Read A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer Online


A Compelling Pioneer Story From Bestselling Author Kim Vogel SawyerFed up with the poor quality of life in 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines encourages her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher to move with their two children to Drayton Valley, Kansas, a booming town hailed in the guidebook as the land of opportunity. She offers to help with expenses and to care for Mary and the chilA Compelling Pioneer Story From Bestselling Author Kim Vogel SawyerFed up with the poor quality of life in 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines encourages her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher to move with their two children to Drayton Valley, Kansas, a booming town hailed in the guidebook as the land of opportunity. She offers to help with expenses and to care for Mary and the children as they travel west by wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into an arrangement with Joss that leaves both of them questioning God and their dreams for the future. As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will Tarsie and Joss give up and go their separate ways, or will God use their time in Drayton Valley to turn their hearts toward him?...

Title : A Home in Drayton Valley
Author :
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ISBN : 9780764207884
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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A Home in Drayton Valley Reviews

  • Maureen Timerman
    2019-02-13 03:24

    I enjoyed this fast pace read of living in 1880's Kansas. The author takes us from the streets of poverty in NYC to the shores Mississippi River Kansas.Tarsie Raines loves her friend Mary Brubacher and gives her her life savings to get her out of NYC. Mary turns around and makes her husband Joss take Tarsie with them.We experience taking the train and then wagon train to the promise land of Kansas. We meet prejudice head on with the wagon master being black. Joss has had a hard bringing up, his Mom died when he was young, and his father was really abusive, and of course passed on his hate. We also experience the unconditional Love of God and others that Tarsie has for Mary and her family. Accepting another woman's family? I did love Simon's family, and Tarsie's acceptance of them...what great friends they become.The ending was a little to unbelievable, with Tarsie being in the right place at the wrong time, but of course I did like how things worked out.I received this book through Bethany House Bloggers Program, and was not required to give a positive review.

  • Ellie
    2019-02-05 02:38

    One of Kim Vogel Sawyer's best novels to date! Reminded me of Janette Oke's classic Love Comes Softly, only better, if that's even possible ;-)

  • Rachel Brand
    2019-02-16 09:38

    GENRE: HISTORICAL ROMANCEPUBLISHER: BETHANY HOUSEPUBLICATION DATE: OCTOBER 01, 2012RATING: 3.5 OUT OF 5 – GOODPROS: Bravely introduces the hero’s first wife alongside the heroine; historical details about travelling by wagon train and race relations; marriage of convenience story is a favourite in the genreCONS: Simple misunderstanding keeps hero and heroine apart for a while; Ruth and Simon felt a little too caricatured and perfect; Joss’s struggles with alcohol could have been approached betterTarsie Raines knows that her best friend, Mary Brubacher, is never going to recover from her illness if she continues to live in New York City. After a lot of encouragement, Mary and her husband agree to uproot their family and relocate to Drayton Valley, Kansas, where they hope the quality of life will be better. Mary begs Tarsie to travel with them, much to Joss’s annoyance. He can’t understand why Mary needs to bring her friend with them on the journey. But Mary knows that her illness is far worse than Tarsie and Joss realise, and that it’s unlikely that she’ll live to see Drayton Valley. Before they arrive in their new home, Mary makes Tarsie promise to care for her husband and children, should she die.Burying her best friend along the trail was hard enough, but taking on the responsibility of a husband and children with barely a day’s notice only adds to Tarsie’s struggles. As much as she loves Mary’s children, she can’t imagine ever coming to care for the harsh, unfriendly Joss. But she decides to make an effort to Mary’s sake, and that of the children. As they settle in Drayton Valley and hunt for work and a home, Tarsie continues to struggle with her new role as Joss’s wife. Will their marriage ever become anything more than one of convenience? Or even worse: will their marriage even survive?Although I’ve truly enjoyed some of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s older novels (Waiting for Summer’s Return and A Hopeful Heart), I’m finding that I don’t enjoy her newer works quite as much. I went into A Home in Drayton Valley hoping that it would hark back to Kim’s earlier novels, especially as marriage of convenience plots are among my favourite romantic storylines. While I initially felt that A Home in Drayton Valley was stepping out from the conventionality of some of Kim’s more recent novels, particularly in introducing the reader to the hero’s first wife rather than starting the story after he became a widower, I became frustrated with some details as the story moved along. Ultimately, I’d have to say that I was impressed with some of the aspects