Sunday, September 7, 2014

Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer

No compensation was received for this post. A review copy was provided for me to read and share my thoughts. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

Recognizing of course that life was a lot harder back in the early 1900s, I find that there is something about this period in time that seems so appealing to me. Perhaps it was the simplicity of the times. Perhaps it was the reliance and closeness that resulted for families. Perhaps it was all that they accomplished without so many of our modern conveniences. Whatever the reason, I have always enjoyed reading books and watching television shows and movies set in that era. As a child, it led me to read the Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables series. As I grew older, it is what piqued my interest in the Amish and Mennonites, groups that were living the simplicity of that era in a modern time. Or, perhaps it was my enjoyment of Little House and Anne of Green Gables that resulted in that era being so appealing to me.

Recently, I had the chance to read Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer. The book is set in Kansas in the fall of 1904. Caroline goes undercover as a laborer at Dinsmore Chocolate Facotry in Sinclair, Kansas to investigate a suspicious accident and to find out about how they treat child workers. She had a rough childhood, so she is particularly compassionate about children being allowed to pursue education and be kids. As she applies for the role, she meets a young girl whose father is forcing her to find a job. She offers to help and forms a connection with Letta and eventually her family. She also meets and finds herself falling for Ollie Moore, who is also working undercover at the factory.

I enjoyed reading the story and getting to know Carrie, Ollie, Letta and the other characters in the story. By alternating the vantage point of the story, the author was able to develop the characters by both sharing their own thoughts and observations and by sharing the thoughts and observations of the others. I like that this approach to the storyline allows the reader to really get to know the characters and their history, in a short time frame.

The book drew me in and kept me wanting to continue to read, even when it was time to go to sleep or put dinner on the table. I found myself wanting to find out how the relationships would evolve and if/how each characters secrets would be revealed to the others.

This was the second book that I read by Kim Vogel Sawyer, and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

About This Book

Sometimes a secret must be kept for the truth to be revealed.

When a suspicious accident occurs at the famous Dinsmore Chocolate Factory in Sinclair, Kansas, Caroline Lang goes undercover as a factory worker to investigate the circumstances surrounding the event and how the factory treats its youngest employees—the child workers. Caroline’s fervent faith, her difficult childhood, and compassionate heart drove her to her job as an investigator for the Labor Commission and she is compelled to see children freed from such heavy adult responsibilities, to allow them to pursue an education.

Oliver Dinsmore, heir to the Dinsmore candy dynasty, has his own investigation to conduct. Posing as a common worker known as “Ollie Moore,” he aims to find out all he can about the family business before he takes over for his father. Caroline and Oliver become fast friends, but tension mounts when the two find themselves at odds about the roles of child workers. Hiding their identities becomes even more difficult when fate brings them together over three children in desperate need. When all is revealed, will the truth destroy the love starting to grow between them?

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You can read the first chapter here.

No compensation was received for this post. A review copy was provided for me to read and share my thoughts. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.