The Hearts We Mend
Written by: Kathryn Springer
Month, Year: March, 2016
A brief summary from TNZ Fiction:
For young widow Evie Bennett, moving forward will mean deciding what to leave behind . . . and what to keep.
Widowed at the age of twenty-five when her firefighter husband was killed in the line of duty, Evie Bennett has spent the last thirteen years raising their son, Cody, in the close-knit community of Banister Falls. As the women’s ministry director of her church, Evie encourages women to boldly pursue God’s plan for their future . . . while she is content with her memories of the past. But Evie’s well-ordered life begins to change when she meets Jack Vale.
As Evie gets drawn into Jack’s world—a world that isn’t as safe and predictable as the one she’s worked so hard to create—he challenges her to open her eyes to the problems in the community . . . but will Evie open her heart to love again?
Because even though Jack isn’t anything like her late husband, he just might be everything she needs.
I started reading The Hearts We Mend not realizing it is actually the second book in the Banister Falls series. But Kathryn Springer did such an excellent job of re-introducing characters and story-lines that I wasn’t confused while reading the sequel. The Hearts We Mend is an excellent read as a stand-alone book, so don’t fret if you read it before you get your hands on a copy of book one, The Dandelion Field!
A widow of 13 years, Evie Bennett is struggling with life and the next phase that’s been thrust upon her. With her only son moving from home, marrying his sweetheart, and taking the family dog with them, Evie finds herself at a loss at what to do next. What was a loud and boisterous, thriving life is now quiet silence. As she attempts to push through the quiet empty nest, stocked full of bittersweet memories, and come to terms with what she wants next out of life, she meets Jack Vale, a jack-of-all trades who packs a punch into every moment life offers. As Jack wholeheartedly embraces every situation head-on, Evie is taken on a whirlwind journey of discovering that life is not over and she still has so much left to live.
The Hearts We Mend is a sweet story of embracing life, love, and redemption. Evie’s struggles of balancing work, friends, family, church, and giving back to the community was extremely relatable. I have a hard enough time balancing two jobs, spending time with friends and family, and getting enough sleep! Not to mention all the “fun” activities I try to add in too – eating healthier, attempting to walk 5 miles a day (an achievement still not unlocked, but is being worked on!), and reading all the books I can possibly devour. I can’t imagine taking on more responsibilities at this point like Evie does by taking on the planning role of church functions, and co-running a community garden.
This novel is about wounded lives being transformed by God’s grace. Characters who are weighed down by fears, insecurities, and void only to be lifted up by the love of others, by the reviving of God’s love in their lives. It is a story of revival and transformation; that it is never too late to begin anew. The Hearts We Mend is a refreshing read and I highly recommend picking up a copy to read for yourself.
I was graciously provided a free hard-copy of this novel from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.