Song of My Heart, by Kim Vogel Sawyer

book coverSadie Wagner has always been devoted to her family. So when her stepfather is injured and can’t work, she decides to leave home and accept a position as a clerk at the mercantile in Goldtree, Kansas. Goldtree also offers the opportunity to use her God-given singing talent–though the promised opera house is far different from what she imagined. With her family needing every cent she can provide, Sadie will do anything to keep her job.

Thad McKane comes to Goldtree at the request of the town council. The town has been plagued by bootlegging operations, and Thad believes he can find the culprit. After he earns enough money doing sheriff work, he wants to use it to pay for his training to become a minister.

Thad is immediately attracted to the beautiful singer who performs in Asa Baxter’s unusual opera house, but when he hears her practicing bawdy tunes, he begins to wonder if she’s far less innocent than she seems. And when Sadie appears to be part of the very crimes he’s come to investigate, is there any hope the love blossoming between them will survive?

Song of My Heart is set in 1895; fourteen years after Kansas voters approved a constitutional amendment prohibiting the manufacture and sale of alcohol. This state-wide ban is central to Sawyer’s plot because bootlegging is rife in the up and coming town of Goldtree. Sadie inadvertently becomes involved with illegal activities and can see no way out. Any attempt to break free could jeopardize her job and the money she is sending to her family back in Indiana. She is torn between family and her relationship with Thad, who has come to town to root out these illegal activities.

There are plenty of characters in this novel, each with their own stand-out personalities. Surprisingly, Sadie and Thad are probably the flattest of all of them, but the competition is steep. Sadie works and boards with two delightful and elderly twin spinsters, named Miss Melva and Miss Shelva. They are set in their ways, finish each other’s sentences, and slightly hard of hearing, but it’s evident they care for Sadie. Ironically however, it is their brother, Asa, who reminds me of the Tweedledum/Tweedledee character: short, rotund, and menacing. He can’t stand his sisters – who are both far taller than him – and sees his short stature as a weakness to be hidden whenever possible. What he lacks in height he definitely wants to have in terms of power, and he coerces Sadie and her cousin Sid into doing his bidding.

There are some authors I will always read and Kim Vogel Sawyer is one of them. Song of My Heart, a tale of love and trust, is a delightful addition to her catalog of historical fiction.

 Publisher: Bethany House

Publication Date: 01 February 2012

Page Count: 348

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I received my free copy of Song of My Heart from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

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