I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Blogging for Books. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Published by Crown Publishing Group on 2017
Genres: Christian, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Family Life, Fiction, General, Romance
Source: Blogging for Books
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?
I have yet to pick up a book by this author that I didn’t enjoy and this book is no exception. It’s got a mystery but it’s not a mystery novel. It’s got some romance but it’s not a romance novel. It’s about family and mistakes and redemption and faith and love and mystery and even a little romance. It’s about losing something and finding it. A sister, a relationship, and even faith. Three generations of women with their own buried hurts and awkward coping mechanisms that rediscover faith and love and family. That’s what this book is about. “You know what they say about a three-strand cord – it’s not easily broken.” Can this family filled with old hurts, older secrets, and a heap of resentment come together?
Let’s dive into the reasons that, while I love this book, it’s only a 4 star review. There were just a couple of things that made it difficult to fall into the book and just enjoy. It built over the course of the story but in the first part there were things. The flashbacks to different times were awkward sometimes. They were brushed in and out when it felt intrusive. Some of them didn’t even fully explain until later in the story. They definitely helped build the story forward but… I was always put off a bit with the way the story changed views between the three women but the ‘voice’ didn’t really change. I would have to look back to the header to ensure who was actually telling the story. It cleared up as well as the story progressed but it was a tad frustrating. Last but not least, and less about the rating but more about full disclosure, was the pace. The story built the relationships and all they were fraught with, through the bulk of the story with the ‘mystery’ a backdrop. When the mystery actually came to fruition it was break neck speed and so easily cleared up. A 70-year-old mystery was cleared with a couple of visits and a well-timed search warrant.
All that aside this book was all the things I mentioned above woven into a story that could handle it. Mystery, romance, family, etc. This story was so complex and well woven that it was seamless. The faith, and lack thereof, was so integrated into the story that it would not have been near as good as a mainstream book. Doable, not near as good. The family dynamics, the over and under compensating with each generation, the old hurts and secrets, were amazingly well-developed and so strongly tied into the cords of this story that I can’t find fault. The piece de resistance was of course the use of my signature exclamation. Twice, and only twice, have I come across the phrase ‘good gravy’ in a book. Please, we all know that I couldn’t communicate without some variation of those two little words. That alone earns this book a place of honor.