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Star Star Star Star Star
by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Christian - Amish
284 Pages
Reviewed on 03/20/2009

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Book Review
Beth Quinn makes stain-glass windows. She has a small business that is growing rapidly. Will she be able to balance work and family?

Her mother went back to her Mennonite roots. Her mother marries and becomes pregnant with twins. Beth moves into the same small Mennonite town. Beth’s Mennonite employee falls in love with her. Beth recognizes the comfort and peace of mind the Mennonites have. She longs for that, but she is not sure that she could ever join the church.

Sean, a client, seems to have more than business interest in Beth. Can she overcome her harshness in order to have a relationship?

I expected a novel similar to that of Wanda Brunstetter’s. There are differences. To state the obvious, these characters are Mennonites, not Amish. However, if you do like Brunstetter’s books, you will like Beginnings.


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Christina Berry
Having read one of Kim Vogel Sawyer's historicals, the fantastic book Waiting for Summer's Return, I admit it took me a few pages to adjust to the contemporary setting of Beginnings. Though the backdrop is the Mennonite community, the protagonist, Beth Quinn, encapsulates a very modern, headstrong woman of the outside world.

Once I became accustomed to Sawyer's descriptions of travel having to do with a motor instead of a team and wagon, and despite not having read the first book in the Sommerfeld series, I fell into the story.

I found myself caring about Beth's aspirations as much as she did, even to the point of worrying over them. With two men wanting her attention, a new stain-glass art business to get off the ground, and the ever-present questioning of her place in the community, Beth must turn to the Lord to make her dreams come true.

Gentle strings of faith ran throughout this well-written novel and left me with a fresh perspective on the importance of family, community, and trusting the Lord to direct our lives.


Chandra Lynn
Beth Quinn feels like the misfit of Sommerfield, Kansas. She moved there with her mother to claim her inheritance. In the process, she found faith and an unknown talent in stained glass making. Her mother embraced the life of the Old Order Mennonite, married her childhood sweat heart and is pregnant with twins. Beth feels loved but left out. The only place she belongs is in her stained glass studio.
She dreams of using newfound Christian faith by using the talents God has given her to operate a successful stained glass studio. Enter Andrea Braun, member of the Sommerfield fellowship and Sean McCauley, of McCauley Church Construction. Andrea works beside her in the studio and longs for her success to give him the opportunity to stop farming and follow his love of art. Sean contracts her to do stained glass windows for the churches they build.
Can Beth forget her painful past and trust these men for who they are and not what she fears they want from her? Or will she be swept away like the tiny glass dust on her studio floor?
This book will draw you in and keep you reading as you root for all of the characters. And when you close the book you will be eager to read the next one.


Karla Dinger
Wonderful book...the whole series is good. Purchased for a gift and my giftee absolutely loves them. Can't wait for the next one.


Sharon A. Lavy
In Beginnings: Beth gives up her dream of running an antique store about the same time she realizes her gift of working with stained glass. Her grandfather and grandmother Koeppler as well as her mother encourage her in this endeavor. But Beth's new venture struggles with time constraints, supply problems and two other men trying to run her life.

Kim Vogel Sawyer's stories have a healing touch. The family relations thread that touched me was the concern Beth had that she was losing her mother, since Marie had returned to the faith of her childhood.

The take home value of Beginnings, for me?

Priorities. By getting her priorities straight Beth pricks the heart of another man old enough to be her father. He thought he was doing right, until Beth taught him that in order to truly honor God, our priorities must be right.


Delores Brumfield


D. Calkins
Very good reading. Nice to read about people that life a more simple life. Entertaining.


Deborah Whiteside
Another great book! This author really knows how to keep you intrigued. I always look forward to her next book!


Susan K. Edwards
This book is the 2nd book in the Soomerfiled Trilogy by Kim Vogel Sawyer, and where I definitely enjoyed it, I wasn't as intrigued with it as I was the 1st; "Bygones". Beth, who is Marie's daughter (Bygones) is still struggling with the Mennonite faith and at the same time there are two young men that are falling in love with her. After her being hurt in the last book, she is definitely "once bitten, twice shy" in so many ways in her life ... this jumps out throughout this book, and I feel this is so often true in our lives itself. Beth is still dealing with where she is fitting in this Mennonite community as an Outsider, and where she now fits in with her Mom's new life. She feels so alone, and doesn't understand that is her own doing at the same time she has found a wonderful gift in stained glass that lifts her up and gives her hope and through that the young men in her life have continued to be there for her. This is a book about refinding trust, relying on God, yes even when the going is really, really tough ... I think the trust issue is really well thought through within this book. Beth is a character I had trouble with from "Bygone's" however, she has softened up considerably in "Beginnings" which I really appreciated and found that I was able to relate so much more to her than I was in "Bygones". Overall, I truly enjoyed this book ... I do wish that the author had completed it a bit more before going on to "Blessings" which let you know for sure that all ends well ... it would have been nice to just complete it ... but I am finding that in many of Kim Vogel Sawyer Book's that is a trait she has and something I am just going to have to get used to and appreciate. All in all, a book worth reading but definitely one that would be much more enjoyable after reading "Bygones". As well as, I am certainly looking forward to starting "Blessings" and continuing my relationship with Trina, and the rest of the families in Sommerfield.


Nadia N. Rehmani
This was a good book.I always enjoy these types of books.For Some reason I can realy feel what they feel.Nadia Rehmani


Bonnie McKinzie
Book two of Sommerfield Trilogy is the story of Beth. She has opened up a stained glass business in the little Mennonite town, although she, herself has not changed her lifestyle. She has found true peace with God, and attends church, but does not intend to join the church or the culture into which her mother, Marie has returned. Beth tolerates in, but does not embrace it.

Marie is now middle aged, and pregnant with twins, Henry's first children, which will be 20 years younger than Beth, but she is very, very happy with her Mennonite husband and life. Henry dotes over here, and they are both supportive of Beth.

Beth has one employee, Andrew, who really has his hat set for her, but he is Mennonite, and she is not. End of that possibility. He plans to be an artist much to his father's displeasure. Farming has been their way for decades, and Andrew has no interest in farming, but he does respect his father.

As Beth's talents are becoming known, a large construction company contacts her to do a large, expensive sample church window for them, on a very, very strict schedule...if they are satisfied, they will sign a large contract for 17 more windows. If she does not finish in time or they are not satisfied, the deal is off. The young business representative, Sean, also has his eye on Beth, and he is not Mennonite. Beth seems to be pretty blind to the feelings of either man, although occasionally she does get a "twinge" of something for both men...nothing serious.

Her mother Marie, has a difficult pregnancy and delivery, and the story of Beth takes a huge turn. Not to spoil the story, I will leave it at that. The important part is that Beth finally finds her own way, and who she really is, and who and what are really important.

Even though this book dragged a bit in places, I already have book three, and expect great things from the final book in the series. Thank you Kim, for another wholesome and believable Christian Fiction novel.
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