Sunday, April 13, 2014

Through the Deep Waters, by Kim Vogel Sawyer

From the publisher:

A past filled with shame can be washed away with a love that conquers all

Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amidst the secrets held in every dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn’t old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.

The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past. When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her.  Despite his self-consciousness about his handicapped leg and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ’s love. But can she ever accept a gift she so desperately needs?

My review:

I enjoyed this story and it was a nice book, but when I finished it, I was done with it. It was a good book, just not an amazing book.

I feel like the characters lacked complexity and rather than being “shown” their inner struggles, the author “tells”. I prefer to be shown.

I liked Dinah. I could related to her fairly easily and really appreciated her for her effort to overcome her past and press forward toward her future, whether it was one of her own plans and determination, or one in which she was resting in God’s plans for her life. Her strength and determination to move forward are inspiring.

The secondary character, Ruthie, really annoyed me. She was petty and childish. I really just wanted to slap her and tell her to get over herself. She did redeem herself, but only at the very end…

I like Amos too, but I didn’t really fall in love with him. I want to fall in love alongside the main character.
The author has a very simple way of writing. Some authors will write in flowery language that makes you linger over a sentence and others write in a more straight-forward manner that makes you just skim the pages rather than immerse yourself in the story… KVS writes more in the latter style rather than the former. I prefer the really beautiful writing style that makes me appreciate each sentence for it’s beauty and structure. I’m not just a lover of books; I’m a lover of words.

I do appreciate that the author addressed the topic of prostitution, sex, rape, etc, in a manner that allowed you to understand what was happening, while not explicitly stating the details.

Overall, the book is worth your time. Like I said, it’s a good book, just not an amazing one. I have read several books by Kim Vogel Sawyer and, while she isn’t my first choice, I will definitely read more books by her.

I received a free advanced reader copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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