Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Blog Tour Book Review: Hearts Made Whole

Hearts Made Whole (Beacons of Hope, #2)Author: Jody Hedlund
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Bethany House
Series: Beacons of Hope # 2

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 been given the post as lighthouse keeper, and the isolation where he can drown in drink and hide from his past is appealing. He’s not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who’s none-too-pleased to be giving up her position. They both quickly realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but Ryan’s unwilling to let anyone close, ravaged by memories and guilt. Caroline’s 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?

“We can't do anything on our own to be righteous. But that when we turn to Him, He'll fill us with His goodness.”

“My father always said that our enemy, the devil, is doing his best to get us to look to everything and everyone else to save us from our pains and sorrows. The devil doesn't want us to take those pains to the Lord, because he knows that when we cry out to God with our need, He'll rescue us from the pit.” 

“You will absolutely not lose your keeper job simply because you wear skirts and have the ability to bear children.”

Jody Hedlund’s historical fiction novels never cease to amaze me. This was one of the most emotionally moving books that I have read in 2015. I am even more enthralled with the idea of being a lighthouse keeper. Caroline Taylor, our heroine, makes it sound so rewarding as a job. However, we are stuck in 1865, when women are not allowed to have such roles. Caroline faces a tough situation because she has depended on this job for so long, not only for herself but for her family as well. I love a good story where women go beyond the social norms of the time. Caroline is no different. Jody Hedlund often succeeds at phenomenal character development, and this book is no different. Caroline felt like an old friend.

Now to oppose Caroline’s female protagonist we have Ryan Chambers, a Civil War veteran who is coming for her job. Ryan doesn’t expect such an outspoken women like Caroline when he shows up to begin his new job. Ryan was just as loveable as Caroline. He comes to Windmill Point wounded emotionally from the war and with too many battle scars to count. Both characters have to learn to invest feelings in the other in order to make their new arrangement work. I eagerly read their stories and couldn’t for them to embrace the love that God had set before them. This was a charming story about God’s love and grace.

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Bethany and Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review***

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