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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Heart's Journey Home by Jen Stephens



The Heart's Journey Home by Jen Stephens
Publisher: Sheaf House
Genre: Inspirational, Contemporary
Length: Full (331 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia



Three years after Kate Sterling's heart was shattered by the unexpected death of her husband, she packs up what is left of her life and moves back to Harvest Bay, Ohio, with her young daughter. She soon discovers that her sleepy hometown has changed--and that she has been given a second chance at love. But is God leading her to a love linked to the past . . . or to one who will walk with her into the future?

When her faith falters, hope hides, and love seems forever gone after the death of her husband, Kate Sterling takes seven-year-old daughter Maddie and returns to her roots in Harvest Bay, Ohio.

Kate is a “doer”, but all the working and helping others has not helped her move on with her life even after three years. Ryan’s brother Nathan has been there for Kate and Maddie, giving comfort and security, but he looks so much like Ryan he is a constant reminder of their loss. However, a special bond holds them close to each other. Still, Kate’s faith in God’s plan for her life falters.

Back in Harvest Bay her support system is huge with unconditional love from family and friends and her receptiveness to the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit, help her begin her journey toward a newness of life. The spiritual emptiness begins to recede. The reader is privileged to vicariously experience her journey as author Jen Stephens creates a story so true to life it seems more like fact than fiction. Words from one of the minor characters set the foundation for the story. She says, to be sure you recognize the difference in God’s plan and your plan for your life.

Adam Sullivan, a single father and the varsity coach for Harvest Bay high school, has had so many of his dreams shattered he is not sure of God’s plan or if there really is a plan for him. His journey to an understanding of salvation and its rewards reveals many facets of his, Kate’s, and Kate’s grandfather’s personalities. The Bible scriptures, the way they are presented, and the spiritual growth that follows is compelling.

Dr. Nathan Sterling’s journey has twists and turns that create a love that seeps in ever so subtly—a love that brings joy and a sense of direction to him and those he loves.

The many secondary characters, all on their own unique journeys, blend with the major characters’ journeys. Also, the nurturing of children and caring for the aged binds the generations together wonderfully.

Jen Stephen’s smooth, inviting style of writing enhances this gentle story about gentle, caring people. The Heart's Journey Home celebrates revitalizing faith, coaxing hope out of hiding, and giving love wings to soar. Her ability to weave in scriptures at just the right places adds to the rich texture of the story. This one is a KEEPER.

3 comments:

Peggy Blann Phifer said...

I have read this book and I couldn't put my thoughts out there any better than this review. I highly recommend it.

kathy taylor said...

Sounds wonderful! I'm putting it on my MUST read list.

Jen Stephens said...

Thanks so much, Peggy and Kathy! And thank you, Camellia, most of all for this wonderful review! I'm so thrilled that you enjoyed it and I pray that through your kind words it touches many others!