became frustrated with her and thought she needed to face reality.  It was sad but rang true that this would cause distance between the couple.

I loved that Brooke Spalding (Marty's childhood friend) offered the couple an opportunity to move from Indiana to Kansas with the prospect of a job for Anthony.  The storyline soon became more interesting as life changing decisions are made.

The author tackles some very tough topics in, Ours For A Season such as miscarriage, homelessness, and a very serious illness and she does so in a respectful and touching manner.  There is a lot going on in this book but it is so worth the read.  The secondary characters are every bit as strong and important to the storyline. 
I loved seeing the changes in the characters lives and that there was no rush in getting them where they needed to be. 

I received a copy from the publisher through Netgalley and was under no obligation to write a review.  All opinions are my own.
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This was an extremely touching story. Having had several friends who struggle with infertility this story took a deep dive into the struggles that couples face as well as the pain a woman feels when she desperately wants a child she knows she’ll never have.

I always enjoy stories that mix different cultures like Mennonites and a worldly woman like Brooke Spalding. I also loved the portrayal of the Mennonites, especially Anthony, sharing their faith and being missionaries to a lost world.

Probably about two-thirds through the book I started getting an idea of where the author was going to take the story. This didn’t diminish my enjoyment reading this story.

If you enjoy stories that delve into the life with the good and the bad this is a story for you. Kim Vogel Sawyer is an excellent storyteller and this story is one of her best.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Marty has grown quite discontent, and even angry, with both God and her husband, Anthony. She was a happily married Old Order Mennonite young woman, until the fateful day when the doctor pronounced that Anthony would never father any children due to him having the mumps. Marty stopped commuting with God and her marriage grew distant. Children were all she'd ever wanted. She couldn't bear to see the families in the community or enjoy visiting with family members who had young children. Her arms would never hold her and Anthony's own child.
Marty and her childhood friend, Brooke, have communicated through letters since adulthood. Although, Brooke isn't Mennonite, or even a Christian, the two are very close friends.
After a desperate plea to God to get her out of the community, she receives a packet in the mail from Brooke with instructions it is to be opened with both her and her husband present.
Anthony owns a construction business which often takes him out of the area and away from Marty. She patiently waits for him to return from an out of town job so they can open the letter together.
Much to their surprise, Brooke has purchased an old ghost town and wishes to bring it back to life as a resort. And, she wants Anthony and his team to do the work. This would mean leaving their home in Indiana to live in Kansas for eighteen months. One stipulation is that Marty accompanies him to Kansas. Brooke is aware of the distance in the marriage and realizes them being apart for so long would not be beneficial to their relationship. Marty feels this is what she so desperately needs. After prayer and speaking to the leaders in their church, Anthony accepts Brooke's proposition. He doesn't say anything to Marty, but if all goes well, once the job is complete, they would have the money to try for adoption.
Brooke has just received a diagnosis of cancer and leans on Marty to care for her and take her to and from doctor appointments. Marty, along with another wife who accompanied her husband to Kansas, cooks and feeds the work crew.
A teenage girl is found hiding on the property after they realize food is being stolen and they become aware of human trafficking.
A wonderful story that will get you caught up in the characters, as well as human trafficking and the need for foster care. Characters learned to lean on God in good and bad times. Some turned to God for the first time. And, some learned that what they thought was the only thing that would make them happy and complete was not what God had in mind, and we know that He always knows what we need long long before we do.
Kim Vogel Sawyer is one of my favorite authors.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook & Multnomah through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Let me just say that I really loved this book! I have read many Kim Vogel Sawyer books over the years and I do believe this is her most powerful one to date. There is quite a bit going on in this book. There is a strong friendship bond between two women since childhood, one an Old Order Mennonite woman and the other a take charge of the board meeting,know her own mind woman. What an unlikely friendship but it works for them. Each woman in life is dealt a devastating blow through some very bad news. Through this they are there to prop each other up and and give the other the support they need. This book has a lot of layers and depth and each character has a purpose in God's eye's . We get to know each character very well and spend a lot of time with them. This book really has the good feelings in it and really makes you appreciate what you have and who you have in your day to day life. I loved seeing the spiritual reawakening in the characters. Sawyer deals with some pretty tough subjects here but they are subjects that need talked about in our society, like sexual predators and homelessness. She covers these subjects in a respectful way and there is information in the back of the book telling you how you can get involved to help. Reader Guide included in the back of the book.
Pub Date 11 Sep 2018 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook & Multnomah through Netgalley. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.
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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.
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This one pulled me in page by page, with characters so well written you felt like you could see them, even the ones with the small parts.
      So much in this one is really heartfelt, Marty and Anthony’s not being able to have a child, Brook’s cancer and childhood and the troubled teenagers, it just kept my emotions so involved.
     You won’t forget this one when you close the book, I would love to see it made into a movie, all though I can just hear myself saying ‘The book was better’!
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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.
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4.5 stars.

