“What Once Was Lost” is a sweet prairie historical. I’m not sure I would necessarily classify it as romance, because there wasn’t much of such added to this novel, but there was plenty of character discovery and growth.
I will say I was disappointed in the lack of romance across the whole of this book. Not because I can only read and enjoy a historical romance, but because I have come to expect it and felt the story was more “single minded” in the way of the struggles based around saving the poor farm.
However, that being said, the cast of characters are a good bunch. With four points of view throughout the story the reader has more than just the hero and heroine’s struggles to read about. It gives a broader depth to the story and I definitely appreciated that about it. Christine is a tenacious character. She doesn’t give up easily, maybe even when she should. Levi is one of those characters that has a crusty and hard exterior, but a good and soft heart. I really loved him as the hero. Tommy is precious and Cora was probably my favorite in watching her learn to love the Lord and forgive her past.
Overall, a good story with good characters, but one I’d have liked to have seen more romance between the main characters.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.
More about the novel....
A woman meant to serve, a child in the dark, a man standing apart—can these three souls embrace a God with new plans for them?
On a small Kansas farm, Christina Willems lovingly shepherds a group of poor and displaced individuals who count on her leadership and have come to see the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor as their home. But when a fire breaks out in the kitchen leaving the house inhabitable, she must scramble to find shelter for all in her care, scattering her dear “family.”
With no other options, Christina is forced to approach Levi Jonnson, a reclusive mill owner, to take in a young blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. Levi agrees with reluctance but finds himself surprised by the bond that quickly grows between him and Tommy. As obstacles to repairing the farm pile up against Christina, she begins to question her leadership ability and wonders if she can fulfill the mission to which she's dedicated her life. And when an old adversary challenges Christina, will she find an unlikely ally—or more—in the aloof Levi? Can Levi reconcile with the rejection that led to his hermit-like existence and open his heart and life to something more, especially a relationship with a loving God?
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