that the storyline explored, but the book still had its fair share of flaws.What most surprised me about the start of A Home in Drayton Valley was that the relationship between Tarsie and Mary (Joss’s wife) is explored before the novel touches on the connection between Tarsie and Joss. Although it’s obvious that Mary is very sick and close to dying, Kim still managed to make me care about Mary and what would happen to her family once she was no longer living. But did this stop me from caring about Tarsie and wanting her relationship with Joss to develop after Mary’s death? Not at all. In fact, I think introducing Mary at the start of the story, rather than skipping ahead to the time after her death means that the reader wants Joss and Tarsie to fall in love and to raise Mary’s children because they know that this was what Mary wanted. Introducing Mary and keeping her present for almost a quarter of the novel was a brave move on Kim’s part, but I think she executed it well.Although I’m a big fan of historical romance novels, particularly prairie romances, I’ve actually not read many books which feature wagon trains. I appreciated the depth of detail offered about life on a wagon train and the difficulties of relocating from a city to a distant prairie town. Even if I don’t always love every aspect of the plot or characterisation in Kim’s novels, I know that I can rely on her to provide realistic descriptions of life in a certain location and time period. I loved the details about Tarsie setting up her new home and Joss’s work at the vineyard. And although the novel also featured some details about race relations in this period, they never felt at all preachy, and never overshadowed the main storyline. Joss is initially reticent about even conversing with a black man, and again, I think this was a brave move on the author’s part. It’s hard to sympathise with a racist character, even if you know that his attitudes weren’t unusual given the time period and his upbringing. Surprisingly, Joss’s initial attitude towards Ruth and Simon, a black couple who he and Tarsie eventually become friends with, didn’t make me dislike him, and it made his character seem all the more realistic. There were times when Simon and Ruth felt a bit too perfect and thus seemed a little caricatured. Although it was encouraging to read about an older couple helping Joss and Tarsie through their marital difficulties, and with Joss’s parenting, they didn’t seem to have any flaws or problems of their own. By the end of the book, I found myself wishing that Ruth and Simon had a few faults in order to make them seem more believable. One of my other frustrations with the story was the issue that kept Tarsie and Joss apart towards the end of the novel. I won’t go into too many details, but I’ll just say that I’m not a big fan of conflicts that can be resolved in a simple conversation, and I wish the conflict at the end of A Home in Drayton Valley had centred around something more solid than a misunderstanding and false assumptions. By the end of the book, the situation felt like it had been dragging on for quite a while and I felt like shouting at the characters, “Just talk to each other and get together already!” Ultimately, my main problem with A Home in Drayton Valley is not the final conflict or the characterisation of the secondary characters, but the way that Joss’s problems with alcohol are dealt with. While there are some books that deal with the topic of alcoholism in a sensitive manner, the way alcohol in general is discussed in this book left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Not only because I’m a Christian who does drink alcohol and found the anti-alcohol message in the novel quite offensive and entirely misinformed, but because I felt that the solution to Joss’s problem wasn’t really a solution at all.This part of the story basically goes as follows: Joss is an alcoholic yet works in a vineyard, and Tarsie is worried that this will pose more of a temptation for him. Simon knows that if he votes for prohibition, he and all the other men at the vineyard will lose their jobs. Then there’s an incident in which Joss gets drunk again, and Tarsie and Simon agree that they must vote for the prohibition of alcohol so that Joss can no longer buy alcohol to get drunk on. I’m sorry, but banning alcohol doesn’t solve the problem, it just takes away the object of temptation. What happens if Joss moves to a state where alcohol isn’t outlawed, or if alcohol is allowed back into the state of Kansas? Will he be able to control his urges, or just slip back into his old patterns? All they’re doing in banning alcohol is taking away the substance that people are abusing, rather than teaching them not to abuse it. This whole situation could have been dealt with a lot better, but instead, it just ends up giving the message that drinking alcohol leads to drunkenness and that it’s the alcohol that’s the source of the problem, not the people who abuse it. Although A Home in Drayton Valley did have some original aspects that I enjoyed, I wished some parts of the story had been approached differently. I do think Kim Vogel Sawyer stepped away from some of her more conventional plots in this book, which made for an interesting change. But while A Home in Drayton Valley was mostly an enjoyable, easy ready, there were some flaws that I couldn’t ignore and a couple of them spoiled my reading experience a little.Review title provided by Bethany House.

