Kim Vogel Sawyer has taken true events from her family history and written a wonderful novel. “Room for Hope” is an apt title for the book because Neva Shilling and her children are unwitting victims of Warren Schilling’s “other life”. Warren and Neva own a mercantile in a small Kansas town. Warren travels every other month to pick up supplies and sell goods from his wagon. Neva and the children are anxiously waiting for his return one of those months. However, to their surprise and dismay, a lawman draws a wagon up to the mercantile, which also serves and their home, with a sad story and a wagon-load of goods and three small children. It seems that Warren has died in another town along with his other “wife”. It was his wish that the children of this pairing come to live with Neva. How could he do this to her and to his children? How would she manage to raise five youngsters, feed them, educate them, clothe them, and…most of all love them? The road to forgiveness, hope, charity, and love was not an easy one for Neva and the children. In the end Warren’s betrayal led to a life with more love than Neva could have ever imagined. The end was not what I expected, but so satisfying. I loved this book!
I was sent a print copy of this book by Penguin/Random House for my honest review.