Monday, February 10, 2014

Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Overview: Sometimes a secret must be kept for the truth to be revealed.

When a suspicious accident occurs at the famous Dinsmore Chocolate Factory in Sinclair, Kansas, Caroline Lang goes undercover as a factory worker to investigate the circumstances surrounding the event and how the factory treats its youngest employees—the child workers. Caroline’s fervent faith, her difficult childhood, and compassionate heart drove her to her job as an investigator for the Labor Commission and she is compelled to see children freed from such heavy adult responsibilities, to allow them to pursue an education.

Oliver Dinsmore, heir to the Dinsmore candy dynasty, has his own investigation to conduct. Posing as a common worker known as “Ollie Moore,” he aims to find out all he can about the family business before he takes over for his father. Caroline and Oliver become fast friends, but tension mounts when the two find themselves at odds about the roles of child workers. Hiding their identities becomes even more difficult when fate brings them together over three children in desperate need. When all is revealed, will the truth destroy the love starting to grow between them?

My Review: This book was fantastic. I was hooked from the very first page. Kim Vogel Sawyer is an excellent writer. The plot was fast-paced and exciting. I loved that both Caroline and Oliver were under cover, trying to uncover things at the chocolate factory. I loved that the setting was in chocolate factory, as well. I am a HUGE fan of chocolate, so this book made me crave some! The romance between "Ollie" and "Carrie" was sweet (no pun intended, hehe). It wasn't the main focus of the book, and that was fine. The insights on child labor back in that time period was also interesting.

The author does a wonderful job of creating depth in each character and explaining what has made them the way they are. Caroline Lang (aka Carrie) has gone through a lot in her life. She detests child labor, and for a good reason. Throughout the book, we see her struggling to overcome the emotional turmoil her past wrought on her and we can rejoice with her when she finally does! Oliver Dinsmore (aka Ollie) is the heir to the Dinsmore Chocolate factory. He's lived a live of priviledge and wealth. I love that he was humble enough to go undercover as a janitor to do research that would allow him to be a better owner when he took the reins. Throughout the story, we see his compassion and rejoice with him when he comes to know the Lord on a more personal level.

Here, we come to my favorite part of the story: the message. From overcoming our past and learning to trust in God completely, to the gift of mercy, grace, and salvation, this story has it all. It took me over half of the book to realize the significance of the title Echoes of Mercy. Mercy, by definition, is an act of kindness, compassion, or favor. Throughout the story, we see "echoes" of mercy shown especially to Caroline. Once I realized the significance of the title, I loved it even more!

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group through the Blogging for Books program for this review.*

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