Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Hearts We Mend by Kathryn Springer

This is a very rewarding novel of transformation and healing. The main character is Evie. Her firefighter husband had been killed thirteen years ago. Her son, Cody, is getting married. (To get the full impact of the marriage, you'll need to read the first book in the series.) Jack is a new guy in town. He looks a little rough around the edges. When he is hired as the temporary custodian at the church where Evie is the women's ministries director, she has to face feelings she thought were long buried.

This book is a good exploration of how a widow faces her future. Evie honors the memory of her husband, but when is it right to let go of that paralyzing memory and look toward a better future? Springer has done a good job helping us feel Evie's loneliness when her son marries. Cody even takes the dog with him so Evie's house is completely empty.

I really like Jack, the new guy in Bannister Falls. He's temporarily left a job in the city to help his brother make it through a really tough time. That selfless act reveals Jack's heart. He helps everybody. What a great heart he has.

This is a novel about transformation. I loved seeing how Evie's heart changed, not only toward the possibility of romance but also as she developed a love for the down trodden and disadvantaged. I appreciated the transformation in Jack's opinion of himself. He struggled so much with thinking he was not worthy of love.

There are several lessons for us to learn in this novel. I was challenged about my own response to the down trodden and disadvantaged. How Jack loved his neighbors, faults and all, was an inspiration. It was enjoyable to see how his attitude was caught by others. He also loved his brother, even when he didn't deserve it. Jack's life had not been a good one but he did not let that harden his heart toward others.

Springer is a master at creating well developed characters. I really enjoyed the quirky ones. It seemed like everyone of them gave me something to think about.

I recommend this novel to those who like to read about how God transforms hearts, giving the ability to love again. If you're like me, you'll sigh at the last page, appreciating a good story.

This is the second in The Banister Falls series. Although it reads well on its own, I would suggest reading the first in the series, The Dandelion Field. You can read my review of that book here.

I'm taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Kathryn Springer is a USA Today bestselling author. She grew up in northern Wisconsin where her parents published a newspaper. Her parents instilled in her a love for books which eventually turned into a desire to write her own. She has written nineteen books with close to two million copies sold. She lives with her husband and their three children in Marinette, Wisconsin. Find out more at http://www.kathrynspringer.com/.

Zondervan, 320 pages. Purchase a copy here.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Litfuse for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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