Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review: Bringing Maggie Home

Bringing Maggie Home
By Kim Vogel Sawyer
WaterBrook, 2017


Decades of loss, an unsolved mystery, and a rift spanning three generations

Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.

Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can't understand her mother's overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother's inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan-a cold case agent-cherishes her grandmother's lavish attention and affection.

When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel's painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that's been lost?

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My thoughts

Bringing Maggie Home is a creative masterpiece. Captivating, poignant, riveting, suspenseful, spiritual … I could keep going, but all the adjectives I might come up with barely scratch the surface of what you’ll find within these pages. There’s a complexity in this character-driven, multi-layered story. I don’t cry easily, but experienced several tearful moments while reading – joyful tears for the most part.

Maggie is actually a minor character, yet her presence is felt on every page as a 70-year-old secret casts its shadow over three generations of women. Flashbacks to 1943 and the ensuing years are skillfully woven throughout, providing insight and understanding. The relationship between Hazel and granddaughter Meghan is precious, but it’s the dysfunctional mother/daughter relationship of Hazel and Diane that drives the story emotionally.

Best of all is that readers will see Jesus in this story as Sawyer’s characters exhibit faith in action – not a perfect faith, but a realistic one that struggles as it grows. Romance is secondary, but I loved the chemistry and bond of friendship between Meghan and her cold-case partner, Sean. So many elements turned my emotions every which way – the heartbreak of loss, misunderstood motives, sharing of faith, redemptive scenes, and the joy of coming home. I found these words of Sean to Meghan such a moving reminder of all that Jesus is to us …

“While I’m here on earth, I have a constant companion so I’m never alone. When I’m not sure what to do, He’s my guide. When I’m weak, He strengthens me. When I’m frustrated, He calms me. I can’t imagine living without Him, and I can’t imagine eternity separated from Him.”

Bringing Maggie Home is an uplifting story that lives on in my heart. “Best of the best” for me.

Highly recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Kim Vogel Sawyer is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million books in print, in several different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.

Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope and redemption. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.

Find out more about Kim at



  1. This sounds like a wonderful book. I am going to suggest it for my book club. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Beckie, this is an incredible story - to me, at least. I think it would make an excellent book club choice and am eager to know your thoughts. I don't think your group would be disappointed.