Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hearts Made Whole (Beacons of Hope #2) by Jody Hedlund

Title: Hearts Made Whole (Beacons of Hope #2)
Author: Jody Hedlund
Pages: 379
Year: 2015
Genre: Historical (1865)
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Format: Paperback
Note: I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     1865 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?

My review:

     This is a fantastic historical novel!

     This book can be read as a stand-alone story even though it is the second book in the series. There are a couple of brief references to characters in the first book but that is all.

     I absolutely loved both Caroline Taylor and Ryan Chambers. They both have enormous difficulties to deal with when they first meet. They each have a different way that they are approaching those problems though.

     Caroline believes in God yet she is so burdened with her responsibilities that she doesn’t really know how to trust Him to take care of her and her siblings. The heartache and uncertainty that she has faced already in her life caused me to just want to reach out and give her a hug and encourage her that she could get through the new problems facing her.

     Ryan has been wounded both physically and emotionally by the atrocities of the Civil War. These wounds have left him doubting God and his own worthiness as a man. His physical wounds were immediately described. As the story progressed we are then gradually told about the emotional burden that he is carrying.

     As trouble mounts and dangerous situations are faced they both need to learn how to turn to God for His help and strength. The steps that are taken by each of them were very clearly written and thought provoking.

     I thoroughly enjoyed this visit to 1865 Michigan and am highly recommending it. It gets a 5 star rating from me.

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