Book Review: Then Sings My Soul

27 Apr

My book club read Then Sings My Soul by Amy K. Sorrells this month. It actually got some mixed reviews — one of our group’s members said that she had a love-hate relationship with the book 😉 . Although beautifully written, there are a lot of hard things included. It’s a look at historical events and an exploration of grief, sorrow, and redemption. I liked it a lot, but found it a hard read, if you know what I mean. Find out about the book, author, and my impressions below.

1904, Chudniv, Ukraine. Playing hide-and-seek in bucolic fields of sunflowers, young Jakob never imagines the horrific secrets he will carry as he and his brother escape through genocide-ridden Eastern Europe.

1994, South Haven, Michigan. At age 94, time is running out for any hope that Jakob can be free from his burden of guilt.

When Jakob’s wife dies, he and his daughter, Nel, are forced to face the realities of his worsening dementia―including a near-naked, midnight jaunt down the middle of main street―as well as emerging shadows Nel had no idea lay beneath her father’s beloved, curmudgeonly ways.

While Nel navigates the restoration and sale of Jakob’s dilapidated lake house, her high school sweetheart shows up in town, along with unexpected correspondence from Ukraine. And when she discovers a mysterious gemstone in Jakob’s old lapidary room, Jakob’s condition worsens as he begins having flashbacks about his baby sister from nearly a century past.

As father and daughter race against time to discover the truth behind Jackob’s fragmented memories, the God they have both been running from shows that he redeems not only broken years, but also the future.

Amy K. Sorrells is a novelist who believes in the power of story to change lives. Praised by reviewers for the way they both poetically and accurately portray hardship and hope, Amy’s novels are inspired by social issues that break her heart and finding hope in the midst of them. In addition to being a writer, Amy is also grateful to be a practicing registered nurse at a busy suburban hospital. She and her husband have raised three young-adult sons and live in central Indiana. 

Connect with Amy at, or find her on Facebook (@amyksorrells), Twitter(@AmyKSorrells1), TikTok (@amyksorrells), and Instagram (@amyksorrells).

My Impressions:

When the war in Ukraine began earlier this year, I was reminded of a book that had been on my TBR list way too long. Then Sings My Soul by Amy K. Sorrells tells the story of Jakob Stewart, a 90-something American man who has ties to Ukraine. Through scenes from his past, and the explorations of of his daughter Nel 90 years later, a story of human suffering and horror unfolds. But more than that it is a story of how events shape a person. Jakob was a small boy of four when he is forced with his elder brother to flee Ukraine. He battles guilt and grief all of his life. Nel, who cherishes the memory of her parents and her growing up years, also lets events shape her. I found it very interesting how some in the story stay grounded in faith, while others seem to drift. Sorrells’ complex storytelling allows the reader to experience Jakob and Nel’s lives. I felt their pain, loss, and ultimately their redemption. I admit I ugly cried at the end. 😉 This was a difficult book to read. The writing is well-done, the narrative seems to flow effortlessly, yet the subject matter hurt my heart. I was immediately drawn into the lives of the main characters — they felt so much like someone I knew — so the connection with them felt so personal. I think this is the strongest aspect of the novel. Historical details, as well as information on lapidary arts, taught me too. The book ends well, but . . . there are unanswered questions that made me ponder how the characters’ journey would progress. Some don’t like unfinished stories, but Then Sings My Soul provided me with a means to finish the story how I wanted it to go. 😉

Another great book by Sorrells! Then Sings My Soul will make you feel and think. It also generated a great discussion with my book club.

Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: Adults.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: Then Sings My Soul”

  1. Cindy Davis April 27, 2022 at 4:39 pm #

    I like her writing but this is one that I have avoided…because it’s a heavier read.

    • rbclibrary April 27, 2022 at 5:12 pm #

      It is.

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