  • Massanutten Regional Library
    2019-01-29 07:38

    Shelby, Village patron, June 2017, 3 stars:Tarsie, an Irish girl living and working in a sweatshop in NYC had learned herbal medicine from her aunt. She had a sick friend Mary, who depended on her for her herbal cures. Tarsie would have given anything to to get Mary and her two children out of NYC to a healthier place. She gave Mary and her family all her hard-earned savings to go to Drayton Valley in Kansas. Mary was so dependent on Tarsie and her herbs, they insisted she come along too. They joined a wagon train. Mary died just as they reached Kansas. She made Tarsie promise to take care of her children and marry her husband, Joss. When Joss heard of Mary's last wishes he agreed, but got a bartender to pretend to be a minister to marry them. Joss had problems showing his love, even to the children. Finally Joss revealed the marriage was not legitimate. Only after Tarsie left, did Joss understand he needed her and had fallen in love with her. They were finally legally married to the delight of Mary's children.

  • Karen Fredhoff
    2019-02-08 08:24

    Awesome!I absolutely loved this book! I couldn't put it down. It was full of faith,joy, the real pains of life and Gods shining light. Awesome!

  • Wendy
    2019-02-20 08:26

    Tarsie Raines became friends with in ill Mary Brubacher and did what she could to doctor her. After losing her aunt Mary was the only true friend Tarsie had. Mary was married to Joss who spent most of his money in the saloons and kept just barely enough money to keep the run down apartment and enough food to feed his family which included little Emmy and Nathaniel. Not only did he squander away money drinking in the saloons, he also gambled and owed a huge debt, which was about to come due or he would probably lose his life.Dreams of going to Drayton Valley, KS were always in Tarsie's mind and she shared the book about Drayton Valley with Mary. Mary knew that she didn't have much time left in this world so she managed to talk Joss, who really did love Mary but was unhappy that they had children, to move the family to Kansas and she included Tarsie. Joss was not happy about Tarsie going along but he would do anything to please Mary and since he didn't have the money to pay his gambling debt he knew he had to get out of New York and fast, so it didn't take a lot of convincing from Mary.The five of them take the train to Des Moines, IA, then have to take a wagon to Drayton Valley. The only wagon train that is leaving immediately is an all black wagon train and Joss, thanks to his drunk of a father detests blacks. But, he knows he needs to move on and Mary's health is deteriorating so he agrees to go. He refuses to camp in the circle with the rest of the wagons and doesn't even associate with them.When they arrive at the Missouri River where they would cross to go through White Cloud, Mary was so weak Joss had to lift her out of the wagon and carry her to the banks so she could see Kansas. Mary's prayers were answered, she'd seen Kansas, the place she wanted Joss to live and raise Emmy and Natty. As they were waiting to cross the river, Joss went to see if they could cross first so they could go find a doctor and Mary drew her last breath after asking Tarsie to promise to marry Joss, bring him to God and to raise her children.Joss reluctantly agrees to marry Tarsie, so he goes to town to find a preacher, when he returns they are married. When they arrive to Drayton Valley, Joss locates a small house for them to live in and gets a job doing dock work. Joss refuses to spend nights in the house and plans on leaving Tarsie and the kids for Chicago after he gets enough money saved up to sustain them for 3 months.When the dock breaks loose and floats down the river Joss finds himself without a job so he goes looking at the vineyard outside the other side of town. He gets the job but the foreman is a black man, now he's even more determined to get out of Drayton Valley. When he eventually moves to the vineyard, avoiding Tarsie and his children Tarsie takes the first chance she gets to leave town forcing Joss to raise his own children. Soon Joss finds himself in jail and Tarsie is picked up by a couple of thieves and is forced to pretend to be married to one of them. With them being separated and in different towns, oh yes, and not really married, will Tarsie fulfill Mary's last request? How will Joss handle working for a black person, being in jail, and who's going to raise his children just when he was getting close to them and learning how to be a papa to them?The faith Mary had that her plan would be carried out was very touching and as you read this book you'll find yourself wondering if it's going to happen. Do you think when you make a promise to someone who is dying that you have to carry it out no matter what? Is it right to promise a dying person something, knowing you possibly/probably can't keep that promise, just so they can die in peace 'knowing' in their mind that you would never break a promise to them? If you break that promise is it the same as lying to them?The book was a pretty good read and I would probably choose it again. I can recommend it to others that like books set in pioneer times.Thank you to Bethany House for providing me this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

  • Sarah
    2019-02-15 04:26

    All I can really say about this book is that it was sweet. It took me longer than expected to finish, since it did drag on a bit. Not to mention the Christian romance novel cliche: good Christian girl meets a rough, handsome fellow who needs to turn to God instead of other problems, and they live happily ever after. I mean, it was sweet in its own ways, but honestly, Joss got on my nerves! I know that’s the plot of the story, but it’s just my opinion. The only other complaint I have is the over-bearing “preaching.” Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE when authors mention God and praising Him, but honestly it was kind of pushed on you throughout the story. I guess I really shouldn’t be complaining about that, but it just annoyed me a bit as I was trying to enjoy the story. But, you can never have too much God! Overall it was quite enjoyable, and it’s probably a read-again some day in the future.

  • Louise
    2019-02-05 03:29

    Story Description:Baker Publishing Group|October 1, 2012|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-7642-0788-4A compelling pioneer story from bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer. Fed up with the poor quality of life in 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines encourages her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher to move with their two children to Drayton Valley, Kansas, a booming town hailed in the guidebook as the land of opportunity. She offers to help with expenses and to care for Mary and the children as they travel west by wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into an arrangement with Joss that leaves both of them questioning God and their dreams for the future. As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will Tarsie and Joss give up and go their separate ways, or will God use their time in Drayton Valley to turn their hearts toward him? My Review:Twenty-four-year-old Tarsie Raines met her friend Mary Brubacher a year ago and had been best friends ever since. Mary was a sickly woman with bad lungs and the air in New York City didn’t help her condition nor did the fact her husband, Joss, insisted on having the bedroom window open at night. Tarsie always carried her Aunts medicinal pouch with her and on this morning it was needed. When Tarsie entered Mary’s apartment the children were playing on their own as Mary was in bed with another fever. Tarsie prayed that God would see fit to have Mary move out of New York. As a matter of fact, Tarsie had found a tattered copy of James Redpath’s Handbook of Kansas in an alley a week ago. She hoped to convince Joss to move Mary there. Tarsie pulled the handbook out and showed it to Mary and began to read aloud a section: “Drayton Valley…has the best rock-bound landing and is the best town site on the Missouri River.” With Joss’s experience working at the docks he’d have no problem finding work there, the air would be fresh and clean for Mary and the two children, Emmy and Nathaniel. Moving to Kansas might also deter Joss from wasting so much of his wages in New York’s saloons and on gambling. Joss was in deep debt from gambling and didn’t have the money to repay. He thought hard about Mary’s desire to move to Kansas and thought that would be a good way to escape having to repay his debt. He told Mary to start packing and be ready to leave Monday. Mary refused to leave New York without her best friend, Tarsie so she was going to Kansas with them. Soon they were on their way boarding a train for Chicago, then three more to reach Des Moines, Iowa where they’d join in a wagon train to Kansas. After finding a wagon at a livery, the Brubacher’s and Tarsie set out on the last leg of their journey. Then tragedy strikes and forces Joss and Tarsie into a situation that neither is comfortable with but for the sake of the children they haven’t much choice. Will they ever reach Kansas? Will Tarsie and Joss even stay together?A Home in Drayton Valley is a satisfying page-turner that I just couldn’t put down. It kept me reading long into the night. "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

