Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hearts Awakening Book Review

Hearts Awakening by Delia Parr
Bethany House Publishers

Jackson Smith owns and operates an apple orchard on Dillon's Island, located on the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Elvira Kilmer literally stumbles her way to his doorstep seeking a position as a housekeeper. Smith, a widower with two sons, desperately needs assistance. Elvira hopes to meet his approval and secure the position. As a spinster at the ripe old age of 31, she has no money, and no real place to call home. Sadly, genteel 1840's society has little use for someone like Elvira.

Jackson hires Elvira on the spot; her aim is to eventually secure a reference from Jackson and move on. She's taken off guard by how young and handsome he is, and he is taken off guard by how plain she is. Elvira's learning curve includes using Jackson's new fangled cookstove, and Daniel and Ethan, Jackson's sons. To say they present another problem is an understatement. Daniel, who is five years old, criticizes Elvira's every move, comparing her to his deceased mother. Ethan, age three, has not spoken a word since his mother died six months ago.

Elvira's hopes of a family and children have long been extinguished. Her meager belongings include a family secret or two that she wishes to chase away. Jackson's mysterious past includes a few puzzles and even a scandal. He decides to offer a deal, of sorts, to Elvira as a means of solving his problems.

At first, Elvira refuses his proposition, but then reconsiders. Is it worth the risk? Their tenuous relationship is put to the test through this agreement, and both experience spiritual challenges as they make this journey together. Will their agreement remain practical or will they open their hearts to see what God has for them?

I loved this book! I was drawn to Elvira immediately. I could feel her pain and disappointment with each stumbling step as she made her way to Jackson's doorstep. My sympathies were less engaged with Jackson, but I came to understand him as the plot thickened. I was born in the same region where this book was set, so perhaps I was also drawn to the setting, which Ms. Parr described in an accurate and wonderful way. I enjoyed the surprises that kept popping up, and the unexpected friends Elvira made along the way.

If you enjoy historical fiction, I highly recommend this book. Ms. Parr succeeds in telling a heart rending and heart warming tale, all in the same package.

*This book was provided for review purposes from Bethany House Publishers. No compensation was received.

Happy Reading!



  1. I am amazed at how much you read Karen! Good review and you know I love historical fiction. Now I need to get busy and read more!
    Have a great week.

  2. Jan,
    Thanks! This was a pleasure to read:) You have a good week too.

  3. Ooo, this sounds like my kind of book. I'm putting this one at the top of my Wish List. :)



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