Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Review: A Home For My Heart

A Home for My Heart. Anne Mateer. 2013. Bethany House. 352 pages. [Source: Review copy]

A Home For My Heart by Anne Mateer reminded me--purely in a good way--of some of my favorite episodes of Little House on The Prairie--"He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not." (It is not that these episodes are perfectly perfect. Almanzo's decision making at the start is problematic at best. But his sacrificial love, his working extra hard to make money to help Laura and Mary out so they can open the school for the blind more than makes up for it. Not to mention all the lovely Nellie and Percival bits.) Sadie and Blaine were made for each other. They are perfectly in love and the future only looks bright. The two are waiting to marry until he has enough that he can provide for her. He would like to own his own land, for example. She's content to wait for him and work as an assistant at the orphanage. But. When she has the opportunity to become the matron of the orphanage, she accepts eagerly. A bigger paycheck! She'll even be able to help Blaine out financially if he'll let her contribute money to buy land. The problem? At the exact time she's signing a contract for the new (better) job, he's buying land and taking on more responsibility (a mortgage, I believe???). He wants her to be his wife now. She only thinks its fair that she honors her contract for a year. After all, the children are already losing one matron (who's getting married), for her to go now too will leave the orphanage in a mess. They'd have to hire two new people. So when he gives her a now or never ultimatum, well, she chooses the children. She loves him still. She couldn't help but love him still. He's her everything. But. If he's going to be stubborn about it and stop being charitable with his produce--choosing to sell it instead of donate it--well, she'll just have to find a way to live without him.

The orphanage is in big, big trouble. Financially the orphanage is overwhelmed. There are not enough contributions coming in to meet all the bills and do everything they need to do. So Sadie faces another challenge. The board has given her a specific deadline, she must raise an entire year's worth of funds before a certain date if she wants to stay open. Oh. And one more thing. She is forbidden to tell anyone that the orphanage is in danger of closing. If she could speak honestly in the community about how desperate the situation is, perhaps, she could raise funds. But. Without freedom to speak her mind, her powers to persuade seem to fall a bit short. It doesn't help that she's new and a bit inexperienced, a bit awkward.

Sadie is struggling with a lot in A Home For My Heart. Her story was definitely an entertaining read.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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