From the back cover:
A woman meant to serve, a child in the dark, a man standing apart—can these three souls embrace a God with new plans for them?
On a small Kansas farm, Christina Willems lovingly shepherds a group of poor and displaced individuals who count on her leadership and have come to see the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor as their home. But when a fire breaks out in the kitchen leaving the house inhabitable, she must scramble to find shelter for all in her care, scattering her dear “family.”
With no other options, Christina is forced to approach Levi Jonnson, a reclusive mill owner, to take in a young blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. Levi agrees with reluctance but finds himself surprised by the bond that quickly grows between him and Tommy. As obstacles to repairing the farm pile up against Christina, she begins to question her leadership ability and wonders if she can fulfill the mission to which she’s dedicated her life. And when an old adversary challenges Christina, will she find an unlikely ally—or more—in the aloof Levi? Can Levi reconcile with the rejection that led to his hermit-like existence and open his heart and life to something more, especially a relationship with a loving God?
I have long been a fan of Kim Vogel Sawyer for her ability to bring historical detail to life in her books. In WHAT ONCE WAS LOST, she writes about the prairies of Kansas and how one woman not only changes the lives of those she cares for but has her life changed in return.
Christina Willems inherited the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor after her father’s death and she takes her role as caretaker for her down-on-their-luck charges very seriously. When she loses the ability to house them, she must re-locate them, and although this is a painful process for her, she soon realizes that good can come out of bad.
This is especially true in the case of Tommy Kilgore, a young blind boy whom she has trouble placing. She finally convinces reclusive Levi Jonnson to temporarily shelter the boy, and though the two have a rocky start, Tommy begins to grow on Levi. And it is through this bond, that Christina and Levi’s relationship blossoms. As the two grow closer, they learn to let go of the past and embrace the future God has in store for them.
Though I found the book a little slower paced then some of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s other books, and therefore a little tougher to get through, ultimately I discovered that WHAT ONCE WAS LOST is a beautifully written story of overcoming obstacles and adversity through faith.