Hearts Made Whole (Beacons of Hope #2)
by Jody Hedlund (Goodreads Author)After her father’s death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren’t supposed to have such roles, so it’s only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper–even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.
Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He’s secured the position of lighthouse keeper mostly for the isolation--the chance to hide from his past is appealing. He’s not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who’s angry with him for taking her job and for his inability to properly run the light. When his failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he's unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Caroline feels drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope…and possibly love?
My Review: 6/10
I had mixed feelings about this book: disliked about 90% of in increasing amounts and then really loved the last 10%. Or maybe just the epilogue. Usually that would not be enough to sway a 6 star out of me, but that's how strong it was. And it was a message that I felt really needed to be told.
It seemed to me that marriage would be such an easy and obvious solution, that they were going against nature for it to not occur to them and then for them to protest against it. I didn't buy it.
I was annoyed that once again, the characters were "too pretty" and "strikingly handsome despite being dirty." Please.
The drama with Arnie was obvious from the get go, thanks to some not-so-subtle mentions of flashes of anger in his eyes and other things. And even if that weren't the case, why would you EVER consider yoking yourself to that family, knowing what his father was? It just didn't make any sense.
But more than anything, I was disgusted by Tessa. I hated the cattiness and the blatant fighting over a man (stranger). I didn't grow up with a sister, so maybe that kind of thing was actually common, but it just seemed like such a waste, especially when they were now the adults, the parents, to their younger siblings. Desperate times should have solidified their partnership. And how Tessa didn't see the flaw in her own plan was beyond me. The only thing that will make me feel any better is if her story is told next and we get to see her change.
I didn't like the violence/extreme circumstances, which were just too melodramatic for my tastes.
But the redeeming part was the end. I won't give it away, but as much as I didn't like this book, it's worth reading, I think, for the message on priorities, God's power, and relationship with Him.