Waiting for Summer's Return
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Waiting for Summer's Return (Ollenberger #1)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,452 ratings  ·  167 reviews
All alone on the Kansas prairie, Summer Steadman has few options. With her husband and children lost to illness, she has no desire to continue on farther west to where she and her husband planned to build their future. Instead, she seeks employment in a small Mennonite community in order to be near the graves of her family.
Widower Peter Ollenburger, the local gristmill ow...more
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Published June 1st 2006 by Bethany House Publishers (first published January 1st 2006)
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ReviewsByMolly
This story had me from page one! It is magnificently written by a truly talented and wonderful author that writes in a style sure to make you feel a part of the story within the pages!!

Set in a quaint little Mennonite community, Summer Steadman is all alone after her family falls sick and dies. She's desperate for a job to make ends meet, so she boldly takes on the task of teaching Peter Ollenberger's son while he is recuperating from an injury and is unable to attend school. She never planned o...more
Cathryn Dolly
ZOWEEE!! Mind-blowing how this book HEALS me ( cried many times and healed me same time!!!!!!

This author and book has a wonderful way of capturing the hearkbreaking themes of loss/ changes ahead of them. The healing process is intersting between the characters and the community. There are possbiltbles throught the realationships and LOVE Shines through the changes of life.

The quote that stands out is I hide the words in my heart blew me away because of the recurring loss theme in my life and I...more
Colleen
After Reading Where the Heart Leads I had to read Waiting for Summers Return and learn about the past from the main character in Where the Heart Leads. I very much enjoyed this book learning much about the west when it was being inhabited by people from the east and carrying their values in their current situations. After finishing the book I felt there were still questions about future characters from Where the Heart Leads. I wish she could write another book completing this series. Both books...more
Helen
I found this book quite by accident and thought I'd give it a try. I am so glad I made that choice. Being from a German background, I was able to connect with the German and the mannerisms. My own father is from a very small protestant farming community in southern Germany and I had the privilege to spend my summers with my grandparents there.
This book is beautifully written and so easy to get lost in. The main character, Summer, is so heart broken in so many places in this book that I found mys...more
Rita
Waiting for Summer's Return was a beautifully written story that held my interest from the beginning. The author did a great job of capturing all the emotions one goes through when experiencing such a great loss, including the estrangement from God and the road back to Him. I really liked how the author weaved Scripture throughout the story without it feeling forced. All the characters seemed authentic and the story realistic. What little romance there was in the book was sweet, tender, and beli...more
Betty
I seldom give a five star rating, but this one deserves every star. It is skillful storytelling and I was fully engaged from the beginning, as Summer struggled to overcome the sorrow in her life. I found myself thinking this must be what it is like to awaken in a foreign country where you don't speak the language. But Summer's strength would not let her give up, though she had reason to. As a mother of sons, my heart was immediately drawn to the motherless Thomas. Even the old grandmother captur...more
Chelsea
What a beautiful and uplifting story! I found it searching on Amazon under "Christian fiction".

The story is a historical romance set in Kansas at the turn of the century. The characters come fully alive in this story and the ending was amazing to me. Scripture references are used throughout as the characters search for answers in their lives.
Shari Larsen
This story takes place in 1894. Summer Steadman is stuck in Kansas; she was traveling west from Boston to build a future with her husband and children, out on the prairie, when illness struck, and Summer lost them all.

She is seeking employment in a small Mennonite community, to be near the graves of her children, but the people are suspicious of outsiders and she is not having any luck.

Peter Ollenburger is a widower, and needs someone to teach his young son, who unable to attend school until he...more
Shelley
Summer is a widow who has lost her husband and children to typhoid, all within days. She is stranded in a rural town amongst people who are too afraid to trust strangers because of their past in europe.
She accepts a post as tutor to a Mennonite child and the telling of her coming to terms with her awful loss and her efforts to fit in with a strange community make this a warm and well told story.

I have read very little about America's early days, and this gave a small taste of the disparate pione...more
Peggy N
This book finds its setting in Kansas in the late 1800's. The story is about a devout Menninite widower named Peter who hires a woman who recently lost her husband and all of her children to a typhoid epidemic. Peter hires Summer to tutor his son who is ten and recovering from broken ribs. Their lives are so vastly different as is their faith in God. Both are familiar with prayer and God as well as the Bible, but Peter's faith is aboslute and Summer is questioning her faith and how the God Peter...more
Zelma Kromrey
I received this ebook for free on Barns and Noble. I was excited to read another book by Kim.
Kim Vogel Sawyer and a special way of writing stories. First of all I love anything Historical Fiction based in the 1800's. This book is based in Kansas. Summer had just lost her husband and 4 children to Typhoid fever. She is lost without them and sets out on a journey of self discovery and LOVE. She accepts a teaching position for Peter to teach his son Thomas. Summer falls in love with this boy and hi...more
Beverly Zearley
Waiting for Summer's Return is such a good book!! I definitely recommend it! It shows how God can heal anyone. I loved it!!
Joan
When I started reading this book I didn't know anything about it. I just downloaded it and started reading. I was happily surprised. It is basically a Christian novel about two families and their struggle in 1800's Kansas. One story involves a devout Menninite widower named Peter and Summer Steadman, a woman who had recently lost her husband and all of her children to a typhoid epidemic.

Peter needed a tutor for his young son who had broken some ribs and couldn't attend school. He hired Summer a...more
Donna Porter
First, let me say I have never read Sawyer before. Her website advertises “gentle stories of hope” and Waiting for Summer’s Return certainly delivered. The writing is also excellent.