  • Lisa Johnson
    2019-02-21 05:11

    Title: A Home in Drayton ValleyAuthor: Kim Vogel Sawyer Pages: 352Year: 2012Publisher: Bethany Unconditional love and transformation from God are the two most compelling truths mankind could ever hear and know. How does a woman who is not taken care of or loved by her husband find hope when all seems lost? When racial prejudices are taught to a man since he was a young boy, now learns to love another as God loves all, how is his life changed? At first it seemed that being arrested for a robbery at his employer’s home was what he thought God had in store for him.A young Irish lass who loves the Lord befriends a woman named Mary with two young children. Tarsie seems to be a spitfire of a girl who loves to bring healing when others are hurting from various illnesses. She can take care of herself in New York in the late 1800’s because her ability to sew with quality and at a fast pace earns her enough to meet her needs. One brisk day as she is on her way to visit Mary, who is sick in bed, she notices a booklet lying on the ground, a booklet that is going to change lives.Mary knows how sick she is, but is hiding it from her husband because her mother had the same thing. All Mary wants to see is the new state the booklet she has talked about and used to convince her husband to move there even though that might be the biggest hurdle. Joss rarely brings home all his pay, preferring to drink most of it up instead of providing for his family. Mary thinks if she can help Joss by leaving for a new land away from temptation he will become the man she knows him to really be.Joss has to decide to let go of his prejudice sooner or later; it seems he prefers later. First, the wagon master and people his family travels with aren’t what he wants. On top of that, once he gets a job after the first one stopped, it seems like his immediate boss is also a man he would rather not deal with. Every time the boss is nice to Joss, Joss’ father’s rough and angry words echo in his head. What will it take for Joss to let go of the hurt and anger in order to be filled with the love of God? Will he ever learn to express his love to a woman who falls in love with him, and who wants his love for her to be the first thought and not to just being the caretaker of his young ones?A Home in Drayton Valley is set in the 1880’s, beginning in New York and later moves to Kansas. The author does an excellent job of writing as the various people who lived in America spoke and thought at that time. It is more than a love story between a man and woman; it is a love story of God for man. There is also learning to sacrifice for what is right and doing what the Lord says even when it goes against the status quo. Of course, there is more included in this fictional story, which I highly recommend as I enjoyed it!My rating is 4 stars.Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspo.... Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at

  • Paula-O
    2019-02-14 05:23

    Novel written by Kim Vogel Sawyer "A Home in Drayton Valley"Fed up with the poor quality of life in 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines encourages her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher to move with their two children to Drayton Valley, Kansas, a booming town hailed in the guidebook as the land of opportunity. She offers to help with expenses and to care for Mary and the children as they travel west by wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into an arrangement with Joss that leaves both of them questioning God and their dreams for the future. As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will Tarsie and Joss give up and go their separate ways, or will God use their time in Drayton Valley to turn their hearts toward him?I enjoyed reading this story of Tarsie, she was so tired of living in a crowded dirty city and yearned for wide open spaces knowing it would be a better life. Tarsie met Mary Brubacher and her little family and fell in love with all but the husband Joss who was a gambler-a drinker-a mean tempered man who did not have a belief in God and barely tolerated his family.Mary had been so sick and Tarsie had helped as much as she could with her herbs but when she found a booklet in the streets telling of Kansas and the lands available there she knew that Mary could get better were she to live in a place like that, so she planted a seed in Mary's heart to go on a wagon train and find a better life.Soon Mary had talked Joss into the trip and they headed west taking Tarsie along to help with the children.Along the way Mary's health worsened and knowing she would not live much longer she talked to Tarsie and asked her to take care of her family after she was gone-ALL her family Joss too-she asked that Tarsie love and care for them - Tarsie promised because she loved Mary so much...Tarsie loves the Lord and prays that God will help her to love this man and his children after Mary is gone. Mary lived long enough to see the Kansas land and then died.Do you think you could have done as Tarsie did and ask Joss to marry you so you could raise Mary's children and hope in time you would learn to love this rough tough man...this is a wonderful story telling of how a life can change so drastically when God is in the center of it. It told of the colored folks living in a vinyard near town and how predudice between blacks&whites was prevelent at the era this story was written. Joss family hated blacks and now Joss was seeing firsthand how they were just regular folks like himself trying to make a living and loving the same Lord that all did.Will an agreement between Joss and Tarsie hurt or help them as they become closer after time spent together. Read and enjoy how a family comes together from trajedy.I was given this book by Bethany House Publishing for an honest review, thank you....

