Room for Hope: A Novel
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Author)
The book presents a story that requires not only hope and determination, but learning to put one’s full trust in God and to be content in whatever situation that one might find themselves. It takes place in Kansas in 1936 during the Great Depression.
On the first few pages, one is confronted with a shock to the main character, Neva, discovering that not only has her husband died, but he had taken a second wife in another town and had sired three children with the other woman who also died. The children were brought to her by the request of her dying husband “to take the children to live with their ‘Aunt Neva.’” The ‘traveling’ that her husband did to get supplies and sell wares from their Mercantile store was only an excuse to visit his “secret” family.
Neva Shilling has been a faithful wife and mother working in the Mercantile store during all of her husband’s travels as well as taking care of their twin children. She takes on the guilt of her husband Warren’s indiscretions claiming that it was partly her fault because she was unable to provide him with more children and he wanted a big family. She felt she had failed her husband because of this.
She tries to be protective of her own two children but also to honor the wishes of her deceased husband although she has feelings of anger and distrust towards him raging in her soul. She doesn’t outright lie to anyone concerning the children, but finds she is doing a disservice to all the children though her lies of omission.
Finally trying to set everything straight with her fellow church members she finds herself being shunned when they discover that the children were sired by her late husband with another woman. Through all of this turmoil and heartbreak, a friendship which had started as a somewhat devious plan to get her to sell the store, takes a turn for the better and she finds an unlikely ally and a budding romance commencing.
There are many twists in the story involving the children and Deputy Jesse who originally brought the children to her and who takes on the role of Sheriff in her town since their sheriff is retiring. Even though he doesn’t expose her secrets, he does try to make sure that these poor children are treated correctly.
This was an enjoyable read. I found it to be a story of acceptance, endurance and hope as well as learning to be content though one’s faith in God when confronted with devastating circumstances. I give it 4 armchairs.
In exchange for an honest review, the publisher has given Solid Rock Christian Fellowship a free book.