Heart of the Country - eBook
Character Conflict & Family Dynamics are Amazing
After sixty-two days, Luke Carraway knew Faith Barnett was his soul mate. Since the Carraway family is beyond wealthy, they believe Faith is with Luke for his money. Luke and Faith leave their families out and elope. Then Luke decides to leave the family company to be independent and make a name for himself with competitors, the Michov Brothers.
Faith starts to overhear conversations about the Michov Brothers being a part of a Ponzi scheme. "[A] Ponzi scheme is when a fund...takes the money from new investors and uses it to pay off existing investors' returns on investments. It gives the illusion of profit when there isn't any." Luke promises Faith that he is not involved in anything illegal. But her faith in Luke is shattered when the SEC arrests him "for conspiracy to commit federal securities fraud."
When Luke refuses to answer any of Faith's questions, she packs up her belongings and goes to the only place she can - Columbus County, North Carolina - her family's home. This is difficult for her. The reason why Faith left is because the community wanted her to pick up on the life her mother left behind when she died. But Faith has never really dealt with her mother's death. She left the rest of her family to deal with losing her as well. Now, ten years later, there are mixed emotions about Faith's return.
Back in New York, Luke's scandal has caused everyone to turn away from him. Faith was just the first. Luke is alone and facing prison time, wondering the ways he could kill himself while inside. There is only one direction for Luke to turn and it goes against everything he was trying to do by himself. Plus, he has not heard from Faith and needs to decide whether to fight for her or let her go for betraying their vows. Unexpected news puts a new twist on everything and everyone.
I GIVE THIS BOOK: 5 Stars
It has been so long since I have read a book with so much realistic content, situations and emotions. The character conflict is amazing.
The author uses real life circumstances and writes how real people would act in that situation. Independence, pride, ethics, vows, family and death are just a few of the struggles the characters of this book have to deal with.
Family dynamics play an extremely large role in this story. I found myself comparing my family to those of the two main characters, Luke and Faith. I will say that some actions the family members took surprised me.
I struggled with this book in the sense that I felt connected to the story at my very core. While the 400+ pages seem daunting, it is well worth it. It is a quick read because you will not want to put it down. And I did not. Very emotional. Have a tissue handy.
Until next time, live life one page at a time!
October 31, 2013
Heart of the Country by Rene Gutteridge & John Ward is a wonderful story of love, betrayal, forgiveness, and going home again. The story is told in a first person format through Faith, Luke, Olivia, Catherine, and Calvin the main characters in the story. Faith and Luke are happily married, living in New York City, and by the standards of the world they have it all but things fall apart when Luke becomes involved in a Ponzi scheme. Faith does not give Luke a chance to explain but immediately leaves for her fatherÃ¢ÂÂs home in North Carolina. FaithÃ¢ÂÂs father, Calvin, is delighted to have her home but her sister Olivia is quite upset with FaithÃ¢ÂÂs return. Luke is hurt by FaithÃ¢ÂÂs leaving and finally has to turn to his family for help in getting through all the problems caused by his desire to be on his own and to make his fortune. The story has the feeling of the Prodigal Son in the Bible and just like him, Faith and Luke have to face their problems head on and admit their mistakes and then ask for forgiveness from their families and God.
Rene did an excellent job in the development of the characters and all the scenes that took place in the story. For me the characters came to life and with the story being told in a first-person conversational style, I felt as if I were sitting and talking with each character. Scenes were so well developed that I could feel what was going on and I was right in the middle of the action. The struggles that Faith and Luke were having with each other and with their families was so well portrayed that I was shedding tears with them and urging them on to get their lives back on track. I liked the addition of CatherineÃ¢ÂÂs thoughts to the story for it helped to show why Faith and Olivia felt as they did about each other.
I highly recommend this book to all who like a love story with a good ending even if the couple have to go through hard times to reach the good times.
Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
November 5, 2013
A book about coming home
I glanced at the movie for this book before I started reading and I will be honest, I was worried I might not like the book. But I had to remind myself that books are almost always better than movies and that was the case for Heart of the Country.
I really enjoyed this modern telling of the prodigal. I liked being in the head of the older sister (Olivia) who stayed with her dad while her younger sister (Faith) left --something I can relate to personally -- and watching her heart soften and their relationship heal.
There is a very moving moment that brought me to tears (always a good sign that I like a book) when Luke's dad stands up for his son. A beautiful picture of what Christ does for us. It reminded me of how God uses me and my story, as messy as it is, to help others. I know He has my back and He's not ashamed of me because I am His daughter.
There are a few twists and turns in the plot that will having you flipping pages to find out what happens next and how God will heal Faith and Luke's marriage. This is a great Genesis 5020 story.
After reading the book I think I can appreciate the movie more and plan on giving it another chance now that I have a better understanding of the characters.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend it as a great reminder of Christ's amazing love for us all.
A copy of this book was given to me by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
November 2, 2013
A heartfelt story of overcoming one's past.
Faith and Luke have a fairytale life... until Luke is arrested for being a part of a Ponzi scheme. He claims he wasn't involved, but admits to his knowledge of the scheme. Frustrated and angry, Faith packs a suitcase and walks out the door going to the place she once called home.
This story hooked me on the first page and made it hard to put down. Conflict loomed on every page, I truly didn't know what direction the story was headed. I went from page to page curious to the outcome. There were many instances I was concerned emotions would be downplayed or overdone; however, the authors handled each character with delicacy and stayed true to life.
That being said, some situations in the book were confusing and didn't make sense, such as Luke's role with the Michov Brothers. It was probably due to all the head jumping. Thankfully, when I watched the movie, it clarified what was going on. Other than that, I enjoyed the writing and depth to the plot and story, something that can't be shown on screen.
To sum up, I enjoyed the book a lot, but the movie let me down. You wouldn't think there would be so many differences or nuances, especially when the screenplay writer helps write the novelization. Yes, I like my movies to stay true to my books and in this case the saying is true, the book is always better than the movie.
I received this book from Tyndale in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!
October 10, 2013