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Hearts Made Whole (Beacons of Hope) Paperback – June 2, 2015
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From the Back Cover
Windmill Point, Michigan
Can She Forgive the Hurting Man Who Costs Her the Role She Loves?
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?
"With painterly prose that never skimps on wit and verve, Hedlund gives us vivid characters, inventive plot twists, fascinating historical detail and heartfelt faith journeys....Lovers of inspirational fiction won't want to miss this sparkling gem of a novel." -RT Book Reviews Top Pick
"Hedlund's superb and affecting story of faith and healing is set in the past, but its message about soldiers returning from battle rings just as true today."--Booklist starred review
"This second book in the Beacons of Hope series is a brilliant adaptation of life in 1865 and the faith and responsibilities of a light keeper."--Christian Retailers + Resources
About the Author
Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of seven novels, including Captured by Love, A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and The Preacher's Bride, winner of the 2011 Award of Excellence. She received a bachelor's degree from Taylor University and a master's from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. She lives in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She can be found online at www.jodyhedlund.com.
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A storm was setting in on Lake St. Clair, and Caroline’s father had to take the doctor back to town, crossing the lake in a little rowboat. Quite a distance from shore, before the eyes of Caroline, her sister Tessa and twin brothers, the rowboat overturned. As hard as he fought to grab the boat, he was no match for the storm. They mourned and grieved, and Caroline took over the lighthouse duties.
The lighthouse inspector brought not only the bad news that Caroline could not keep on as acting the acting lightkeeper, but that the little family, including her bedridden, ill sister, had a week to pack up and leave the cottage as a man returning from the war would take over the position. Caroline had nowhere to go unless she married the son of the local tavern owner and smuggler.
When Ryan, the new lightkeeper arrived, they had not yet moved. He was in no condition to manage the position; Caroline offered to show him the job and he slept in an outbuilding for propriety. Tessa’s deceitful scheme was about to cost Caroline the man she was coming to respect and deeply care for. The explosive situation could also cost her and her younger siblings everything. Where was God in all of this?
This riveting historical drama is even better than I had imagined. Caroline, Tessa, then Ryan were very well developed with the progress of the story. The tavern keeper, his son, and other townspeople were as developed as necessary for their roles as evidenced in their speech and behaviors. Caroline and her siblings, then Ryan, experienced their rich heritage of faith, but were very honest about their feelings and struggles with the Lord in light of their situations. When the novel was through, I wasn’t – it was hard to leave especially Caroline behind!
The story itself demonstrated the historical time period, not in the dry words of dusty history tomes but showing with glowing word pictures the beauty and wild-ness of the location, the culture, and surrounding details. There was not a dull sentence, and every word was chosen well. The second in Jody Hedlund’s ‘Beacon of Hope’ series, it is easily read as a standalone. The title, ‘Hearts Made Whole’, sums up what is needed for the aching hearts and broken spirits of the protagonists, and reflects how their faith might be used. It was easy to be swept away to the lighthouse, see the value of women at that time and the expectations on those as the country struggled to recover from the war. It is not, however, predictable; various plot twists change the landscape of the story with stunning intensity. I highly recommend this admirable, exciting novel to women who appreciate Christian historical fiction of the time period, strong women protagonists, romance, and even mystery. It is one of the best Christian historical dramas I read in 2015, and one that I could absolutely enjoy again.
With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book through the “For Readers Only” group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Wow. I just finished this book and my blood is still pumping from the most intense and heart wrenching ending chapters I've ever read in a Jody Hedlund book. She has definitely stepped up her game when it comes to making the reader physically shake the book with anticipation of the next event. I liked this book. There were a few qualities that were easy to figure out before it was revealed. Yet, still it kept me on my toes as I was reading in eagerness of how it was going to be revealed to me as the reader.
This is the second book in the Beacon of Hope series and I am pleased to say that you don't have to read the first book to get to enjoy the characters of this book. I did not expect this book to be as intense as it was, there was some crazy things that took place in this book so if you are squeamish or don't like to read sections that could make you slightly uncomfortable I'm not sure if this is the book for you. I would recommend another Hedlund book if you are looking for something a little more calm. But if you like books that make you search for clues in the actions and responses of character's then this is the book for you. This book also deals with addiction and substance abuse and how healing comes into that. So this is not a light book, but there are light scenes that break up those sections that make it more enjoyable for the reader.
There were writing decisions for characters that I felt were a little overboard in my opinion, but then again this is set in a different era such as the late 1850s and people did act differently then. So that is probably just a personal commentary on my account.
I did like how independent and strong Caroline was as a character. I did wish that I got to see more interactions with her other siblings instead of just Tessa. And Ryan was as complex as it gets with character development. He was wounded physically and mentally and was constantly working on his spiritual walk with God. Yet, there is one quality that really struck me that was a writing choice and it was Ryan knew he couldn't marry Caroline until he got better himself instead of relying on her. He knew he had to rely on God and that it was a battle within himself that God could help him defeat. Great writing choice on Hedlund's part!
I think that this will be an enjoyable read for those who already love Hedlund's stories and those who haven't even read anything by her yet. It's a suspenseful read that has just the right amount of romance that will leave the reader satisfied.
Rating: 4 out of 5 bookshelves
I received a free copy from Litfuse Publicity in return for an honest review.