  Ours for a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer is an emotional journey of self discovery, resilience and faith.

  Marty Hirschler and her husband Anthony have been married for sixteen years but the past few years have been quite difficult. The discovery she would never have children has sent Marty into a crisis of faith. She has also withdrawn from Anthony and the rest of their community. Her best friend Brooke Spalding’s proposal for Anthony to head up a huge restoration project is the answer to Marty’s prayers.   Upon their arrival, Marty discovers Brooke has just been diagnosed with cancer and she refuses to allow her best friend to go through her upcoming ordeal on her own. Will Marty finally decide to trust God to help her as she encounters many unexpected challenges in the upcoming months?

  Marty has closed her heart to both God and Anthony as she struggles to accept she will never have the family she dreamed of. She is bitter, full of sorrow and resentful as she pushes everyone, including Anthony, away from her.  With Anthony gone on yet another construction project, Marty makes a fervent plea to escape her regular life.  With her prayer answered, she is reunited with Brooke and she finds purpose in aiding her friend in her battle. Over the next several months, Marty gradually begins feeling hopeful for her future.

  Anthony is just as disappointed about not having children as Marty, but he remains certain this is part of God’s plan. His faith never wavers as he and his beloved wife traverse their new course, but he fears Marty will never find her way back to him. Anthony is encouraged by the changes in Marty and he treads lightly when it appears their marriage might finally recover from the devastating blow dealt to them.

  Brooke has come a long way from her dysfunctional and poverty stricken childhood. She is a successful businesswoman who is on the cusp of realizing her goal. Learning she has cancer is a turning point as she realizes her professional success is not the legacy she wants to leave behind. Brooke is fiercely independent and she at first resists Marty’s efforts to help her.  Initially feeling unworthy of God’s love and grace, Brooke discovers the peace and joy missing from her life as she discovers the healing power of  her spiritual journey.

  Ours for a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a powerful novel of faith, hope and friendship. All of the characters are well-drawn with relatable flaws and realistic growth as they begin to heal.  Kim Vogel Sawyer tackles some very difficult subject matter such as infertility, cancer and human trafficking which results in a thought-provoking storyline that has quite a bit of depth.  I absolutely loved and highly recommend this uplifting novel of resilience and faith to readers of Christian fiction.
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Ours for a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a lovely book.  It is a heartfelt story with real characters and situations.  A hurting, childless couple who are having a difficult time in their marriage.  They are offered and opportunity for a change.  Several things happen along the way as they work through the difficulties of their situation, such as:  a friend with cancer, homeless children, etc.  This is a very enjoyable book.  Looking forward to more of Ms. Sawyer's books.

I received this e-book from NetGalley and all opinions are my own.
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'Would this fear be her companion for the next several months?'

I was a bit hesitant to read this book because I'm not an Amish/Mennonite fan.  But this is very far from the typical Mennonite book. I've enjoyed Kim Vogel Sawyer's books and I read it on the strength of her name alone.  I am so glad I did.

Anthony and Marty Hirschler are an Old Order Mennonite couple.  They have grown apart since they were told they would never be able to have children. In their culture, that is a huge deal.  Marty is practically despondent and does not enjoy life at all. She desperately wants away from their town in Indiana.  Anthony is a contractor and works away from home a lot, often feeling guilty that he doesn't have to be around Marty's morose attitude.  When Brooke Spaulding, Marty's childhood friend calls and wants Anthony to restore an old ghost town to a resort area, Marty feels it's God's answer to her prayers to get away.  They leave to go and fulfill Brooke's request, not knowing that Brooke has recently been diagnosed with cancer.  Everything that happens seems to be filling right in with God's plan for them.  Then moral complications arise and they are torn with what to do?  Should they leave? Should they trust God to reveal His plan?  

