Cover Image: The Songbird of Hope Hill

The Songbird of Hope Hill

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Kim Vogel Sawyer just released The Songbird of Hope Hill, and it’s a sweet tale of redemption and hope that you’re sure to enjoy. While you can’t get much deeper than prostitution and the hate with which people take sides over it, Sawyer’s story shows the redeeming qualities of God’s love. Hope is threaded through the story as Birdie learns just how much Jesus loves her.

I enjoyed trying to figure out the story’s twists and turns before Sawyer revealed them, and she got me with several. Trying to figure out the backstory of each character and just where they might be headed was fun.

I think this novel could prompt great discussions for book clubs. It can definitely prompt digging into the theology of the story. If you like sweet stories with unforgettable characters and a strong moral lesson, The Songbird of Hope Hill is definitely the book for you.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Set in 1895 Tulsey Texas, The Songbird of Hope Hill is a five star historical fiction novel that will rest in readers' hearts for long after the last page is read. It is a story of hope, healing, forgiveness, and restoration. It is also a story of living sacrificially, putting God and His kingdom first. Kim Vogel Sawyer has written characters who realize and demonstrate that we are all sinners for whom Christ died, and one sin is not any more or any less forgivable than another. Readers will also be encouraged to persist in prayers for the lost, relying on God's timing.

I highly recommend The Songbird of Hope Hill to those who enjoy historical fiction, to those who think they are beyond hope of redemption, and to those who have a passion for praying for the lost, and for those who just love a well-written, thought-provoking story. I am grateful to have received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook & Multnomah via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Great story about God's redeeming grace and forgiveness. Great reminder that God loves and forgives us all if we just ask.

Was this review helpful?

This book had me from the beginning. It’s a sweet story of redemption and forgiveness from one of my favorite authors.
When Ephraim Overly and his father rescued Birdie from a brothel, he was shocked to learn that she sang with the voice of an angel. As she began to learn more about this awesome God she sang about, she began to question, “Could God really forgive all sins? Even hers?”
This book is beautifully written. I nearly wept several times as God’s love drew Birdie. One of my favorite aspects of The Songbird of Hope Hill was the clear presentation of the gospel. Kim Vogel Sawyer always does an amazing job of showing the Savior in her books.
This is a sweet, gentle read, but it has a few surprises along the way that you’ll love!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to Netgalley for my review copy.

When I read the blurb of this book I was intrigued. The premise is different to other books I have read and I wanted to know more. I am so glad I had an opportunity to read the latest book by Kim vogel Sawyer.

We meet Birdie who has ended up in a place she never thought she would be. A brothel. Her father passed away a few years back and her mother abandoned her and she went for help from her mothers friend. She is unhappy and is struggling. We then meet the reverend Isaiah and Ophelia Overly and there son Ephraim. They run Hope Hill a home where they rescue working girls giving them an education and the skills to live a better life. Teaching them about the one true God.

Birdie accepts the invitation to leave the brothel and goes to Hope Hill. They also have a women's choir and we see Birdie excel with her beautiful voice. She is most at peace when singing and has a true gift. We see her struggle with how God could forgive her for what she has done and how can she forgive herself.

This book has so much in it. We see the impact on the girls where they are loved and accepted. We also see change and hope. There is so much I want to talk about but it would give to much away. There are many surprises in the story both good and bad. But I do love how the book plays out. This book gives hope and reminds us in God's eyes things we think are unforgivable he can forgive.

This book is Historical fiction with a light romantic thread and a strong faith element.

Was this review helpful?

The Songbird of Hope Hill by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a beautiful story of God's grace. Redemption comes in many forms for many of the characters, showing how God lavishes his love on us.
Birdie finds freedom from a life of sin when Isaiah Overly offers her sanctuary at Hope Hill. As Birdie turns to Jesus and learns to trust Him, love unfolds between her and the preacher's son. Their story is immensely satisfying.
It's not often that villains are given such a robust treatment. Abused by a man she should have been able to trust, Lida turned to prostitution out of desperation. As time goes on, she owns her own brothel, trapping others in her web. But through the relentless pursuit of a loving Gd, even Lida finds redemption.
Beautifully written. God's extravagant love shines through. #TheSongbirdofHopeHill #NetGalley
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The Songbird of Hope Hill is a wonderful Christian story of helping others find their way into a place of safety and into God’s forgiveness. I was quite taken by the depth of the characters concern and love for the women in this historical story. Wonderful character development in a plot that shows how to live, speaking the truth in love. There are also some twists that were extremely surprising but it did explain how the Reverend and Mrs. Overly’s ministry came to be a calling from God. Birdie Clarkson’s story is just as interesting if heartbreaking at times. Still she found her way with the Overlys help, finding love on the way too.

Kim Vogel Sawyer is not a new author for me to read her books but this by far my favorite. I highly recommend this book.

Was this review helpful?

