Sunday, June 27, 2010
Warm, Wise & Wonderful -- 5 Stars!
The Heart's Song
by Winnie Griggs
Published by Love Inspired, Steeple Hill
Genre: Romantic Fiction
ISBN #ISBN: 978-0-373-87606-8
"He didn't recognize the tune, but the sound wrapped around him like a homemade quilt on a chilly night, warm and comforting."
The above quote from "The Heart's Song" perfectly describes how I felt while reading this wonderful book. On every page something happens that will make you feel good, feel inspired and feel a tug on your heartstrings! The cast is large. There are more than a dozen characters who you will care about and who will inspire you. "The Heart's Song" is a surprising book.
A Bell Choir Story?
To be truthful, I didn't think the concept of a 'bell choir' would be strong enough to carry a whole novel. Nevertheless, since I love bell choirs, I bought the book anyway. Here's what I found: the inspirational power doesn't come from the bells; it comes from how the choir experience inspires and heals the bell ringers.
Serious Conflict & Inspired Solutions
The conflicts that drive, "The Heart's Song', are deadly serious. The author doesn't avoid or gloss over the hardest spiritual questions. She doesn't offer clichés. She faces the issues head on and I think she offers wise and even inspired solutions. Yet the story is not hard to read. Everything is so natural and the story flows so organically, that even while I was being entertained, I couldn't help but admire how the characters dealt with life's problems. The action is so real that at times in the story I wanted to stop reading and tell the heroine what a fine person she was.
Inspiration by Example
"The Heart's Song" offers inspiration by example. The characters are so well drawn; I think I could recognize most of them on the street today. The town is also an ideal location for the story. Tippanyville, in the central part of the state, features all the sights, sounds, smells, and good cooking of Louisiana. I love New Orleans and Louisiana. I had my honeymoon there. "The Heart's Song" rings true from start to finish.
The Book that Might Not Have Been!
The author, a historical writer, was asked to write a contemporary novel by her editor. This meant leaving her comfort zone. It was a good choice! I hope there will be more Tippanyville stories. There sure are enough interesting characters to populate a series and I'm sure there's a lot more good cooking to try. Besides, the heroine has a best friend who also deserves a hero.
The hero, Graham Lockhart, is a grade school math teacher and a widower. Graham is bitter. All the prayers he and the 'prayer warriors' in his Church offered failed to save his family. This is one of the most emotional unanswered prayer examples I've seen in the genre. The hero, once a good Christian man, is now not on speaking terms with God.
The heroine, Reeny Landry, is a widow whose husband was killed by an elderly man who was probably too old to be driving. Reeny has a mute second grade daughter and a son who will be in the hero's math class. Reeny has found peace with God and is even stronger in her faith. It is her stated goal to start a Bell Choir as a memorial to her husband. It is her real goal to use the bell choir to heal the hurting members of the choir itself.
The hero moves away from all he knows in St. Louis and buys the house next door to the heroine. He is ready to start a new life. The rest of the story will warm your heart and make you glad you read inspirationals.
If you read inspirational novels to feel good, as I do, then "The Heart's Song" will be music to your ears!
Highest Recommendation in the Warm & Wonderful Category!