Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund

Product Details

After her father's death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren't supposed to have such roles, so it's only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper--even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.

Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He's secured the position of lighthouse keeper mostly for the isolation--the chance to hide from his past is appealing. He's not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who's angry with him for taking her job and for his inability to properly run the light. When his failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he's in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he's unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Caroline feels drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope...and possibly love?

Another winning book from bestselling author Jody Hedlund.

I love the Civil War time period and in this book you get to see a bit of a perspective you don't always get to see - the aftermath. Ryan Chambers is living in the aftermath - and it's not an easy place to be. Caroline Taylor has no place else to go and needs to stay in the lighthouse she has been running. Can the needs of these two people come together to keep the lighthouse running as it should - and could they possibly learn something from each other and grow together?

Wonderful descriptive writing, characters who are flawed but worth investing in and a story that will keep you turning pages long into the night.



My copy of this book was provided by Bethany House for my honest review.

The Shore by Sara Taylor

 The Shore

The Shore: a group of small islands in the Chesapeake Bay, just off the coast of Virginia. The Shore is clumps of evergreens, wild ponies, oyster-shell roads, tumble-down houses, unwanted pregnancies, murder, and dark magic in the marshes. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it's a place that generations of families both wealthy and destitute have inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a half-Shawnee Indian's bold choice to escape an abusive home only to find herself with a man who will one day try to kill her, to a brave young girl's determination to protect her younger sister as methamphetamine ravages their family, the characters in this remarkable novel have deep connections to the land, and a resilience that only the place they call home could create. 

Through a series of interconnecting narratives that recalls the work of David Mitchell and Jennifer Egan, Sara Taylor brings to life the small miracles and miseries of a community of outsiders, and the bonds of blood and fate that connect them all.

Spanning over a century, dreamlike and yet impossibly real, profound and playful, THE SHORE is a breathtakingly ambitious and accomplished work of fiction by a young writer of remarkable promise.

 This book seemed to me to actually almost be a collection of novellas. I normally enjoy the books that go from one time period to another. But this one left me mostly confused. There were so many people to try to get to know. Even with the "family tree" in the front of the book it was too confusing.

While definitely not a book that I couldn't put down I did find the descriptions to be so real that I felt like I was there and the writing was wonderful. Ms. Taylor is obviously a gifted story teller and I will certainly pick up her next book and give it a try. But I don't really recommend this one.


This book was given to me by the Blogging For Books program for my unbiased opinion.