  • Eve Victorié
    2019-02-07 02:25

    I had heard a lot of good things about Kim Vogel Sawyer's books in the past, so I was very excited to finally get to read one! I had relatively high expectations for this book... a little too high, in fact. Although I loved the characters & overall story, I found the beginning to be very slow. The story took too long a time a time to unfold. I generally like to be able to sink my teeth into a good book right off the first few chapters & this one didn't really make it happen for me. I was somewhere near the middle of the book when I finally began to feel drawn into the lives of the characters. Up till then the story really held no appeal for me. But if you are a 'patient reader', you should definitely consider adding it to your 'to-read' pile. ;)Now, before I say anything else, I just want to emphasize the fact that, overall, I really did enjoy reading this! Once the story drew me in, the last half of the book took only me a day or so to finish. Tarsie & Joss were wonderful characters! However, there was something in this story, and I believe it was a major part of it, which bothered me. To be precise, it was the whole alcohol thing. The author presented alcohol being outlawed as a good thing & a problem solver. I do not agree. Outlawing something like this is not going to change matters for the good one bit, only make them worse. This is just like gun control. Outlawing guns only makes crimes go up. The state CAN'T outlaw something like this. It's NONE of their business. The state, according to God's law, has one job -- to administer justice. Restricting the free market? Ummm, last I checked, NO. Big NO. Also, I do not think alcohol is a bad thing. It's not. Jesus & His disciples drank on numerous occasions. Oh sure, you CAN get drunk. That's a bad thing. But seriously, THINK about it. Is outlawing alcohol REALLY going to help? That's just like saying we need to outlaw forks because several people somewhere got hurt while using forks, thus, NO ONE should use forks ever again. For the greater good. How RIDICULOUS is THAT?!?! Same logic applied somewhere else. Suddenly it's not looking that great, is it? If you really want to help someone with an alcohol addiction turn toward Christ, this is not the way to go. You should get to know them, disciple them, teach them -- just like Simon did with Joss. And if you think about it, it's also kind of ironic -- Joss got rid of his addiction before alcohol was outlawed. Turns out, the book actually PROVES the state does not need to (& should not!) intervene.Anyways, those are my thoughts on the subject. Story as a story was nice. Book, in regard to the theory it promoted, not very nice. I personally would not buy this book. However, if you are able to borrow a copy it might be worth taking a shot at. ;)Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers for sending me a review copy. The thoughts & views I have expressed in this review are solely my own.

  • Tammi
    2019-02-21 09:14

    A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel SawyerI have read and enjoyed many of Kim Vogel Sawyer's books over the years, and they just seem to get better and better.Twelve years ago, Tarsie Raines along with her Great Aunt Vangie arrived in New York from Ireland to start a better life. It is now 1880; the only family she has is her best friend Mary Brubacher and her children. And then there is Mary's husband Joss, whose drinking and gambling prevents him from being the husband and father he has the potential to be. Mary's health is failing and Tarsie helps take care of her and the kids, when she isn't busy working as a seamstress.When Tarsie discovers a copy of James Redpath's Handbook of Kansas on a New York street she picks it up and begins to dream of a different life for herself and Mary's family in Drayton Valley. Joss doesn't care for the idea at all, but when his gambling debts come due, he changes his tune in a hurry.They travel by train to Des Moines, Iowa, and than by wagon, heading to the state of Kansas. Joss's rough edges begin to be shaved away throughout their journey, beginning with the decision to join a wagon train in which the wagon master and the others in the train were black. It is during this time that the reader sees glimpses of the kinder, gentler Joss. But as they continue their journey to Drayton Valley, Mary's health deteriorates, and before Mary dies, Tarsie promises to care for her children and help Joss find faith in the Lord.Their arrival in Kansas wasn't actually what they expected and Joss's search for work is difficult. Eventually, he finds a job working at a vineyard for Simon Foster, a black Christian.As Tarsie tries to keep Joss from returning to his sinful ways, she realizes that she is falling in love with him.I love the way that Kim is able to bring her characters to life. Her ability to write an enduring story with such memorable characters and how she walks them through their trials to a relationship with Christ is amazing. Even though I have read the final page and have closed the cover, the characters will live on in my imagination. I loved both Simon and Ruth Foster and would love to read more about them and have a peek into Joss and Tarsie's life further into their future, but if there is never another word written about these characters the enjoyment of the book will be enough. **A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer was provided for me free by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

  • Virginia Campbell
    2019-02-11 07:30

    "A Home in Drayton Valley" seems like the answer to a prayer for three troubled souls in Kim Vogel Sawyer's thoughtful, inspirational historical romance. The rough-and-tumble world of the New York City dock area of the late 1800s is a place of despair for Tarsie Raines--so far removed from the beauty of her native Ireland. On her own after her great-aunt passed away, Tarsie found a true friendship with Mary Brubacher, a young married woman with two children. Tarsie loved Mary's children, Emmy and Nathaniel, but she had little care for their father, Josh. A hard worker, who drank and gambled just as hard as he worked, Josh seemed to show little care for his family. His own harsh childhood dominated by his father's rantings and prejudices had left Josh deeply conflicted. Mary had been the one shining light in his life, but her progressive illness had changed the course of their lives. Tarsie, a practitioner of herbal healing, taught by her great-aunt, often tended Mary during her times of sickness. By chance, one day Tarsie finds a discarded copy of a guidebook extolling the opportunities for a better life in the booming Mecca of Drayton Valley, Kansas. Tarsie persuades Mary to read the book, and the two of them determine that the way West is best for all of them. Josh is harder to convince, but his gambling debts and Mary's plea for their family make him change his mind. The journey begins, but Mary's illness is far worse than she had revealed. On her death-bead, she extracts a promise from Tarsie to always care for her children and Josh. In his grief over Mary's death, Joss decides that he must place the children in an orphanage. Tarsie is stunned, and in desperation, she asks Josh to marry her so that they can take care of the children. Josh reluctantly agrees, and so they are married, but Josh is keeping a shameful secret from Tarsie. A woman of great faith, and great heart, Tarsie tries to hold her new family together, but does fate have other plans for them all? Will the unexpected love she feels for Josh ever be returned by him? "A Home in Drayton Valley" is character-rich, with surprising twists and turns, and compelling historical detail. Many issues are dealt with including prejudice, alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, and the spiritual freedom of loving others more than you love yourself. Review Copy Gratis Bethany House Books

