Oh, I knew there would be some tough times in this book; how can there not be when Emma is separated from--but still married to--an abusive drunk? And still, I hurt for Emma and Sean so much! However, considering that Emma is not free, I thought the romance was very well done. For the most part, they are simply incredibly good friends that continue to grow closer and closer. And then when they discover they care more for each other than they had realized, they take pains not to push into adultery. And I wondered the whole novel how the "Rory issue" would be resolved so they could be together!
I revise my earlier opinion and state now that this is my favorite of the O'Connor novels so far. Sean has long been a favorite of the O'Connors - kind, tender, hard-working. I love his reserve and care, even if he has struggles buried under his friendly facade. And Emma, so scarred inside and out, is such a beautiful person. Even though she is sweet and genuine and apt to give too much of herself, she isn't a complete pushover anymore; she has learned to act with authority and to stand up for herself and others. In some ways it amazes me she is such good friends with Charity, and in other ways it's no surprise at all; they make quite the complementary pair.
This book ties in most with A Passion Redeemed and A Hope Undaunted, with a strong secondary focus on the sisters Charity and Katie. Thus we get to see the ups and downs of their marriages too; a strong reminder that even though the wedding is over, every couple still needs to work on and safeguard their marriage.
As usual, there is a very strong spiritual thread to the novel, with lots of truth printed in the pages. You can't deny the author's love of the Savior!
Here is yet another great story about the O'Connor family of Boston! I have enjoyed these stories so much, that I almost feel a part of the family. Julie Lessman does an excellent job of writing tastefully about the emotions and passions of romantic love. Her passion for God also is a major part of the books she writes. Sean O'Connor is a great older brother, and Julie does a wonderful job of writing about family relationships. There are elements of love and always forgiveness in each of the stories. When you start on one of these books, it is hard to put it down! I highly recommend all of these books about the O'Connor family of Boston, but do read them in the order written for a continual story line.
I just loved this second book in the Winds of Change trilogy by Julie Lessman. This book tells the story of Sean O'Connor and also keeps up with the rest of the O'Connor family as well. I am eager to read the next book. I can't seem to put these books down once I start reading them. Thankful to be retired so I can devote time to my love of reading.
"A Heart Revealed" is the story of Sean O'Connor, oldest son of the O'Connor family - from Julie Lessman's Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series. The book opens in 1931 Boston at the wedding of Sean's youngest sister Katie, in which sister Charity's best friend Emma Malloy is a bridesmaid.
Emma had fled Dublin ten years prior, running for her life and leaving behind a painful past. When Emma and Sean become more than family friends, violent and abusive secretive pasts and prior vows threaten to destroy the life of each, and the only true love Emma has ever known. Other O'Connor family personal struggles and tragedies add additional drama, deception, passion, revelations, and human emotions - to an already powerful story of people embracing love and seeking to honor God.
"A Heart Revealed" is another passion-filled masterpiece from the writing genius of the "Queen of Romance" - one of her finest and most suspenseful, yet interspersed with the obstinate and sweet charms of children that will make you laugh and steal your heart. Once again, Julie Lessman uses the fear, shame, pain, and guilt, of the characters - two of her most gentle and kind - to show the restorative powers that only a loving God can provide!!
Even though I adore all of the O'Conner's stories this book is probably my favorite! I just love it so much that it's almost impossible to put it into words but that's not going to stop me from trying!
I love Sean so much! He is such an amazing hero and in the words of Emma "He's the peacemaker, the buffer, the Rock of Gibraltar everyone relies on." That really is the perfect description of Sean. He is constantly trying to do things to help others without thinking about himself. And he has that calm strength that makes him the perfect person to lean on when things go wrong. My heart broke for him as he realized he was in love with a woman he could never have but I admired how he stood strong determined to be her friend no matter what. And when we finally found out what had happened to him during the war I wanted to cry.
And Emma...where to begin! I loved her from the very start! She was such a good friend to Charity and the perfect balance for her as well. I loved her quiet strength, her kindness, and her giving heart. I hated all the things her husband had done to her. That someone would do such things to anyone let alone someone like Emma baffled me and I honestly wanted to deck him! It was amazing how she could go through all that she did and come out the sweetest person you'd ever meet. Definitely a testament to the difference it can make when you give your heart to God rather than to bitterness!
It was painfully sweet to watch their journey, two people who deserved love the most being robbed of it but not letting it destroy them. Sadly this review is sounding a bit depressing so let me assure you that there is a happy ending! I won't spoil it but suffice it to say I ended the book with a smile on my face!
And again all of the "secondary" cast was absolutely fantastic except for those few that you were supposed to not like, and didn't! I loved Bert whose grumpiness hid a soft side, and Alli with her heart of gold, and Mrs. Peep with her mothering. Then there are the characters from the previous books, Patrick and Marcy, Collin and Faith, Mitch and Charity, Brady and Lizzie, Luke and Katie, Steven, Gabe, Father Mac, and all the grand-kids, all of whom I once again thoroughly loved!
So yeah I think this is my favorite O'Conner story mainly because I love Sean and Emma so much and I loved watching them find the happiness they so richly deserved!