The Kansas community of Fairland anticipates the arrival of their new minister and in recent months, late in 1882, postmistress Grace Cristler has communicated with Reverend Dille via letters, answering his questions about the little town, and developing affection for the man who pens thoughtful missives.
Theophil Garrison grew up under the loving influence of his saintly grandmother, but was roped into his cousins’ train-robbing plan. When they fail and are apprehended, Theo fled the scene, evading jail time. Now an angry cousin is out to avenge Theo's duplicity, and he’s on the run. He encounters a fatally ill traveler--a minister. Seeing a way to keep hidden, Theo trades identities with the man, dons his fine black suit, carries a Bible, and prays that he'll be accepted as Rufus Dille.
Once in Fairland, if Theo's true identity is uncovered, what will be left of the world he has built for himself, Grace, and those in the town who have come to love and accept him?
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Meet the Author:
Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren.
She invites you to visit her Web site at www.kimvogelsawyer.com for more.
I really took delight in reading this book. It was an interesting read and a new plot for me. Theophil, a livery man, has lived with an uncle for years, since his parents and grandmother passed away. But he has never felt loved. Being mistreated and not really wanted as a child has caused him some deep emotional issues. His cousins picked on him and tried to force him into participating in a crime they were committing. When Theo didn't show with the escape horses, and they were caught, they vowed revenge. Now, they are getting out early on good behavior, but have they changed or forgotten what he did? Odds are - NOT!
So, Theo decides to leave town before they arrive, just in case. On his journey, fate has it that he comes upon a minister who is on his way to his new church, but instead has become ill. Not necessarily with that intention in mind, Theo trades places with the minister and assumes a new identity. Grace, who has been corresponding with the minister on behalf of her uncle who is resigning the ministry, has her doubts about who Theo really is. Alarms are going off, but desperately in want of a husband, she chooses to let them slide without confrontation and just leave well enough alone. As time passes the deception grows deeper, but all things come to light eventually. As Theo and Grace's relationship blossoms, what will happen when his true identity is revealed?
I enjoyed Kim's portrayal of faith, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and so much more in this book. She does a wonderful job bringing out the fact that we easily substitute the love and acceptance of people over God's. We point out the sins of others, before we acknowledge our own sins. Extending grace is not an easy process, but if God is willing to forgive us, we also must be willing to forgive others. I enjoyed watching Theo grow in his faith, and learn new lessons. I appreciated the simplicity of the town, the preacher, and the characters, although they also had depth. This is definitely a beautifully told story! Worth the read!
I received this book free from Blogging for Books to read. I was not required to review it positively and all opinions are my own.