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?
My take on this book:
"What Once was Lost" takes place in 1890 in Brambleville, Kansas. It's been a year since Christina Willems took over the leadership of the counties poor farm after the death of her father. The residents have become her family and she gets such joy and fulfillment out of serving them. When tragedy strikes we watch Christina struggle to find a place for her residents until she is able to bring them "home." She finds homes for all of the residents but one, Tommy Kilgore, a blind boy. When she asks the mill owner Levi Jonnson to take Tommy in Levi isn't crazy about the idea but decides to do it. Can Christina hold things together, will she be able to get the home rebuilt and run it or perhaps it's time to step down and let someone else take over. What about Levi what lessons will he learn from Tommy?
What a heart touching story this turned out to be. Filled with more than a few twists. While I empathized with the characters from the "poor" farm it was young Tommy that was the stand out character for me! I could easily imagine him, and the bond that forms between him and Levi was great. A varied cast of characters kept the story moving for me.It was nice to watch God work in the lives of the characters. I would highly recommend this story to fans of historical fiction who enjoys an inspirational message woven in.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.