Redeeming Reads

Ordinary Grace

A mystery novel with all the usual elements – secrets, lies, adultery and deaths. When I came across Ordinary Grace on the Edgar Award best mystery list, I was not expecting a “redeeming read.”   This quote stirred my curiosity: “That was all of it. A grace so ordinary there was no reason at all to remember it. Yet I have never across the forty years since it was spoken forgotten a single word.” 

     The story is set in a small Minnesota town in 1961 and is told from the perspective of Frank, the teenage son of a Methodist preacher.  Tragedies befall his town and specifically his family.  As Frank and his family struggle to come to grips with grim reality, God’s grace is shared in simple, yet surprising ways.  It is a quiet novel with rich, believable characters that hooked me from page one.  Recommended by Sue Snow.

     Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger is the winner of the 2014 Edgar Award, an annual presentation by the Mystery Writers of America.  It is available at the Saline District Library and from book sellers. 

The Sommerfeld Trilogy-Bygones, Beginnings, Blessings

Stories of hope from award winning and bestselling author, Kim Vogel Sawyer, are a favorite of Annella Aurand.  In The Sommerfeld Trilogy, Sawyer presents a collection of Mennonite romances. Set in a quiet Kansas Mennonite community, the three stories feature women seeking a place to belong and a faith on which to depend.

     In Bygones, Marie returns to the Kansas town of her childhood after 23 years. She falls under suspicion when mysterious thefts occur.  Can she really find love and acceptance among the Old Order Mennonites?  Beginnings, the second installment, presents Beth who has been raised in the Mennonite community.  As she starts her own business, two men vie for her attention.  One is a devout Mennonite dedicated to family and faith.  The other is the son of a successful businessman and may be only interested in Beth’s talents.  Lastly, Blessings, is Trina’s story.  She has a burning desire to be a veterinarian which she trusts comes from God.  Will that separate Trina from her community and family?

     Author Kim Vogel Sawyer enjoys a full-time writing and speaking ministry.  Her books are available at Saline District Library and most retail book sellers.