Within My Heart, Bethany House Book Review

>> Saturday, October 9, 2010

I've just finished the last page of the book, Within My Heart, by Tamera Alexander, and the tears still fall.  Wow!  I think this is one of the best fiction Christian books I've read in awhile.

The book is about a young widowed mother of two boys trying to overcome the pain of her husband's death while taking care of their ranch in Timber Ridge, Colorado in 1877.  The book starts out a bit confusing but now that I'm finished, I see how cleverly she set up future scenes.

Rachel, thanks to her father, has extensive medical knowledge but because of his emotional abuse to her, she spurns any thoughts of becoming friends with the the young (single) physician in the small town - who, we learn, battles his own fears.

There is also an older couple, Ben and Lyda, who have their own struggles but cling to each other and God like there is no tomorrow.

Charlie Daggert helps Rachel on the ranch as much as he can while he helps out Ben in his shop and many other odd jobs.  This man is full of secrets and, as I read, was hoping they would be revealed, and they were.

This book is definitely a romance in every aspect of the word:  an older couple shows us how to love against all odds; a widower shows us how to love her boys and carry on after the death of her beloved husband; a young doctor shows us how to love God and give Him all the credit for his knowledge and accomplishments in his field of work; and it shows new love, full of fear but ready to keep loving the past yet love the future just as much or more.

What impressed me the most about this book was how the author tied up all the loose ends.  Not all at the end, either.  I followed her through each twist and turn and never quite had the path figured out, especially not the ending.  Wow!  Great book.  I highly recommend it for anyone who loves a good historical romance.  Her descriptions are a bit edgier than what I've read from other Christian romance authors but I liked it.  Very true to life.

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