Each time I read a Kim Sawyer book, I am certain it is her best one ever. This was no exception. The Songbird of Hope Hill is a story of redemption when forgiveness seems impossible, hope in the midst of despair, and a Heavenly Father who has a plan for good for each of us. Birdie, coerced into prostitution through no fault of her own, feels as if she has fallen too far for God's forgiveness, or anyone else's for that matter. But Isaiah and his son Ephraim rescue her from the brothel, moving her to Hope Hill, a place for the fallen women who hope for a better life. At Hope Hill, Birdie's beautiful singing voice is discovered and she becomes a part of the revival choir Ephraim has formed.
As we travel through Birdie's story we become acquainted with others who will light her path including Ophelia, Ellie, and Olga. As Birdie's faith becomes stronger, Ephraim's encouragement shows her that she is not beyond God's redemption or His love.
As she climbs from the dark place where Ephraim found her, can she forgive herself enough to let others forgive her - and love her?
The Songbird of Hope Hill is inspiring, uplifting and encouraging, with heart fluttering romance alongside. Go with Birdie as she finds her way from hopelessness to the Light.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion

Was this review helpful?

“Could she trust a God she didn’t know and had never seen when she couldn’t trust the people she did know? ‘

This was a sweet story of redemption and second chances. It is filled with spiritual references. Songbird of Hope Hill is a novel about God’s redemption. The theme is very clearly presenting God’s acceptance of all in spite of poor life choices. The Songbird of Hope Hill is very simply written and a quick read although the plot moves fairly slow. Some of the characters just didn’t seem very realistic to me. And so I can’t count this for me personally as a great read. But I know this will be a book that strikes a cord with many struggling with regret or poor self esteem. I received a copy of The Songbird of Hope Hill from NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

Review posted on Goodreads- additional reviews posted after release date.

Was this review helpful?

A heartwarming story of 1895 Texas. Birdie has been let down and led into sin by someone she thought she could trust. But when Preacher Isaiah Overly comes to the brothel and offers a way out, she and Olga return with him to Hope Hill, a refuge for girls to start a new life.
This story shows the selflessness of Isaiah, his wife and his son Ephriam. They teach the girls necessary skills, music lessons and clearly present the Gospel.
I appreciate the strong faith message. The themes of redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation and the way God always draws us to become His children are prevalent. A vey enjoyable read.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook- Multnomah via NetGalley. All opinions are mine alone.*

Was this review helpful?

This book was just such a beautifully written picture of God's goodness and his grace. No one can run away from his love. no matter what they have done or what has happened.

Was this review helpful?

Such a fantastic book! I loved all the characters and became emotionally attached to several. This is a story that drew my heart with how God’s grace, forgiveness, and love can transform the most unforgivable sins. A slow building romance with so many secrets and hurt built into the lives of Ephraim and Birdie. When secrets surface and the results of the circumstances demand attention my heart was near to bursting at the truths and their effects on all involved. Readers will become emotionally involved in this tale of how pain inflicted so long ago touched and changed the lives of all the characters. Second chances come with a price but in this beautiful story woven around God’s gift of beauty from ashes it’s a price worth more than gold!
Was given a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Absolutely stunning. Kim Vogel Sawyer has already been a favorite author of mine but The Songbird of Hope Hill is now my absolute favorite book. I've never read a more beautiful depiction of the gospel, salvation, redemption, and forgiveness. We even get religious people coming to grips with their hypocrisy.

Story: 5/5

Worldview: 5/5

Right from chapter 1, I was floored. Birdie is a heartbreaking reflection of women stuck in prostitution, and she is given hope for a new life, without strings attached. The girls at Hope Hill are all so different. Some are still bitter about their pasts, others are afraid for the future. Some will cling to any man because they crave attention and validation, while others find their value in Christ. They go to church, but religious people there shun and judge them for their pasts. Reverend Overly is not afraid to call out the hypocrisy but still treat everyone with grace and mercy. There is just so much more between the pages here that I can't get into without spoilers, sorry!

Worldview is intricately woven from the first page. Some people may find this book preachy, but I think it was perfect. Every character, every situation, every outcome is viewed through a godly lens. Some people are bitter and have their own idea of God, while others think that they can exact judgement on sinners themselves. Everyone is challenged in their worldview, and though not all come to Christ, they can't deny they know the truth.

I can't stress enough how beautiful this book was. It deals with difficult themes, like sex trafficking/prostitution, judgmental religion, and how God's grace can work through it all.

Was this review helpful?

Christian fiction readers will enjoy this heartwarming story set in Texas during the 1800's. Reverend Overly and his wife, along with their son, Ephraim minister to their community through revivals and funerals. Their special ministry is rescuing prostitutes and teaching them about God and his forgiveness. Birdie, one of the women rescued, tangled story is on the main storylines. Sweet story! I loved the message in this novel and the music aspect.

Was this review helpful?

As usual, Kim Vogel Sawyer delivers a sweet, heart warming story.
I practically grew up reading her books and it's always such a happiness when she publishes another one.
I love her writing style and the topics she addresses in her books.
What I loved most in this book were the characters. I loved getting to know and understand them. The romance was not the highlight of this book, but it was sweet. The redemption theme was, from my point of view, a little forced. I didn't quite understand how everything happened so quick, but I let it pass.
Kim Vogel Sawyer is always a good idea!

