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Bless Her Heart (An Ellery Novel) Paperback – October 31, 2017
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"With both humor and insight, BLESS HER HEART hits all the right notes in the complicated song of becoming who we are meant to be. This novel asks us to look at the ‘rules’ we might just have to break to heal our own life. Do yourself a favor and grab this book and hide away with its laugh-out-loud and cry-out-loud moments all mixed up in one place. Kilpatrick enthralls us again with her trademark quirky humor and vivid characters.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times Bestselling author
“Kilpatrick is back with another tale full of sassy Southern characters. She writes in a way that makes readers feel as if they are hanging out with their best friend. The characters and scenes are quirky, making this a fun read, though it does have a serious message of moving from loss to rebirth to empowerment. Posey is easy to root for and Chad is someone you love to hate.” —RT Book Reviews
Praise for Sally Kilpatrick’s previous novels:
“Fans of Southern contemporary romance will be charmed.” —Publishers Weekly
“Readers will both laugh and cry as Declan and Presley face loss, learn life lessons from ghosts, and realize life is much easier to handle with someone by your side.” —Booklist
“Pleasantly engaging.” —Library Journal
“Witty, warm, and as complex and heart-wrenching as only love and family can be.” —Heroes and Heartbreakers
“In short, this one is pretty much as close to perfect as a reading experience can get. —Nashville Book Worm
About the Author
Born and raised in West Tennessee, Sally Kilpatrick graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a BA in English. At UT she met and married a Georgia boy. Now they live in Marietta, GA, with their two kids. She holds a Masters in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University and taught high school Spanish for eight years before taking a sabbatical to write and mother full time. In addition to reading and writing, Sally likes traveling, historic house tours, running, religious studies, and all things geek. Readers can learn more at www.sallykilpatrick.com or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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There are no narrator or point of view tricks. No wacky timeline manipulation. No warping of internal / external reality. The novel is first person, linear. Through this most familiar format, though, the author weaves a complex portrait of both individuals and society inching their way through the tangled wilderness left of the collapse of both traditional and sexual revolution values. Posey, the narrator, is the fatherless child of a hippie mother who has been raised by her Baptist grandmother. If that doesn't embody conflict on both personal and societal levels, I don't know what does. Poesy wants nothing more to have a child and provide for it the complete family she never had. But her husband is the worst sort of narcissist who abuses all the best things in life for self gratification -- faith, natural sexuality, and family loyalty. She sticks will him far too long in order to try to do the right thing. Only when he leaves her is she compelled to find her own way through a world that no longer offers clear paths. Guides are rather hard to come by in this world. All her fellow characters are also stumbling toward their futures. As an aside, I like to think the buttons on the cover are symbolic of the characters. They have pretty hearts pierced with holes and cut loose from their cloth. Props to to cover designer. Returning to the story, enter a fellow named John, jokingly nicknamed John the Baptist, who is just as deeply lost as Posey, but he shines a light, physically and spiritually, to a way forward. A lesser book would have made John the hero, the saving grace. But he is only an instrument. Did I mention that Posey's journey begins on Ash Wednesday? When the reminder of death is marked upon one's face in a gritty cross that also is the promise of the new life that will be fulfilled by Easter? And when does Posey's story end? Easter.
That all sounds serious. But, the author has a wonderful sense of humor that infuses the work with joy. Hey, the seven deadly sins Posey faces during lent involve pole dancing and tequila.
That's just a wee bit of the goodness you'll find in this book.
Posey, who wants a baby more than anything, has put up with her domineering husband for years, at least partly in reaction to her own mother, who has raised three children by three men to whom she was never married at all. But when Posey discovers in quick succession that Chad has been cheating (adultery and hitting are deal breakers even for Posey), and run off with another woman, failed to make the car payment, and sold the house, she begins to take back her own life and finds out that hard as that is, she’s up to the challenge.
As Posey grows into the person she was always meant to be, she takes some adventurous steps. Encouraged by her free-spirited younger half-sister, she sets out to not only give up something important for Lent (church!), but also to sample the Seven Deadly Sins, with generally hilarious results. Along the way she finds out that wishes can come true in very surprising ways.
Bless Her Heart handles some very serious issues, ranging from emotional abuse to Alzheimer’s, with sympathy, understanding, and humor. Especially humor. The characters, from Posey’s rediscovered best friend Liza to her unconventional but wise mother Lark, are well developed and supportive, and Chad is a man the reader will indeed love to hate.
It’s a joy to watch Posey climb out of her self-imposed shell and blossom.
(Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review of Bless Her Heart.)
Most recent customer reviews
For a while at the start of this book, I was really starting to get tired of hearing this "bless your heart" phrase and almost put the book...Read more