Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sweet Sanctuary - A Book Review

From the Back: Lydia Eldredge longs to provide sanctuary for her young son, Nicky.  But a constant threat comes from Nicky's drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get him.  Dr. Micah Hatcher faithfully serves the immigrant population of Queens, New York.  But under cover of darkness, he has a secret mission that challenges everything he thought he wanted out of life.  When Lydia and Micah's paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other's callings.  Together, they seek a refuge of safety - for Nicky, for themselves, and for the needy people God puts in their lives.  Amid turmoil and discord, can hope and love prevail.

Synopsis: Lydia is raising her best friend's son Nicky after the friend tragically dies in childbirth.  Micah is a physician in NY who is summoned to Boston at Lydia's father's request.  This strange request thrusts these past acquaintances into a new relationship - one they aren't sure exactly how to make work.  Lydia is concerned that Nicky's dad Nic will find them and try to take Nicky.  Micah is convinced to try and help Lydia come up with a plan to prevent that from happening.  A friendship/romance begins to blossom over Micah and Lydia's shared desire to help Nicky and other hurting souls.  Nic does manage to find Lydia and Nicky and has plans of his own for his son.  Lydia and Micah must work together to ensure Nicky's safety and safe Nic's life.  Drug treatment, a tragic work-related accident, a new daughter, and more complicate the issues even further.  Can Lydia and Micah build a relationship out of the craziness?

My Review:  I usually like Kim Vogel Sawyer's work a little more than I liked this one.  While I loved the story line, there were a couple of things that rubbed me the wrong way.  There were several passages where I thought the book came across as preachy. While I love Christian fiction and don't mind the references to faith, God's help, etc., there were times in this novel where it just seemed to go overboard.  Secondly, there were just too many subplots running through the novel.  Sawyer could have easily left out Nic's plans for Nicky (or just left out the scenes with prospective parents) and still had a compelling story.  I also wasn't a fan of how the story wrapped up - it just seemed contrived to me. All that being said, I'm still happy I chose to review it.  I liked the time period setting, post WWII.  I hope Sawyer continues to write in this time period.  Like her other works, this is well-researched and an enjoyable look into this time period. This is a quick, fun read with characters that you want to see be successful (well, most of the characters).

Score:  3.5 bookmarks out of 5.

Note:  Bethany House Publishers gave me a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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