  • Shannah Mauney
    2019-02-04 02:15

    Joss and Mary Brubacher, their two children, and Mary's friend Tarsie Raines are determined to leave the destitution and oppression of 1880 New York behind and head for the "promised land" of Drayton Valley, Kansas. When tragedy strikes their little group, Tarsie makes a promise to care for Joss and the children and Joss sets up a "marriage" as Mary wished. Can Tarsie show Joss the love that Mary so wished for him to know? Can she love him the way God loves all of His children? Can Joss put aside his past and accept the love that Tarsie, his children, and ultimately God want for him to share?A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a story that touches my heart deeply. I can relate to it in a extremely personal way. The characters are well-developed and you can relate to them. Tarsie, from the beginning of the book, is a spit fire who stands up for what she believes in no matter the cost. Joss is hard-hearted, yet tender enough that you don't hate him, and his struggles are very human. The story is a message of learning to trust God and believe in his promises. It's a story about how God allows things to happen in our lives that we don't understand, but we have to learn to trust that God knows what he's doing. Tarsie, already being a Christian, understands this concept and we see her struggle to maintain her faith in the face of adversity. Joss, not yet accepting Christ and his love, doesn't fully understand this concept, and we see him struggle to overcome his past prejudices and finally accept what God has been trying to tell him all along through the witness of several characters in the book.Overall, this is not an action packed, comedic story. It is a soft story of God's love and acceptance that will leave your heart full and your spirit light. I would definitely recommend it.**I received this copy free from Bethany House Publishers.**View my full review and many more on my blog:

  • Wall-to-wall books - wendy
    2019-02-03 10:23

    Once again I get the privilege of reviewing a book by one of my favorite authors! I am always pleasantly satisfied after each book by Kim I read. This author has such a nice way with her story lines and her characters. Kim Vogel Sawyer is a wonderful character builder. By the middle of each story you always feel as though the characters are family to you. "Rouse had asked whether Simon would choose to have a gimpy leg over two whole, hale legs. Even Joss, an uneducated dockworker from the poor side of New York, recognized no man would make such a choice. Joss paused, stopping to contemplate for the first time in his life that Simon had no choice over something else - his skin color."I loved that this story partially takes place on the Oregon trail because that is one of my favorite events in history to read about. I also loved that the author wrote about prejudices. It really felt real to me. I am sure that this story could have really happened back then."I want to find the good in him, as I promised Mary I would, but I'm going to be needing your eyes, Lord."I love this line from the book because it reminds me of one of my all time favorite Christian songs - "Through His Eyes" by the group 4 Him. This song has always brought tears to my eyes.If we could seethrough His eyesThen we could dare to lovethe way God lovesIf we could seethrough His eyesThen we would understandthe way God understandsFor His eyes see through thesurface right down to our needsFar beyond where we areto where we can beIf we could only seethrough His eyesTHE ALL-IN-ALL -All in all this is a wonderful, clean, Christian story. It is Historical Fiction/Romance, taking place in 1800. This is a nice quick easy read.I would recommend it for any one (mainly women) of any age!

  • Bethany Baldwin
    2019-01-28 09:15

    I liked this book. Historical fiction can be hit and miss for me. For example I love Francine Rivers novels, but some books just don't appeal to me. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect with A Home in Drayton Valley, but was pleasantly surprised. It didn't take me halfway through the book to start enjoying it, but instead I was immediately drawn in by the characters, and the storyline. Tarsie was easy to get to know. She was all business, and wanting to take care of her sick friend. Yet she loved God, and tried to follow His voice. Joss was a hard case, but still managed to worm his way into my heart. This man really loved his family, but he had flaws that can only be fixed by The One who fixes all things. Mary was the sweetest thing, and I loved the children, especially the youngest boy. I don't want to go into too much detail, because I really think you should read this book to get the whole feeling of it; the heart, the story, the love. After reading some slower books, this was a breath of fresh air. The story kept me rooted, wanting my favorite characters to turn out well, hoping for a happy ending, knowing the book deserved one. I'm so glad I read A Home in Drayton Valley. It isn't exactly an "action packed" book as far as that goes, but this story has more going for it. It isn't just a romance, it isn't just fluff. No, this book has some meat to it- both spiritually and as far as the story goes. Mrs. Sawyer did an excellent job, and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future. I give this book five stars.~ a rambling author

  • Laura
    2019-02-15 04:32

    A Home in Drayton Valley by author Kim Vogel Sawyer is a beautiful love story that speaks to the heart of new beginnings and redemption.Tarsie Raines has left the harsh living conditions of 1880 New York with her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher and their two children. They are hoping to start a new beginning in Kansas, but when tragedy strikes and Mary dies, Tarsie finds herself with two wee children to care for and a man who loves to drink more than he loves his kids.As Tarsie tries to show Joss the love of the Lord and fulfill Mary's dying wish to care for him and the children, she realizes how hard it will be when the man is so disagreeable. Not only that, but he is a horrible bigot. In the meantime, Joss is thinking of ways to dump Tarsie and the kids so he can get back to a place where liquor is easy to come by. Fortunately, God is after Joss and has other plans for him.I really enjoyed this novel. Vogel Sawyer managed to transform the character of Joss from someone you can't stand, into someone you are praying will "get it". The characters and the setting are vibrant and real enough that you hope a sequel is coming. After all, the author never addresses the one reason why Joss wanted to get out of New York so fast. (Can't tell - spoilers). But, she never built on that and instead went in a completely different direction, which surprised me, so I'm holding out hope for a sequel!I give this book 5/5 stars.

