A copy of Hidden in the Heart and Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West
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About the book . . .
Everything Claire wantsseems to be beyond her reach…
After losing her mother to cancer and suffering a miscarriage soon after, Claire Ferguson numbs the pain with alcohol and pills, and wonders if her own life is worth living.
Adopted at birth, Claire is convinced she has some unknown genetic flaw that may have been the cause of her miscarriage. She must find a way to deal with the guilt she harbors. But exoneration will come with a price. With her marriage in trouble and her father refusing to answer any questions about her adoption, Claire begins the search for her birth mother. For the first time in her life, she really wants to know where she came from. But what if the woman who gave her life doesn’t want to be found?
Hidden in the Heart has been nominated for a 2013 Grace Award and is on the long list for an INSPY award.
Catherine West is an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Her first novel, “Yesterday’s Tomorrow“, won the INSPY for Romance, a Silver Medal in the Reader’s Favorite Awards, and was a finalist in the Grace Awards. Catherine’s second novel, “Hidden in the Heart“, was also a finalist for a Grace Award. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two college-aged children.
Reader review . . .
After losing her mother to cancer and then suffering a miscarriage, Claire turns to alcohol to get through this bleak period of life. She believes a genetic flaw is to blame for the loss of her baby, but as an adoptee, she has no way of knowing the medical history of her family. As her marriage begins to fall apart, Claire begins her search for her birth mother. But she fails to think of what will happen if this mystery woman does not appreciate being found.
This is thought-provoking modern fiction. The beginning of the book is a bit confusing, moving between different characters without explanation, and it drags occasionally, but it picks up quickly, with the characters sorting themselves out in the first third of the book. The ending is a little too tidy, but fiction writers can do that; that’s the reason for choosing fiction over reality.
As for the characters, it is easy to sympathize with Claire. Whether or not one is an adoptee, her pain and confusion is imaginable. As her marriage to James falters, she withdraws from those who love and want to help her. This is a very realistic reaction. James is, for the most part, long-suffering to the point of sainthood. He does get a bit preachy at times, but that is to be expected in this genre.
The honest exploration of substance abuse and even promiscuity is a welcome addition to Christian fiction. The characters have real problems and face the very real consequences of their actions, but this is not shown in a judgmental manner. Rather, grace and forgiveness are major components of the storyline.
This is a well-written novel with a strong Christian theme. I look forward to reading more from Ms. West.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group<http://www.litfusegroup.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”