* I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley, and this is my honest opinion.*

Was this review helpful?

“The Songbird of Hope Hill” by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Yes, there is hope!
A very moving story, the quest to survive, to find acceptance by others, to find acceptance of self, to find family, to find home. Yes, the tears flowed and there were smiles, too. Life is not perfect in real life, and it is not perfect in fiction either. Yes, I loved this story; and, YES this is a worthy read!! Happy Reading ! !
Note: This review expresses my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

This book is SO much more than I expected! Birdie isn’t the only one to experience God’s redemptive touch when she is rescued from a Texas brothel. Healing comes to all the major characters as they yield to His will. Secrets are revealed and old wounds are removed - and in such a winsome way! The gentle prose and realistic descriptions of life at Hope Hill make me feel like I’m in the front porch rocker under one of Ophelia’s quilts (my favorite character, btw). Faith is woven convincingly throughout this love story that is more than a romance. I received an early copy via NetGalley and was not required to post a review.

Was this review helpful?

"The Songbird of Hope Hill" by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a wonderful story of redemption and a woman coming to love and trust fully in God. "Hope Hill" is a home for former prostitutes to escape from prostitution, learn about God and move towards a wholesome lifestyle. The main character Birdie Clarkson never felt right after being driven to prostitution for a short time and when she was given an out by a preacher and his son, she jumped at the chance to escape.

Birdie finds herself learning more about God from the family that runs hope hill. She has an amazing singing voice and sings praise songs in the choir. She learns that God can forgiven what many feel is the most unforgiveable things and learns to hope again.

This book deals with a tough subject in a heartwarming way. It shows all sides of what can happen to a former prostitute in the 1800's and discusses attitudes of people that encounter these former ladies of the night. Kim Vogel Sawyer has done a wonderful job with this book and I can't recommend it enough.

Thank you to Netgalley and WaterBrook & Multnomahn Publishing for the chance to read and review this ARC. All opinions expressed are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Although this book deals with tough subjects, it is done sensitively. It did take me a while to get into the story but then I got invested in the Characters. The Overly family had a ministry to rescue the women of ill repute and teach them valuable life skills and to let them know the Love of our Saviour. Birdie was 1 of the girls rescued. She planned to earn a wage so she could move to live & work with her Aunt. You see her wrestle with feelings of unworthiness, You also see her learning to trust God for the direction of her life. Similarly, Ephraim has a shock and has to learn to trust God for his future. This is a book of Redemption & Restoration. You get to know bits of some of the girls stories and how they got themselves into a terrible situation and how God brought them to him. Yes, there is heartbreak in this story but I guess that is part of life.
If you enjoy good Christian Historical Fiction/family saga/redemption stories, then you need to read this. It is full of Scripture.

Was this review helpful?

Forget the limitations of a five-star rating system. Kim Vogel Sawyer's The Songbird of Hope Hill deserves a standing ovation. It is a story that transcends genre, a testament to the enduring power of faith. It lifts you like a soaring hymn, carrying you on a journey of redemption where faith is the melody and forgiveness the harmony.

Unlike an orchestra warming up, the story starts with a powerful melody - Birdie Clarkson, a young woman trapped in a life of sin. Yet, Birdie possesses a hidden gift, a voice as pure and hopeful as a lark's song. As readers journey with Birdie, we are powerfully reminded of the vital role that faith plays in her life, and the ever-present hope of God's love, mercy, and forgiveness.

Enter the Overlys, a beacon of faith in the storm. Isaiah, the preacher, with his unwavering belief, serves as the steady bass line, while Ophelia, his wife, represents the gentle grace of a supporting melody. Together, they offer sanctuary at Hope Hill, a haven for women seeking a new beginning. Their unwavering belief in God's grace forms the heart of the narrative.

Hope Hill becomes the stage for Birdie's transformation. As she joins the choir, led by Ephraim, the preacher's son (think of a warm clarinet), her voice finds its place in the uplifting hymns. Sawyer conducts the narrative with a masterful hand. She does not shy away from the harsh realities of Birdie's past but tempers them with the ever-present hope of God's love.

The beautiful hymns sung by the choir become a metaphor for Birdie's journey towards faith, each note a step towards reconciliation with God. Birdie grapples with her past, a discordant note threatening to shatter the newfound harmony. Can a melody stained by sin ever find redemption? The answer unfolds like a beautiful musical composition, with Sawyer's prose as rich and layered as a full orchestra.

“Freedom is found in a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ,
who absolves all who ask from every sin.”
Quote from Isaiah Overly in Chapter One of The Songbird of Hope Hill

The characters, each with their own unique struggles, become a captivating ensemble. Their stories weave together, creating a tapestry of redemption that crescendos with Birdie's journey towards faith. The Songbird of Hope Hill is more than just a Christian novel. It is a song that lingers long after the final chord, a melody that reminds us that even the most broken hearts can find healing in the loving embrace of God.

I received a digital copy of The Songbird of Hope Hill via NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review in any way or for any reason. My honest and unbiased opinions expressed in this book review are my own. My review focuses on the excellent writing and the story’s fantastic content, ensuring transparency and reliability.

Was this review helpful?