Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Review: Hearts Made Whole

Hearts Made Whole is the second book in the series Beacons of Hope by Jody Hedlund. The first book, Love Unexpected, was published in December of 2014. Five months later, the next installment arrives! Huzzah!

Hearts Made Whole (Beacons of Hope, #2)Hearts Made Whole (as well as Love Unexpected) are standalone novels. They are tied together with the themes of lighthouses, love, and Michigan. I will admit it took me halfway through the book to realize that the characters were also connected too. (That's what you get for reading too many books between book one and book two in a series.) Book one features Emma Chambers and her brother, Ryan. Emma is the main character in Love Unexpected while Ryan is a main character in Hearts Made Whole.

The Civil War happened between book one and book two, so the Ryan readers knew before has changed. War has changed him. With little to no lighthouse knowledge, he gets a job as a lighthouse keeper only to discover that his new job will remove Caroline Taylor and her siblings from their only home. Ryan longs to be a better man, so he asks the family to stay. Caroline needs the lighthouse job and a home for her siblings. She is grateful for being allowed to stay, but is still uncertain of her future. Ryan and Caroline need a firm rock to stand. The future can be frightful, people can fail, and jobs can change, but the Lord remains. You can turn to Him in your hour of need and He will be there for you.

I greatly enjoy a story that can standalone. Hedlund's Beacons of Hope series is so much fun! She highlights a job (lighthouse keeper) that is quickly being handed over to machines. She also shares a setting close to my heart - the Great Lakes. Being from the Midwest, I am near Michigan and the beloved lakes that offer so much to our Midwestern lives.

Hedlund builds a minor character from her first book to a major character in her second Beacons book. It was good to hear more about Ryan. I wonder if she will do the same in her future books? I also enjoyed theme of lifted burdens. Family building you up, friends helping, and the Lord taking the stress of life and turning it into peace. It was a story I wanted to finish in one sitting. It was difficult to put it aside when other duties arose. I'm looking forward to Jody Hedlund's next book!

Time Period: Post Civil War, 1865
Location: Lake St. Clair, Michigan, USA

Reviewed from a complimentary copy. Thank you, Jody Hedlund and Bethany House!

Title: Hearts Made Whole
Author: Jody Hedlund
ISBN: 9780764212383

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