Review: Through The Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer

From the Back Cover: A past filled with shame can be washed away with a love that conquers all

Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amidst the secrets held in every dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn’t old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.
The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past. When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her.  Despite his self-consciousness about his handicapped leg and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ’s love. But can she ever accept a gift she so desperately needs?

Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a sweet story about two characters, who both are dealing with a form of brokenness.

Growing up in a brothel and a mistake she made haunts Dinah Hubley’s life she is trying to make for herself, as well as her dreams. She pursues a dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad. She isn’t old enough, but she is offered a position as chambermaid in a hotel in a small town with the opportunity of being a waitress when she reaches the age requirements. The job will provide her with the respect and security she is desperately seeking.

Amos Ackerman struggles with a disability from an accident as a child. His limp has forced him to the outside of society with few friends. He is intrigued by Dinah and seeks to learn more about her, but she tries to keep him at a distant. He determines to show her friendship and God’s love.

This novel is rich in the characters whose stories are told. We all struggle with some sort of brokenness in our lives which makes Dinah and Amos so relatable. Even a third character, Ruthie Mead, is another character who feels like a close friend. Their situations feel real. It is easy to laugh along with the comical moments in this novel (especially with Amos’s animals) and empathize with their struggles. I enjoy character driven novels, and that is precisely what Through Deep Waters is.

My only complaint for this novel is the character of Ruthie. For many readers, I would imagine that her storyline is the one that most people have gone through. So with that in mind, by the end of the novel, in some ways, I feel her story is a bit unfinished. But this could be a great opportunity for a sequel. I would love to see more of what happens to her.

The faith aspects of this novel are well written. From applying verses to the character’s lives, to what it means to be giving a fresh start after salvation, this novel touches on a number of aspects, all of which made my heart blessed to read. Every once in a while, novels such as this will have a message for us that we need to hear, and this book has a few of them waiting to be picked up on.

I thought this was a wonderful novel, and one I could hardly put down, and was in fact quite sad to. When the characters begin to feel like close friends, it is always hard to read those final pages. This book had that kind of bittersweet ending.


I received this book for free from the publisher’s Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.


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