I couldn't find my earlier review so I am writing another. I was very much touched by this book and it moved me to tears. It was heart wrenching to follow Mary's effort to win the hearts of both Barnabas and his son Jay. It is really sad to be only the second best in a relationship. I believe Barnabas was not necessarily a bad person, in fact he did love Mary in his own way only he couldn't forget his late wife. I would say, Mary got herself into that situation, she chose to marry a man, she was well aware, did not love her. In my opinion, though, these things happen often, a man or woman with a great capacity to love finds himself or herself in a loveless relationship. Well this book kept me up very late, infact I was so concerned for Mary's happiness that, quite unlike me, I peaked at the last pages to see how much longer before Mary gets her happily ever after! All the same, it was a very good read.
I disliked this book so much I made myself finish it in hope that it would improve. It did not!!! Neither of the two main characters had much to offer the reader. Barnabas Horton was an unlikable character (I am not going to call him a hero), domineering, determined to have his own way, totally uncaring about Mary. After nine years he was still wallowing in self pity mourning the loss of his first wife. But then Mary Langton was a poor-me, martyr type who made no effort to stand up for herself.
This book was a waste of time and money. Needless to say I have no desire to read the rest of the series.
A Place in His Heart is the first tale in Rebecca DeMarino's series, The Southhold Chronicles. On the opening pages of this book, you meet Mary Langton. After being left at the alter, Mary desperately wants to find and marry a man who will love and be there for her. When Mary crosses paths with Barnabas Horton, a newly widowed man in her hometown, she sees him as a potential alternative to the man her father has planned for her to marry. Barnabas is also in need of a wife to help him raise his two young boys and he sees Mary as an answer to his prayer. You cannot help but wonder what will occur between these two when you see that Barnabas is still desperately in love with his fist wife!
As you watch Barnabas, a Puritan, plan to take his family to America, the new world forming on the other side of the ocean, you know that there will be hard times ahead. It is interesting to get a glimpse of what America may have looked like in its first days as you watch Barnabas and Mary struggle to build a life together as they attempt to settle into both this new world and their marriage!
Will Mary ever feel truly accepted by her husband? Will Barnabas ever be able to love his new wife? Hold on until the final pages to learn the answers to these questions!
Rebecca DeMarinos debut novel, A Place in His Heart, stands out with her excellent character development and historical research. Set in the 17th century, DeMarino takes the challenge of writing about a time period readers may not be as familiar with for historical fiction. With a few references to the political climate that played a part in the Puritans journeying to America, this story also has a fresh perspective. DeMarino did a great job portraying her characters conflicts, which include themes of overcoming grief, wanting the best for our children, and the hope of love. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and following them along on their journey and look forward to reading the second book in the series.
Mary Langton is a strong, strong woman. I don't think I could have made it as long as she did with Barnabas. I admire her courage and strength. However, I can relate deeply to Barnabas and his feelings. I know what it's like to lose a spouse. Rebecca DeMarino perfectly captured the emotions and depth of grief in Barnabas. The character development was well penned. They grew in faith and love just the way I would have hoped for them to. There were parts of the story that lagged a little for me, but I was still kept engaged. My favorite part of the story was the note from the author. It was so cool to learn that part of the story stemmed from the actual legacy of the author's family. I also enjoyed how real the interaction between the Indians and the English felt. The struggles of life in the New World was not dulled down for story purposes.
Overall, if you're looking for a story of faith, love, devotion, and live in the early America's, this is sthe story for you.
*I recieved a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.*