  • Sabrina Guthrie
    2019-01-31 05:27

    Synopsis: A Compelling Pioneer Story From Bestselling Author Kim Vogel SawyerFed up with the poor quality of life in 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines encourages her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher to move with their two children to Drayton Valley, Kansas, a booming town hailed in the guidebook as the land of opportunity. She offers to help with expenses and to care for Mary and the children as they travel west by wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into an arrangement with Joss that leaves both of them questioning God and their dreams for the future. As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will Tarsie and Joss give up and go their separate ways, or will God use their time in Drayton Valley to turn their hearts toward him?My Review:This was a story straight from the heart. It was a story that not only included love but a love that had to endure a series of tests and strengths on both the main characters parts. It included issues that were fought in that time period and even some that are still being fought today. Issues like prejudice, alcoholism, parenting, death, grief, etc. You could visualize the struggles this family had as they packed up and moved from city life to a life opposite of that. Kim Vogel Sawyer is an author that I respect. Her writing style is captivating and real. This book is full of raw emotions and the love that these individuals shared. A must read. ~Sabrina~

  • Casey
    2019-01-27 09:27

    Marriage of convenience stories can hold some of the best conflict in this reader’s opinion and this latest historical in “A Home in Drayton Valley” certainly has much conflict and reader likeability going for it.I honestly wasn’t sure about Joss for the first half of the novel. It’s obvious from the start he’s going to be our hero, but a hero that drinks and carouses and is a general no-good? Hmm. But in faith, I kept reading. Believe it or not, the character that is his own worst villain becomes a down-right likable character.Several times in this novel are not easy journeys for characters or reader alike. Emotions run deep. Tarsie is so determined to win this man back to Christ, a final request from her dying best friend. She never expected to fall in love with him after she married him.There is a great moment in the book where Joss has deceived Tarsie and comes to feel great remorse for this action. The dialogue and moments of character growth made the entire book. I loved it. Great secondary characters and setting, the only thing I waited to have resolved was Joss’s gambling debts he left behind in Chicago, I expected those to haunt him, but was also a bit glad they didn’t. (wink). This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.

  • Kay Defreese
    2019-02-21 08:18

    Joss and Tarsie are thrown together in a marriage of convenience when Joss's wife and Tarsie's dearest friend dies of cancer. It was Tarsie's dying wish that Tarsie take care of her two children and her husband Joss. Joss is anything but an ideal husband. He drinks too much, gambles away his paycheck, surly, neglects and ignores his children, prejudiced against people of color, combative and prone to losing his temper. He is also illiterate and a non-Christian. Tarsie married this man because she loved her friend. Can Tarsie's gentle loving Christian spirit bring this man to the Lord? Will he ever be the kind of man he needs to be to his children?The author did an excellent job of making Joss a despicable character. For the majority of the book I find him an unlikeable person. The only redeeming quality in him was that he loved Mary, his wife who died on the way to Drayton Valley. Joss first worked on the docks but when the dock washed away he had to find work in the vineyards. His foreman was a black man, Simon. Joss detested working under a black man. Tarsie became friends with Simon's wife and taught her to read. I loved the black couple. By the end of the book I felt like I knew them personally. They were that likeable.

  • Donna
    2019-02-19 08:12

    It's always sad to lose your best friend. But to lose them and be left with the promise of continuing with "Their life and making it Your own". That is what Tarsi is faced with. I can imagine adopting children, but I don't know if I could ever imagine stepping into the role of being wife to a man who just lost his most beloved wife, by honoring a promise. Guts is what it took, determination and a best friend's love. I would recommend this book if you need a book to bring to you down to earth and remember what life is really "All" about. Tarsi wanted a good life and a family. She just hadn't expected it to come neatly wrapped up and handed to her. Yet, family values, honor, friendship, spiritual values. These are the things you see as Tarsi moves on to a better life, "just not the way she expected" to get it. The author has a very nice way of turning the story around and including not only freedom of slaves (yet different status), showing what families go thru in life, no matter what their status or color...the same trials and they look for the same things...bringing up their children with good values; and prohibition and the changes it brought about.

  • My Book Addiction and More MBA
    2019-02-19 02:32

    A HOME IN DRAYTON VALLEY by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a wonderful Historical Fiction set in 1880 Kansas. A heart wrenching tale of tragedy,faith,and love. Tarsie Raines,her friends,Joss and Mary Brubacher and their two young children dream of a better life than the slums of New York City in Drayton Valley, Kansas. On the wagon train,tragedy strikes on the trail,a partnership is formed between Joss and Tarsie. Money is low,but Tarsie's faith will carry her through hardship,and struggles.But she also starts to question her future. The unexpected happens, Tarsie finds love with a man she never dreamed to, Joss. Fast paced and filled with adventure,tragedy,love,faith,life on a wagon train through the rough prairie lands and life in early America. Ms. Sawyer has done it again with "A Home in Drayton Valley" with her engaging characters,and intriguing plots. I would recommend this title if you enjoy American history,historical fiction,early American life and a great story than "A Home in Drayton Valley" is the story for you, you will not be disappointed. Received for an honest review from the publisher.RATING: 4HEAT RATING: SWEETREVIEWED BY: My Book Addiction Reviews

  • Heidi
    2019-01-23 08:14

    Fed up with the poor quality of life in 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines encourages her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher to move with their two children to Drayton Valley, Kansas, a booming town hailed in the guidebook as the land of opportunity. She offers to help with expenses and to care for Mary and the children as they travel west by wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into an arrangement with Joss that leaves both of them questioning God and their dreams for the future. As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will Tarsie and Joss give up and go their separate ways, or will God use their time in Drayton Valley to turn their hearts toward him? What a wonderfully written that I couldn't put down! I enjoyed watching the relationships unfold throughout this novel and seeing changes being made because of people that God put in their paths. Truly amazing thing to watch unfold. This is another fantastic book by Kim Vogel you would not be disappointed in picking up!

