Fans of Kim Vogel Sawyer will be delighted with her newest release from Bethany House Publishers,* entitled Song of My Heart. As with many of her previous works, this newest novel falls into the Historical Fiction genre, but could fit into both Inspirational and Romance categories as well. Set in a small Kansas town in the late 19th century, Song of My Heart is a sweetly flowing, melodic story of love and forgiveness, but not without a share of drama and adventure, and even a touch of mystery, all of which came with prohibition laws and their consequent bootlegging operations.
A generally expected trademark of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s books is that her always colorful cast of characters will become as dear to you as beloved friends, and will captivate you from the first pages with their sweetness, and sense of physical – not merely imaginary – existence. Sadie Wagner the heroine, and Thad McKane the hero, both fulfill these expectations excellently. Likewise, Sadie’s desperation to provide for her family, and Thad’s desire to clean the blemish from his family’s name, will become as important to readers as to each character.
Originally a resident of Indiana, Sadie responds to her cousin’s invitation to join him in Goldtree, Kansas, where the ‘perfect’ job awaits her, giving her the means to provide for her beloved family while putting her beautiful singing voice to use. Soon after arriving, however, Sadie realizes that things are not what they appear to be, and that her new employer is hiding dark secrets and creating unlawful plans, both which involve her. Sadie is forced to make decisions that will affect not only herself but the entire community, especially the man she is growing to love – Sheriff Thad McKane.
The main theme of the story is of releasing past regrets – of forgiving yourself, and others, for something that is in the past and must be left behind. Thad realizes that he is only accountable for himself, not for the sins of his father before him – basically, he doesn’t need to become a preacher to make up for his father’s terrible mistakes. Also shown in the story is the importance of trusting in God first and foremost, without leaning only on our own understanding. Sadie finally sees that she need not struggle in caring for her family alone, but that God will care for and protect them all – her most important job is simply to trust Him.
Song of My Heart delivers all that readers have come to expect from each one of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s stories – simplicity, sweetness, love, and realistic characters. Her books very rarely contain uncomfortable or questionable content, and are simply a joy to read. This novel in particular contained plenty of drama, history, and humor (largely in the form of two very quirky secondary characters!). Everything was tied up perfectly at the end, making the reader reluctant for the story to be over, but content that everything is as it should be. Finally, the writing style in Song of My Heart was very warm and relaxing, making the story truly feel as melodious and lovely as one of Sadie’s own heartfelt songs.
***Note: I received this book free of charge for review purposes, courtesy of Bethany House Publishers and Graf-Martin Communications. I would like to say thank you very much for sending it to me.