Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Sowing Season By Katie Powner

The Sowing Season
by Katie Powner
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764237591

Here I am, trying out another new-to-me author! I love getting emails to review books from Bethany House, especially Amy Lokkesmoe's insights as to why they chose a book. It really helps me decide if I want to review a book. Clearly I was convinced to try it out so they sent me the book for review.

Summary:

Can an unlikely friendship give them the courage to start again?

Forced to sell the dairy farm he's worked his entire life to make successful, Gerrit Laninga, now sixty-three, doesn't know what to do with himself. He sacrificed everything for his cows--his time, his health, his family--with nothing to show for it but bitterness, regret, and two grown children who want nothing to do with him.

Fifteen-year-old Rae Walters is stricken with panic every time she climbs behind the wheel. But any failure, including not passing her driver's test, jeopardizes The Plan--the detailed blueprint for high school and beyond that has her following in her lawyer father's footsteps. Though she's always been committed to The Plan, now that the pressure to succeed is building, doubts about whether she has what it takes begin to haunt her. What was supposed to unite her family in purpose could end up tearing it apart.

As their paths cross and a friendship begins to form, Gerrit's and Rae's lives change in unexpected ways. Will they discover what really matters in life and together learn it's never too late for a second chance?

My Review:

So, I'll be honest, the first few chapters I was a little "huh" about The Sowing Season. At first thought, it seemed kind of slow, but what I realized was, the reader is just given the chance to really get to understand the main characters. It's a shift from diving head first into a story, we're given the chance to savor it. Funny enough, in contemporary women's fiction is, the two main characters are an old man and a teenage girl.

Let's chat about those characters. Gerrit is basically Grumpy Old Men incarnate. lol I'll tell you something, I really loved this crabby old fella. Also the many things he'd been through that we learn about throughout the story really made me defensive for him. I wanted to get in people's faces for him. I'm telling you, Gerrit is a very compelling character. When you hear what he's been through, you (or at least I) understand his bitterness.

Then there's Rae. I think we all have known or know someone like her. A teenager who is driven to succeed to almost an unhealthy level. Not only drive by herself, but driven by parents. I honestly can't imagine having that much pressure at that young of an age. I'd say I more relate to Taylor, a girl at Community Hope who Rae tries to help in an after school program, than Rae.

I wasn't sure how Gerrit and Rae's paths would cross, but when they do, it's very poignant. Where he finds Rae is crucial to the story and to Gerrit's life. One of the fun parts of this story is Mr. Whiskers, Rae's cat. He is her constant companion. Unfortunately, Mr. Whiskars and "Berie" don't get along very well. Actually, no one really gets along with Bernie. HA!

While there are some light and endearing parts to this story, there are also the deep topics covered. Who ever thinks about the toll being a farmer takes on their family? Then there are the kids who are part of the after school program. A couple of those kids have rough home lives. When all of these people converge, lives are changed!

This is a very wonderful story. I had a sense of rightness when I finished this book. Looking forward to more stories by this author.

About the Author:

Katie Powner (www.katiepowner.com) is an award-winning author who lives in rural Montana where cows still outnumber people. She is a two-time OCW Cascade Award and ACFW First Impressions Award winner. Katie is a biological and adoptive mother of three and foster mother to many more. She and her husband have been in youth ministry for over a decade.

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