My review of A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman!

She Left Ireland And A Man Who Broke Her Heart…
Only To Find An American Who Could Restore It.

About the book:

Julie Lessman’s new novel A Heart Revealed (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3416-9, $14.99, 512 pages, September), the second offering in the “Winds of Change” series, opens in Boston in 1931, where thirty-one-year-old Emma Malloy has fled from an abusive marriage in Ireland.

Although her former husband has left her haunted and deeply scarred. Emma cannot help but develop strong feelings for her friend Charity’s brother, Sean O’Connor.

Described by his sister as very stubborn, Sean maintains that he is not the marrying kind. But as he and Emma draw closer and closer, will her strong, tender heart ensnare him and change his mind?

Transporting readers back to a time when the Empire State Building was brand new and the local speakeasy was a common destination, Lessman outlines the fascinating era and its citizens with deft precision.

Lessman, who has been hailed as a writer with noteworthy skill by Publishers Weekly has once again delivered an epic tale featuring vibrant characterization, wonderful thrills, sharp dialogue, and surprises both large and small.

My review:

Wow, each of Julie’s books is so compelling, but all for different reasons. The title of this story fit the content perfectly… because each person’s true heart was revealed through the conflicts they faced. I love how these stories all tie together, both the last series and this one. I’m delighted that I don’t have to say goodbye to the O’Connors even though they are a fictional family. I adore them. As I read this current installment in the series I felt like I was watching a whole season of One Life to Live–but a Christian version. At the same time there was no sappy drama in this novel like you’d find in typical soap operas. The conflict felt like real-life issues to me; issues that couples face every day.

People usually want to do the real thing but their flesh always gets in the way. And shame from the past tends to damage so much in each person’s present. Sometimes without them even knowing it. I loved how this story showed that even someone as Christ-like and loving as Emma could still be shamed by a past that distorted every decision she made in the present. Knowing Jesus personally heals our hearts, yes, but it doesn’t erase our pasts. The only way to heal the past is to work through the pain, the hurt, the lies, the shame… and this book does a great job of showing just that. It shows how dealing with things in our past heals, where avoiding those issues causes rifts in relationships and stifles our ability to be truly free to love others.

I loved how the author showed that Sean had an issue from childhood buried so deep in his soul that it caused rage in his heart in the present, and I loved how Father Mac helped him to dig up the root cause of his anger. Then he could deal with it’s cause and heal. This is a really good, healthy message for people–especially the walking wounded–to hear. It brings hope that inspires, which is what Christian fiction should do. This novel inspired me, and for that reason (and because of the healthy message in the story) it’s making my best fiction list for 2011.

A Heart Revealed was published by Revell and released in Sept. 2011. A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for me to review for this tour. The opinion expressed above is entirely my own.

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  • Alli M  On October 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    I just wanted to add that if you’ve never read any of Julie Lessman’s other books – YOU NEED TO!!! She is HANDS DOWN my favorite author, and she once again has written a book chock full of love, humor, passion, and story, story, story!!

    This is the 5th book sharing the lives of the very Irish O’Connor family (The Daughters of Boston series is the 1st three, and the Winds of Change series continues where the Daughters of Boston left off), and I just absolutely LOVE how Julie incorporates SO MUCH the lives of the characters we have grown to love from her previous books! So by the time you get to this book – A Heart Revealed – you already know and LOVE Sean and Emma before even starting the book!

    This one is a bit different than all of Julie’s other books – because Emma is married, there isn’t the heated romantic passion right off the bat and then all throughout the book (which is kinda Julie’s “thing” in all of her other books.) Sean and Emma’s story shows their love blooming through friendship, but don’t worry – she still gives us plenty of her trademark passion and drama through Luke and Katie and Mitch and Charity!! And don’t worry – things will definitely heat up for Sean and Emma too, so don’t lose heart!! 🙂

    The book is also full of the regular “Julie Lessman” roller coaster-like ups and downs and then of course back up again…with of course a surprise or two thrown in!! I promise – this one will be one for the KEEPER shelf – along with ALL of her other ones!! A definite must read!

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