“Heart of Stone” by Jill Marie Landis, the first in the author’s ‘Irish Angel’ series, is a book I picked up from the library. I signed up to participate in a blog tour for the second book in this series, “Heart of Lies,” but I wanted to read the first book first. (Call me picky, but that’s just the way my Mama raised me!)
This series begins with the story of Laura Foster, who runs a stylish boardinghouse in Glory, Texas, in 1874. Laura has made a name for herself in Glory over the last few years while also keeping the people of the settlement at a distance. She knows there is too much in her past (the death of her parents, her separation from her sisters, and her unspeakable childhood) that would cause her destruction.
Enter the Reverend Brand McCormick, who is taken with the young hostess of the boardinghouse and is determined to close the distance that Laura has put between herself and the people in the town. When secrets threaten to be revealed, will there be forgiveness or only bitterness and betrayal?
On the whole, I thought this book was not bad. The premise has been done before, but it mostly held my interest, and there was even a twist thrown in that I didn’t see coming. (That is an accomplishment for any book I read, since I don’t trust anyone or anything in any book!) Yet, I found myself wanting more from this novel. Occasionally the actual writing confused me. The dialogue did not seem to flow very well at times, as if the people were not really listening to each other when they were having a conversation. (Maybe that is pretty realistic, though…) Someone would ask a question, and the other person would make a comment that did not answer the question at all. This was just something that bothered me and made the book kind of hard to read.
I will say that this novel does a good job at portraying the various responses that one can get when something negative from his or her past comes to light. Our response as true believers should be one of forgiveness and acceptance, just as Christ forgives and accepts us. But how many times do we put on our judgmental attitudes and attribute those attitudes to being righteous? May we all have a spirit of forgiveness in our hearts that is willing to welcome all people into our churches and our lives.
I will give “Heart of Stone”by Jill Marie Landis… 3 BookWorms
If you have not read this book, and you want to, I would advise that you not read any further in this post. Otherwise, read on, readers!
I have to point out that in this book I was very discouraged that Brand, the REVEREND asked Laura to marry him before he knew that she was a believer. Maybe I am missing something, but I’m pretty sure that I remember her having her conversation with God after they had been on their picnic and he had asked her to marry him. I think this is a major error in this book. Of course, before the picnic, he had no reason to believe that she wasn’t a Christian. But after their conversations about her past, he really should have known. Not that she couldn’t be a believer in Christ because of her past, but because her words and actions clearly showed that she had not allowed Christ to release her of her past.
This was just something that I felt didn’t match with the way a follower of Christ, and especially a pastor, would act.