Decades of Loss, an Unsolved Mystery, and a Rift Spanning Three Generations Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears. Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can’t understand her mother’s overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother’s inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan–a cold case agent–cherishes her grandmother’s lavish attention and affection. When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel’s painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that’s been lost?
As part of the Litfuse Bloggers Program, I was able to join in on the Blog Tour for Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer. I had heard of this author before and I was fairly certain that my mother, Gloria enjoyed reading her books, so I signed up for this tour and got my mom the book to read and review for us.
Here’s what Gloria had to say:
Bringing Maggie Home is a very compelling story of three generations of women all from the same family and all affected by a tragedy in the family that had been buried for 70 years. Each of them are looking for closure and healing in their lives and as their story progresses they grow in faith.
In rural Arkansas in 1943, ten-year old Hazel DeFord is picking blackberries and turns her back on her three-year old sister, Maggie for just a few moments and she disappears. As the case is unsolved and the mystery of Maggie’s disappearance remains, Hazel is unable to deal with her daughter, Diane, the way she should and is overburdened with guilt. Because of her sister’s mysterious disappearance, Hazel finds herself near paranoia while she overprotects Diane. Diane is resentful of her mother’s odd behavior, while at the same time, Diane’s daughter, Mghan, loves her grandmother’s affection. Diane’s jealousy over Hazel and Meghan’s close relationship quickly grows old to readers and her failure to find any kind of empathy for her mother’s loss is disappointing.
Meghan is involved in a traffic accident which causes her to take a six week leave of absence from her job as a cold case agent. The end result is that all three of the DeFord women find themselves under the same roof. Meghan uses her investigative skills as a cold case agent to try and find out exactly what happened in the past. Meghan and Diane learn about Maggie, and Meghan is determined to help Hazel find out the whole truth behind Maggie’s disappearance and whether or not she is still alive.
The characters in this story were all well written and interesting, and I really enjoyed the “flashbacks” to the past. By switching between the DeFord women in rotating chapters, the author was able to provide readers with from each of the DeFord women’s perspectives.
The book is part love story and part mystery, with some interesting twists and turns thrown in. It is a very well written contemporary Christian fiction that readers will love! The author provides readers with characters having strong emotions and depth. She provides rich details and great family dynamics at the same time. An overall theme in this book is choosing God over fear.
Right from the start, this book will grab your soul and twist it through lots of ups and downs. If you are anything like me, this story will have you beside yourself worrying for this family. Readers will find this story beautiful and inspirational. It is filled with messages of hope, faith and forgiveness and we are reminded to turn to, and lean on God to show the way.
Kim Vogel Sawyer is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million books in print, in several different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades, including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.
Sawyer told her kindergarten teacher someday people would check out her books in libraries. That little girl’s dream came true in 2006 with the release of Waiting for Summer’s Return. Since then, Sawyer has watched God expand her dream beyond her childhood imaginings.
Sawyer lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband, Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope and redemption. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.
She invites you to visit her website at http://www.kimvogelsawyer.com/.
I received a copy of this book without cost from the publisher through the litfuse bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.