Bostonian Summer Steadham is stranded in a Mennonite town in Kansas after the deaths of her husband and four children of typhoid. In order to remain close to their graves, she takes a job as a tutor for widower Peter Ollenberger’s ten year old son, Thomas. Peter is a sweet, admirable, hardworking man. He is infinite...more
Lynne Stringer
I mostly enjoyed Waiting for Summer's Return. I liked the way the plot progressed and I liked both the lead charaters, although I did feel that one conversion late in the book was a little too convenient and easy. My major complaint was that, while the way the German-English speakers spoke is probably realistic, every time they spoke I thought of Yoda! Other than that, it was a good read.
Lori C. Peddy
Wonderful book.


Reminds me to always rely on God's planning. I loved the way that she wove the scripture into every chapter.
Cindi
Waiting for Summer's Return by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a very well written book. Ms. Sawyer's writing makes it easy to picture the characters in your mind as your reading and feel their emotions.

This book is about beginnings and endings...and beginnings and endings. All of us who live experience this. Life changes. Some changes are great and welcome, some are sad and carry a heavy burden.

So, why did I give this book four stars? I really would have given it four and a half but could not do that. Th...more
Bonnie Gonzales
This was an enjoyable read,the story line pulls at your heart strings for Summer who has lost her husband and children and has no where to go and also for Thomas a little boy without a mom. I enjoyed reading of the life in a house without the modern appliances or plumbing of today.
Dichotomy Girl
Ok, so I got on this weird little Amish kick after reading my sappy Christimas romance, which happened to be Amish this year. I enjoyed the little novellas and the series about the teen Mennonite girl who gets special permission to attend a regular high school. (Which was actually written by this same author) They managed to convey that the characters were religious without cramming God and Bible verses down your throat.

This full length adult novel however, goes beyond "christian-ish" to full-fl...more
Nicole
Free book on Kindle! Yay!

I really loved the simplicity of this book. Perhaps it was just the fact that the Mennonite community portrayed in this book were simple people. It wasn't a difficult read, and I thought there were nearly perfect amounts of everything about the story and characters.

Well-educated Summer Steadman lost her husband and four children to typhoid whilst moving from Boston to claim land in Oklahoma. Unfortunately, they didn't make it to Oklahoma, and Summer finds herself living...more
Ifeyinwa
I absolutely loved it. A true love story. A story of the love of God, and His love reflected in man. It pulled the tears down at the end. I would definitely recommend this to all.
Hannah
My rating: 3.75. I liked the character interaction, especially between Summer and the grandmother. The characters felt real and the history felt authentic.

Downsides: the main character's name threw me; it felt really modern, and the little story of how she got the name wasn't told until pretty far into the story. And I wanted at least one or two more chapters so I could enjoy more of who she became after her spiritual path changed direction.

Upsides: clean story, clear Christian message, easy le...more
Trudy E
In this story, Summer has experienced the devastating loss of her husband and children. On their journey west she watches them die, one by one, to a terrible disease. Unable to return to Boston, she must decide if life is worth living. And, if so, what to do now.

Peter is a widower with a young son in need of tutoring. He is able to offer the young widow food and lodging in exchange for sharing her education. The townspeople, who are Mennonite, treat her as an outsider and trouble comes to Peter...more
Kelsey
This book is a lot like Love Comes Softly # 1, but still different enough for me to like so much that I bought it!
Troy  Dye
Waiting for Summer's Return by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Waiting for Summer's Return by Kim Vogel Sawyer

A widow in bitter mourning from the loss of her husband and children is stranded in a small Mennonite prairie town. In a simple act of Christian charity the town's Miller offers her lodging in exchange for her teaching his son. His offer undermines his own standing within his community. Can her anger over the loss of her family be turned to acceptance? Can she calm the fears of the town, and gain accept...more
Dstny5233
Sooo...I read this book a while ago and it caught my heart. Then, a year later my daughter's in the ER and all I could think about when I was in the hospital praying was "Please don't let His answer be "No"." It was no, but reading this book again and feeling the frustration, depression and bitterness that Summer went through was somewhat of a relief to me. It felt normal and that she could overcome it finally helped me with my faith with God and I'm still dealing with my loss, but this book sho...more
Mayda
Set in Kansas when it was still be settled by intrepid pioneers, this novel would have been more interesting had the author included more historical descriptions and facts. It also would have profited from some additional editing – specifically in the kindle edition – to eliminate some errors and to clarify meaning in some of the dialogue. While the plot is interesting, the end is predictable from the beginning. The author did a good job in presenting Christian concepts and incorporating them in...more
Deb
summer's life does not reflect the brightness of her name. in route to oklahoma, her husband and children were all stricken with typhoid and died. now summer is all alone in the german/mennonite community of gaeddert, ks, where she doesn't even share the language or religon of her neighbors. yet she is an orphan and estraged from her other relations so she has no where else to go. besides, she still feels tied to the row of graves where her family lies. so when a local farmer offers to have her...more
Dani
I categorize romance novels as either "sweet" or "hot". This one is definitely sweet romance with the Christian element front and center. There is not a single scene that would make a reader blush. The couple gets together in a realistic manner, and they are given time to resolve their individual issues without the solutions felt hasty or forced.

This is the first book in a series, but it doesn't end in a cliffhanger. It is one of those series where all the books stand alone fairly well.
Sheryl
I enjoyed this book. It is a historical Christian fiction/romance. Summer has lost her husband and 4 children to Typhoid. The story is about her coming to terms with her grief and her relationship with God. Peter and his Mennonite family gently lead her to the Lord. There are some in that order who don't want her there because she is not of their community. Over it is a great story, at times it lagged which is why I rated it a 3 Star. Overall a good CLEAN book.
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Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligrap...more
More about Kim Vogel Sawyer...
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