The Tapestry of Grace

Written by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Review by Bonnie DeMoss

This is a heartwarming Christian novel set in Alexandertol, Kansas, in 1895. Augusta Dyck, a widow and mother who is also the town’s teacher, becomes a part of a new Frauenverien, a group of women in the Mennonite church who band together to help provide for widows and orphans. Augusta immediately begins petitioning the group to help Konrad Rempel, a widower with twin boys. She can tell he needs someone to care for the boys while he is working as a blacksmith. Konrad, however, is reluctant to receive help. The group’s overbearing leader, Martina Krahn, suggests an apprenticeship for one of the twins with her husband, a wainwright. But she has ulterior motives, hoping a child will save her marriage and give her husband something that she cannot.

The town of Alexandertol is based on the German Mennonite communities that relocated to America after suffering religious persecution in Russia. The town’s cast of characters is well written, and it is fun to follow their daily lives and see what life was like for them in 1895. There are many Christian messages in this book, including dealing with guilt, the rewards of helping others, having faith, and asking God for help. However, the greatest message is that God can take something bad and turn it into something wonderful. The reader is introduced to the history of the Frauenverien, which was an actual organization set up by German communities at that time to help those in need. With likable characters and a heartfelt message, this is a book that readers of Christian fiction will enjoy.