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Where Willows Grow

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Where Willows Grow [Paperback]

Kim Vogel Sawyer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1, 2007
Her heart aches for his return. . . but is the distance between them measured by more than miles? Anna Mae isn't sure her husband is being completely honest about his job with the Works Progress Administration. They're building a castle? In Kansas? Harley promised he'd be at the worksite only long enough to earn enough cash to keep their farm. But the money hasn't arrived, and Anna Mae fears Harley may be gone for good. Harley Phipps has never been a man in need of luxuries, but he wants to do right by his wife and two little girls. He was about to lose all he'd worked for if he didn't do somethingthere was no way he could pass up the government job, even if it meant leaving his family for a while. Anna Mae was awful mad when he sold the mules, packed his bag, and headed out. If only she'd send him a short note to let him know she and the girls are all right. . .

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Where Willows Grow + Waiting for Summer's Return (Waiting for Summer's Return Series #1) + My Heart Remembers
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Editorial Reviews


"...Kim Vogel Sawyer has written another great book.... Each character is well portrayed.... The setting... is well crafted...." -- Victoria H. Borgman,

About the Author

Kim Vogel Sawyer is fond of C words such as children, cats, and chocolate. Besides her first novel, Waiting for Summer's Return, she's been published in Guideposts and several other magazines and anthologies. In her spare time she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764201832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764201837
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #962,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The course of true love never did run smooth. . . . April 4, 2007
But true love wins out in this wonderful book by Kim Vogel Sawyer, another touching, insightful story, this time set in the Depression in drought-stricken Kansas. Using believable characters, she weaves a tale of God's provision and the redemption of broken dreams.

Anna Mae loves her husband, but it's been a while since she and Harley shared much more than frustration. They're on the brink of losing the farm they both dearly love because of the severe drought and the depressed economy. Out of desperation, Harley decides to take a WPA job, which will mean leaving his wife and two little girls. Anna Mae, unhappy about the situation, doesn't even say good-bye to her husband, and they part in anger.

Far away from her husband, Anna Mae's situation seems to go from bad to worse, especially when lifelong neighbor, Jack, decides he still loves Anna Mae and it would be best if her son-of-a-sharecropper husband didn't return at all.

This book delivers quite an emotional punch and will touch your heart, as true love, in all its many forms, wins out in the end. Don't miss it!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Step Back in Time May 17, 2007
This book has Kim Sawyer's signature depth of characterization. As the reader, I quickly fell in love with Anna and her struggles. The characters were rich and diverse. Harley is a man who has pulled himself up and works hard to support his family. Jack has a successful dairy farm, but is focused on the love that's been denied him. Dirk is a man who will teach Harley what sacrifice is about. And Anna is a woman trying to make the best of an impossible situation.

I also love the way Kim makes the setting come alive. She pulls together unknown pieces of Kansas history that add richness and depth to the plot. I also enjoyed the fact that this book was set during the Depression. This has been a time period that has been overlooked by many historical authors, yet Kim makes it come to life in a manner that kept me engaged from page one.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Where Willows Grow by Kim Vogel Sawyer April 3, 2007
This book is a story of enduring love during the Depression period of our country's history. Anna Mae and Harley Phipps are barely surviving on the farm her parents left her. Harley travels across the state of Kansas, against his wife's wishes, to work on a WPA project of building a castle to make money for food and taxes. Several events occur to keep them from receiving letters from each other, leading to more hurt feelings. They are both involved in harmful accidents which God can use for good if they will let Him. The blurb on the back of the book says "Her heart aches for his return, but is the distance between them measured by more than miles?" I hope you will order this book and find out the answer for yourself. If you are like me, you will be happy at the joyful ending, but sad that your visit with these heartwarming characters is at an end.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gentle story of hope April 17, 2007
Enduring the depression, drought and dust storms of Kansas in the 1930s was hard enough for Anna as she watched her farm wither away, but when she finds herself pregnant with their third child, mule-less because her husband sold them for food, and husbandless because he has crossed the state to build a castle with the Works in Progress Administration, she feels abandoned. What will become of her, her farm and her marriage?

Though I could hardly stand to read about the trials that Anna and her husband, Harley, faced, this was a compelling story. As a mother I could really relate to Anna's anguish as she worried for her children. As a wife I could relate to the realistic portrayal of the woman left to hold house and home together. And, as a reader, I wanted to pummel the creep of a "friend" who believed he was acting in Anna's best interest--at the expense of Harley.

This story continues Kim Vogel Sawyer's tradition of gentle stories of hope, but it doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of life.

Armchair Interviews says: Well written and compelling.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Willows Grow, a review April 4, 2007
By Andee
The story opens with Anna Mae, a young wife struggling to raise her family in the lean, dry years of the Depression, discovering that the road of life just got considerably rougher. Already raising two children, she faces another pregnancy. On top of that, her husband, Harley, is talking of getting a distant job which would leave her alone on their failing Kansas farm until he could return. Annie is tough, but a strange turn of circumstances leads to her feel abandoned by the man she loves, while the only help she gets with the farm forces her to face trouble that nearly turns her world upside-down. But she is never alone, as her faith in God rises with the intensity of her struggles. Author Kim Sawyer touches upon real life issues with an honesty that refreshes, but in the tradition of Janette Oke, Where Willows Grow remains family-friendly with a satisfyingly good ending. I was rooting for Anna from page one. Kim's secondary characters will not disappoint, either.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Read! May 17, 2007
A wonderful story set in the Depression Era. Kim takes us on a journey of struggles caused by lack and the promise of what hope, endurance, and love can bring. The emotions shared between the husband and wife ring true for any generation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heart of the Prairie #10 October 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Harley has been working hard to keep his farm going through a never-ending drought. Desperate to provide for his family, he decides to sell the mules and take a job elsewhere in Kansas building a castle. He loves his wife but sees her growing discontent with her lot in life and wants to prove himself to her. They are both stubborn and argue before he leaves.

While he is gone, both of them have a change of heart regarding the way they left things and want to make amends. Unfortunately, the neighbor that Harley asked to help his wife out has been hopelessly in love with her since they were children. Seeing this as an opportunity to gain what he wants, Jack goes to any measure he finds necessary to keep the two of them apart.

I did like this book, although I was irritated with Anna Mae at the beginning of the book. She is upset that Harley is leaving and didn't consult her. Instead of trying to talk about the problem, she acts like a spoiled child and gives him the silent treatment. Other than that, they both come to realize that it is best to make sure you don't leave things unsaid. Anna especially learns this lesson when a man from another town brings news of the castle project. And all I can say about Jack is he is a bad, bad man!

The concept of the castle was unusual and I had the feeling that it was based on fact. I looked it up online and there is a castle in Lindsborg, Kansas. The place is called Coronado Heights Park. I waited to find out a little bit about it at the end, but all I saw were dedications from the author. I enjoy when authors incorporate truth like this, I just wish there had been a bit about it at the end of the book. Likable characters, good story line - Good Book!
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