  • Kate
    2019-02-06 09:14

    Promises are housed in the kindness of thoughts.Tarsie Raines and Mary and Joss Burbacher are eager to leave hehind a home and city with all of its challenges. With arrival in Drayton Valley, Kansas, which appears to a be as a star in the far off distance, with it brings heartbreak and sadness. Joss needing a promising income to right a wrong sets his hopes and dreams off in the distance. But with a familiar family trait following his shadow the choices of his actions falls upon one person strong enough for them both.A novel of challenges, sacrifice and love along with easy to connect with characters, loved the personalities of Simon and Ruth!, descriptive and believable scenery and progressive storyline. I found the overall message to be inspiring and I was entertained and challenged in my faith and would recommend this book to others. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for my review.

  • Heather Eslick
    2019-02-15 06:31

    This is a story about a woman keeping a promise to a dear friend even though it turns out to be the most difficult thing she's ever done. Through caring for children that are not her own, trying to reach the soft places of a hard, difficult man, and nurturing a culturally inappropriate friendship, God proves Himself faithful in a small Kansas town.The characters are well-developed and the story is easy to read and follow. I was pleased to find terms and parts of the story that were true to the time and people. I was hooked right away and was swept along through the story from beginning to perfect end.I really liked this book. It was the first book of Kim's that I've had the opportunity to read. It was also my first historical fiction, which made me hesitant to read it, thinking it would be boring and I wouldn't like it. I couldn't have been more wrong! This was a great story and very well written. I will happily be reading more of Kim's work.

  • Lynne Young
    2019-02-15 05:18

    I loved this book! I was completely drawn in from the first page and the book kept getting better and better!Kim Vogel Sawyer has a way of telling a story so you not only believe it, you live it. The reader becomes entangled in the lives of the characters and before you know it they have stolen your heart. Tarsie,Joss,Ruth and Simon along with the children did that for me. I hope to see them again in a future book.I have read all of Ms. Sawyers books and I can say this one will stand out as one to read again. While the story has a lot to do with racial inequality, it was not a disturbing story. It was refreshing to see how God changed the lives and thinking of these people and the people around them. We watch as the characters grow and learn from each other and put prejudices aside. I highly recommend this book! You will not be disappointed.

  • Kristina Franken
    2019-02-16 08:34

    A dream of a better life...A tragedy aboard a wagon train...A tentative agreement...Will it lead to love for two seeking hearts?Hoping to escape the poor conditions of 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines and her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher and their two children set off for Kansas aboard an unusual wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip acrosss the pararie, Tarsie is thrown into a partnership with Joss that leaves them both questioning God and their plans for the future. As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will they give up and go their sepereate ways? Or will God use their time in Drayton Valley in way they never expected?Historical Fiction from Bethany House.I recieved this book free from Bethany House and am in no way bound to give a good review.

  • Alexia
    2019-02-01 09:24

    I don't know what it is about "forced" marriages, but I absolutely adore reading books about them. Maybe it's because you get to see the work that really goes into a marriage. Oftentimes, in romance novels, you get the butterflys but not the issues; I like seeing the downs just as much as the ups.A Home In Drayton Valley reminds me of the writing style of one of my favorite authors, Jannette Oke. A classic "prairie" romance; I immediately fell into Tarsie's life. Joss is aggravating and I didn't think I'd ever really like him; although I was rooting for him only because of poor Tarsie...but I ended up REALLY liking him in the end! The intricacies of life and death and marriage and children and social issues are all explored in this novel and it's one that has found a place on my bookshelf: a favorite I will return to again!

  • Jan
    2019-01-23 05:15

    I really loved A Home In Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Set in 1880, this book takes the reader from New York City to a beautiful valley in Kansas. Tarsie Raines was a women of high morals and plenty of love to share. Joss was a man who was influenced by his own non-Christian upbringing and has to learn what it means to be a real father to his children. It was good to watchGod use Simon a man of color to influenced him in so many ways. Tarsie was a wonderful example of Christian love to her friends as well as to Mary's children. The friendship between Ruth and Tarise was one of my favorite parts of the book. I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.I received this book from Bethany House for my honest review.

  • Tima
    2019-02-01 08:08

    Tarsie and her friends head for Drayton Valley in Kansas. But tragedy along the way means that Tarsie must trust God in ways she never thought possible. Her friend has asked the impossible. But with God all things are possible.I really enjoyed this story. I read it in one evening. It was entertaining, romantic, and educational. The bits of history that were through out the book added a nice element to the story. Without giving too much away, I really enjoyed the plot in the story. My only complaint would have to have been Tarsie. She was a bit annoying at times and her thinking seemed skewed. My favorite character was Joss's boss. He really added a special element to the story.I received this book free of charge from Bethany House in exchange for my honest reply.