Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Reviewer: Jean Eastwood
Ms. Christina Willems, following in her late father’s footsteps, is the woman in charge of the “Brambleville Asylum for the Poor” in Brambleville, Kansas. One winter evening a fire breaks out at the asylum and she is forced to find temporary shelter for her only “family.”
Set in the late 1800’s, times were hard, and the folks in the town of Brambleville took everyone in but the 11-year-old blind boy Tommy. Ms. Willems asks Levi Jonnson, the mill-owner in town to please take him for a short while. Levi reluctantly agrees, not really knowing how to care for the blind boy. Levi is a busy man with his mill business to run, so he sets up ropes so Tommy can find his way from the house to the other buildings. Tommy learns to clothe himself and builds confidence in his ability to take care of himself. Tommy is also learning the art of caning.The mission director decides that now is the time for Ms. Willems to pursue another career. He not only stops the funding for the “poor farm”, but admits two of her “charges” to the Kansas Asylum for The Poor in Topeka, Kansas. Ms. Willems finds out about this and sells her father’s valuable pocket watch for train fare money to go and get the children and bring them back.
The villain here is a young man by the name of Hamilton Dresden who had also stayed at the “Brambleville Asylum for the Poor” under Ms. Willem’s direction. He is responsible for starting the fire and has been threatening Tommy with keeping that secret.Mr. and Mrs. Dunnigan, a rich couple who adopted the two children from the Kansas Asylum for the Poor in Topeka buy the property of the “poor farm” and rebuild it. Ms. Willems has her job, her self-worth, and her father’s watch back. Levi proposes marriage to Ms. Willems and finds he can’t live alone any longer now that he has loved and cared for people in his life.
What Once was lost was a very pleasant book to read. It was not too big and not too small. I enjoyed it and found it hard to put down. I recommend purchasing this book. It was a great weekend read.