Monday, April 3, 2017
Grace and the Preacher- Kim Vogel Sawyer
Description: 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?
My Thoughts: Normally I give a book until page 100 before I set it aside as a DNF. However, by that time the hero and heroine had still not met, so I pushed through until they had. At that point, the story did pick up, so I was willing to continue with it. Yet I never truly felt invested in anything that happened.
Theophil's choices seemed less like those of a mature adult who has endured abuse and more like a scared teenager with no concept of how his choices would affect others. Grace was somewhat more mature, but still behaved like she might have been seventeen. There was a lot of blushing and stuttering on both sides, and while it was mentioned that they spent hours talking to each other, the reader is not privy to hardly any of the time which these two characters spend one on one.
Most of the actual romance between Theo and Grace was seen through the perspective of Bess. Her's was an interesting POV, with a good twist toward the middle of the book, but she over shadowed the two main characters. As well, I also found Earl's perspective to be far more interesting up until the end.
Overall, the conflict was not very intense. The characters seemed to forgive and forget without much issue and there was not as much of a climax as I would have liked. It is an easy, uncomplicated read that may offer a few hours of distraction, and there is a good bit of scripture worked into the mix without being overly preach. And that on its own earns the story a couple stars.
I have provided an honest review after having received an ARC from the publisher.