Kim Vogel Sawyer tackles some pretty tough issues here: marital problems, infertility, cancer, human trafficking, and she does it very well.  She fleshes out these characters so well that the reader feels each one's heart.  It was a very moving book.  Sawyer reaches deep into her readers' hearts and pulls them into the very lives of these characters.  It was difficult to put down when life intruded.  Highly recommended.

*My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via Net Galley.  All opinions expressed here are my own.
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Let me start off by saying I LOVED this book! If you’re looking for a typical Mennonite book, this isn’t it. But, don’t let that keep you from reading it. The message is so powerful, and the story may just stick with you long after the final page (as it certainly will for me).

Old Order Mennonite couple Anthony and Marty have lost a child and are unable to have any more. Anthony is putting himself into his construction business, and he travels a lot, spending time away from his wife. Marty can’t seem to move past her longing to be a mother, and it’s putting a strain on their relationship. Her friend Brooke offers them an opportunity to get away and hopefully heal their marriage, and they decide to go for it and see where God leads them. The journey will take them on some unexpected turns, and they will need to rely on their faith.

There is so much depth to this story, emotionally and spiritually. It’s wonderful to see the way God works through and uses each character, and not one character is wasted. They all fit perfectly together. Brooke was one of my favorites, and she experienced the most character growth. But, then again, so did Elliot, and Marty, and… oh, I just enjoyed them all! 
The author tackles some serious issues, such as infertility, marital problems, serious illness, sex trafficking, and homelessness. It’s nice to read a story that doesn’t gloss over such things that are prevalent in today’s society. This powerful story is a reminder that God’s hand is always at work, even if we don’t always see it at the time.

This review was posted on Goodreads, and I'll post on Amazon after the book is released.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.
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“And he reminded me that our children aren’t really ours anyway. They belong to God. We have them for one season of life, but then they have to move into their own season.”
                                                                                             --Evelyn Mast

Kim Vogel Sawyer brings to life the lesson of accepting our life the way the Lord gives it to us instead of the way we plan and hope for it to be. Marty and Anthony Hirshler, devout Mennonites raised and married in the faith, live in Pine Hill, Indiana. Their story of heartbreak, disappointment, and new chances is interwoven with that of Brooke Spalding, a close, non-Mennonite friend of Marty’s from childhood, who runs a successful real estate business in Kansas City. This book offers a genuine portrayal of lives planned and changed by circumstances beyond their control.

Mixing faith, fertility issues, medical crises, and family issues together creates an intriguing novel that draws the reader in right from the beginning of the story. I enjoyed the interweaving of Marty and Anthony’s Mennonite faith and way of life with that of Brooke’s modern lifestyle. Timing is critical and Brooke and Marty find in each other some much needed support. As Anthony brings Marty and his construction crew to Eagle Creek to work for Brooke on a restoration project, he finds that more than his buildings are being restored. 

Don’t miss this emotional story by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Readers of Amish fiction and Christian fiction will truly enjoy this unique story. 

This ARC copy was received from Waterbrook Multnomah and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
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The story of a childless Mennonite couple and their friend who is doing her best to help them regain their footing in their marriage. Themes abound—miscarriage, grief, cancer, human trafficking, etc. It was a beautiful story coming to a satisfying end. Highly recommend!

Thanks to Net Galley for a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Kim Vogel Sawyer has the well-earned reputation of being one of the finest Christian fiction and her newest offering holds that reputation quite brilliantly. 

Marty and Anthony Hirschler are a young married couple who want nothing more than to have a child.  The problem is Anthony had a bad case of the mumps right after Marty miscarried her only pregnancy. 

Sometime during her grief, Marty gets a letter from her childhood best friend asking if Anthony will come help her rebuild a ghost town for a vacation resort.  Anthony is excited for the opportunity to become close to Marty again, and get his hands in a restoration that will challenge his skills.

While Anthony and his crew are working, they find evidence of a squatter in the ghost town.  Marty's friend, Brooke, finds out she's got cancer.  All of these challenges along with Brooke's lost condition spiritually keep Marty, Anthony, and the crew busy.  While Marty takes Brooke to her treatment, she sees a girl seemingly being abducted; Marty takes down the license number and description of the man taking the girl and calls the police.  Her actions take down a sex-trafficking ring.

Kim has seen to it to point out some needs in our society and how to fix them, and she pointed out what a difference coming to Christ makes.   This is a five star book, two thumbs up, and children saved from sex-trafficking.

My thanks go to Waterbrook/Multnomah for allowing me to read and review this book.  The galley was provided through NetGalley.com
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