Sadie Sillsby adores the children under her care as the assistant to the matron at the Raystown Home for Orphans and Friendless Children. When the current matron surprises everyone by announcing her engagement, Sadie is offered the job. The problem is that the matron is not allowed to be married, and Sadie has had her heart set on marrying her beau, Blaine, as soon as he is able to own his own farm.
As someone who was raised at the Home, Sadie feels a special connection to the children, and she doesn’t want to abandon them. But marrying Blaine and having a home and children of her own is a dream that Sadie doesn’t want to abandon either.
As Sadie is faced with these tough choices – and even bigger issues related to the financial future of the Home – she must decide which path to take. Will it be with Blaine or with the children she has come to love?
And when the decision is made, will her heart ever be able to find a home?
When I started reading A Home for My Heart, what struck me first was how easy to read it was. As I read the first few chapters, I felt as if I was transported into the novel and that I was able to feel the love that Sadie had for the children at the Home.
As I kept reading, I got more and more immersed in Sadie’s story and in her compassion for the children under her care. I loved how she was able to take her tragic past and focus it not into bitterness and hatred towards the world but towards a love and acceptance of these children that was the same as she had been shown as a child. Since this novel is told in first person by Sadie, you really get to know her character and are able to become engrossed in her view of the story. This was a nice change of pace from what I usually read, although it made it harder to connect with the other characters in the story.
The entire plot of this novel revolves around the Raystown Home for Orphans and Friendless Children and Sadie’s choice to be the matron there. (Don’t worry – I didn’t give a spoiler there. Even though I didn’t mention it in the summary, Sadie makes this decision very early on in the book!) From there it expands to cover the financial difficulties that the Home is having as well as some subplots surrounding the children who live there. One of my favorite parts of the book was reading how the different things played out with these children who had been abandoned or had lost their parents. I was moved to tears several times as their stories were told and as I read about the compassion of the people who took them in or did things to keep the Home open.
Even though the romantic situation between Sadie and Blaine was a major plot point of the book, it didn’t quite feel as if it had enough tension to last throughout. There were a couple of other wrenches that were thrown into their relationship, but I never once questioned what would happen between them or even how it might come about. Since I felt so immersed in the other parts of the story, it felt abrupt when the romantic aspect wasn’t quite as well-formed.
As I said earlier, I really became immersed in this story. I felt like I was there experiencing all of these things with Sadie. As her agitation over the financial troubles of the home increased, my anxiety increased as well. From a writing standpoint, this makes for a successful book, but for me, sometimes I had trouble reading about the money part because I would just get so worried and frustrated about it and about how Sadie was handling it.
Another thing that was good about the writing in this book was how well the spiritual aspect of the story was weaved into everything. It felt seamless, and it fit with the entire tone of the novel. Sadie experiences tremendous growth over the course of the book – so much so that sometimes she would go back and forth so much that my head would spin. But then this was a great reminder to me that I am often the same way. Sadie learned to trust God no matter her circumstances, and she made some decisions that took courage and grace that only Christ could supply.
Set in 1910 in small-town Pennsylvania, A Home for My Heart is a heartwarming tale of compassion, love, and learning to trust that God’s plan is best. It reminded me a lot of the writings of Janette Oke – maybe that’s why I liked it so much.
I will give A Home for My Heart ... 4 BookWorms.
A Home for My Heart
by Anne Mateer
Bethany House Publishers
Publication date: September 15, 2013
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."