Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book Review: Sweet Sanctuary

Sweet SanctuaryAuthor: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Lydia Eldredge longs to provide a sanctuary for her son, Nicky. But a constant threat comes from Nicky's drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get him.

Dr. Micah Hatcher serves the immigrant population in Queens, but under cover of darkness he provides another service that must not be discovered lest his and his brother's lives be in danger.

When Lydia and Micah's paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other's callings. Through unforeseen twists and turns, they seek a refuge of safety--for Nicky, for themselves, and for the needy people God unexpectedly puts in their lives

Lydia’s voice quivered with indignation, and anger swelled in Micah’s chest toward the unfeeling man. How could anyone see his own child as merchandise to be placed on a auction block?

“The moment I held him, I knew I would keep him and raise him as my own. With God’s help, and the support of my parents, I’ve been Nicky’s mama ever since.”

“You said Nicky’s father – this Nicolai Pankin – wants Nicky because he wants the money he can gain. The man isn’t interested in parenting Nicky, so his custody will be short-lived, no matter what. He’ll be handing Nicky off to someone. So why not arrange to have him handed off to you?”

The lights of the city made it difficult to see the stars, but Lydia knew they were there, even if she couldn’t see them. She knew God was there, too, even though He held no physical presence.

This is the story of a sweet, compassionate woman named Lydia Eldredge and her desire to love and care for the son of her deceased best friend. Lydia has treated Nicky as if he was her own and loves nothing more than providing and caring for the young boy. Complications soon arise in the form of Nicky’s biological father, who is addicted to drugs and only causes turmoil wherever he goes. Lydia meets a man named Dr. Micah Hatcher and together they set off on a journey trying to mend the lives of others and finding refuge for many lives including Nicky’s, while finding refuge in each other!

The bond between Lydia and Nicky was probably my favorite. Then Micah steps on the scene and Nicky, being the small child that he is, falls in love with him as well. Nicky is such a sweet and memorable character and some of my favorite moments were when he, Lydia, and Micah were together. Their relationship continues to flourish throughout the book and I really came to appreciate Lydia and Micah as characters simply for all they do for Nicky. Micah’s job and his desire to help other is another fabulous part of this book as well, and his character brought things to this book that I was not expecting, but in a good way!

I also loved the setting and the pace at which this story was written. The book takes place right in the middle of WWII and we see some mention of the Jews during Hitler’s reign. Lydia and Micah are around the New York area, but it is amazing to see how this war impacted the United States, even though the mass destruction and annihilation was going on overseas. The time period only played into the bigger theme: the love of God’s children and their drive and place in our hearts. This novel was set at a somewhat slower pace, but it is necessary for everything that happens in the story. This is a tender story that is sure to touch your heart, and is meant to be read at a somewhat slower speed.

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Bethany House in exchange for my honest and unbiased review***

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