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Publisher's Summary

The practice of ministering to the widows and orphans is reflected in this story of Christina Willems, a young woman from Kansas, in 1884, who is determined to reopen the poor farm she manages after a fire devastates the property. She finds opposition from many surprising corners but an unlikely ally in a lumber mill owner who wants nothing more than to hold himself aloof from the world and its troubles. Levi Jonnson agrees to take care of one of the poor farm residents, a young blind boy - and in doing so opens himself up to Christina's world in ways he wouldn't have imagined. Can he help her realize her calling once again - or will he succumb to the safety of a solitary life with no chance of further pain?

©2013 Kim Vogel Sawyer (P)2013 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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    25
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Listen!

Amazing Story and Characters! Kim Vogel Sawyer has hit a home run with this story. Continues to have her no nonsense but sweet voice, this has a solid believable story, and all the characters, even the minor ones, are well developed.

Christina Willems is left with a legacy of caring for others. But her shoulders cannot bear the weight all alone, despite her efforts to do so. The author beautifully shows how God has to be trusted to provide.

Levi Johnson has hidden off by himself for so long that his connections with others are almost nil. But when the mill owner is forced to take in a blind boy, he finds a part of himself that had gone missing.

Skillfully told tale. Highly recommend!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you enjoy story that tells more than JUST the story this book is for you. With hidden meaning behind the events, characters that struggle to fully trust God - to fully trust he has a plan and future to prosper those he calls according to his purpose - this book does not disappoint!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good mystery

What did you like best about this story?

Christianity, how to become a Christian, God's work in your life, forgiveness, good ending to the mystery.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

She is very "ben-stein-ish", said "fire, fire" instead of "FIRE!! FIRE!!", and this goes on throughout the entire reading.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes, really liked the mystery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. C.
  • Tucson, AZ
  • 06-13-17

Great Read!

This is my all time favorite author! She will entertain you, make you laugh and cry! Her ability to weave in biblical principles into her work is beautiful! I recommend highly!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Should be a movie

I liked the overall plot of this book. It would be appropriate for readers (or listeners)of all ages. It is narrated very well and keeps you engaged throughout.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Seeing with your heart

What did you love best about What Once Was Lost?

I loved how I'm showed, through the teling of this story, how so many people feel cast aside, whether through physical or other types of disabilities. She wrote such a moving story and I could feel for Tommy but also the others who felt cast aside by society. even Levi, felt lost and alone because of his father's depression felt cast aside, and not worthy to be a part of community.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved how through showing kindness to Tommy, Levi learned he could trust again. I also loved how Kim did not water down the feelings and behaviors of Tommy because of him being blind. As a blind person myself, I have often felt ignored by those around me, even family and church members. So often I have felt like I am in total darkness though I do have some sight. Kim showed blindness as it really is, that we are very capable people and that we are worthy of love and friendship. Tommy was love by Christina, but she held him to tight, wrapped in celefaine,because of her fear that he could endanger himself. Levi showed Tommy love, but aloud him to strike out on his own and try new things though protecting him from dangerous situations buy setting guidelines and guide ropes as well.

What does Pilar Witherspoon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Pilar Witherspoon brought life to the story through her reading and putting feeling into the story. Had I read it, I could not have done that because it would have been a computer voice reading for me. I love how she used different inflections for different people like the children, Levi, Christina and others. When a person was sad, her voice was sad. When a person was angry, her voice was angry. Things like that make a book come alive for me as a blind reader.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, and it was difficult not to do so. I must say that one morning I didn't want to get up because of staying up so late to listen to it.

Any additional comments?

Again, I was very impressed how Kim brought this story together. I believe that those who have never encountered a blind person will look at that person differently when they do, or if they already have, and believed that blind people and others with disabilities are helpless, this book will help in changing their views. Also, I love how Kim showed God's love through so many different persons and how those people showed His love to those who did not believe it or felt that God no longer loved them because of what they had done.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this story!

If you could sum up What Once Was Lost in three words, what would they be?

heart warming tears

Who was your favorite character and why?

I really liked Levi because of his personality, but also liked Tommy because I can relate to him being blind.

What does Pilar Witherspoon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I think she did a great job with the different people in te book being so many of them.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Ok book, worst narrator

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I really don't know

What do you think your next listen will be?

Historical fiction

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator made everyone sound depressed. No one was distinguished and it made the entire book depressing.

What character would you cut from What Once Was Lost?

None of them made any impression on me

Any additional comments?

The story line was not too interesting at all and I like most anything normally, there was nothing to even make you interested in the characters then add the droning on narrator. I could not finish the book.