I'd say it wasn't fully predictable. It's hard to discern that, as I study plot and so guess from the writer's brain, not just as a reader.
I loved all of the characters. I identified with Grace and the way she viewed/processed things. Theo and Bess probably tied as my favorite characters (even though when Bess first came as a character highlight it made me slightly confused why she was there). Though I also really like Philemon and Earl. Okay, I liked Earl a lot too. His character growth was one of my favorites.
For some reason, in several books I've read recently, it's confusing if the struggling characters are saved DURING the novel, or if they were previous saved and during the novel, turn back to Christ after wandering. This was such with Theo. By the end, he definitely was following God, but it's unclear if he was truly born-again in the beginning of the novel or not.
Spiritually... five stars hands down! This is why I liked Bess SO much. She was the perfect older, wiser woman whose counsel was solid, Biblical, and right on. There were so many times during the novel that I applauded her for her counsel. Very much NOT a "follow your heart" read! And the conclusion of the book's message...yeah. It was just so very good!
Romance...it was there, but it wasn't all mushy, gushy. In fact, I don't remember a single kiss. Like I said, I came away from the book with the message of, "Follow God, not love."
Not to rave, but I really liked this book. Like a lot. Like, it's re-readable worth it. And I don't say that about many books that I read. ;) Just an extra piece of endorsement there. ;)
*I received this book from Blogging for Books and happily gave my honest review*
About Grace and the Preacher
At the age of twenty-four, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up hope of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can’t deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille—a man she deeply admires, but has only met through his letters.
Theophil Garrison is on the run from a past and a label he’s desperate to escape. Ten years ago, his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now their sentence is complete, but the plan for vengeance has only just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, a chance encounter could provide Theo with the escape he needs.
But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?
About Kim Vogel Sawyer
With over 40 titles on library shelves and more than 1.5 copies of her books in print worldwide, Kim Vogel Sawyer enjoys a full-time writing and speaking ministry. Empty-nesters, Kim and her retired military husband, Don, are active in their church’s music ministry. Additionally, Kim helps lead women’s fellowship and enjoys teaching at writing conferences and spiritual retreats. When she isn't writing, Kim enjoys quilting, traveling, and spoiling her granddarlings.
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