From the beautiful artwork of the front cover to the heart-melting words on the final pages, Anne Mateer’s newest novel, A Home for My Heart, is a warm, inspiring story reminiscent of beloved authors such as Janette Oke and Kim Vogel Sawyer. Filled with unique twists and endearing characters, the story takes place in the interesting setting of a small orphanage and foster home. Through the first-person narrative of assistant matron to the home, Sadie Sillsby, we observe as she encounters a life-changing decision, one that alters everything she thought was important, and every person she’s held dear. As Sadie faces losing Blaine, the man she’s loved since childhood, the financial future of her beloved orphanage and its inhabitants hangs in the balance. As questions and debates arise for Sadie, we as readers will find ourselves asking how we can trust in God’s plan, even when it seems we are being forced to choose between two good things.
Do you love perfect endings? Then you will be sure to savour this one! The beginning, however, gets off to a slightly slow start, perhaps due to the limiting perspective of first-person. At times I would have appreciated the wider picture another one, two, or even three perspectives would be sure to add. Sadie herself is not completely likeable, due to certain tendencies and attitudes about various issues, until at least halfway through the book. Nevertheless, by the two-thirds mark her heart is changed and we find in her a friend worthy of sharing her story. Sadie realizes that her work at the orphanage is only meaningful if her true worth is based in God, not in herself or the work itself. As her thoughts reveal, “If I believed God truly loved me, I could share that love with others, and it would make a difference. An eternal difference. Because of the work the Lord had done in me, not because of the work I’d done for Him.”
Two significant aspects of this endearing tale stand out, making it memorable and touching. First, the children of the story add several dimensions including humour, heart-wrenching backgrounds, and touching happy-endings when several are placed in families who love them. Second, the love of Sadie’s life, Blaine, possesses a love for her that is truly reflective of the 1st Corinthians definition. As Sadie depicts, “He’d never quit caring for me. Never quit taking care of me, while I’d been selfish and fickle, sought out station and accolades to make me forget that little girl they brought out of her mother’s prison cell. Could he truly forgive that?” Blaine’s response shows his character, “I’d do anything to make you happy… I love you, Sadie. I’ve loved you since the moment Carter and I walked into that warm kitchen. Ten years old with ancient eyes, you understood suffering the way I did.”
If you want to enjoy a heartwarming story of love, sacrifice, and second chances, you will not want to miss A Home for My Heart. It is sure to bring a smile to your face, and if you are like me, a few tears to your eyes as well. Although it may take a little while to become immersed in the story, the end results are worth it, guaranteed.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.