4 out of 4 stars
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Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon is a heart-warming read that encourages one to think deeply about the people from which we came. The book, which takes place in the Pacific Northwest, weaves generational family drama with the beauty of a close-knit relationship amongst friends. It’s a beautiful tale that exposes us to the true beauty of nature and the connection between people and their lands.
I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. The story is relatable and endearing and will leave you wanting to call your grandfather and maybe ask him to go on a hike. The book is also extraordinarily well-edited and well-written, thereby crafting a pleasurable, error-free reading experience.
My favorite thing about this book is how it switches narratives between the present day and a dream of one of the main characters that take us back to pre-historic times. The first-person recall of events breaks up the book in a way that keeps the reader engaged. I also thoroughly enjoyed the historical aspects of the story and learning more about early humans and how we may have come to inhabit what we know as present-day America.
The historical aspects of this book presented from both a scientific and mythical point of view taught me a lot that I didn’t know about early humans. The author does an excellent job of telling the tale of these people through the eyes of a young girl. Throughout the story, I found myself painting pictures in my head of our ancestors, braving the elements as they fought animals, and fought for their lives.
Something I found challenging about this story is that the beginning of the story felt a bit jumbled. I tried to put together multiple generations of characters with limited detail in the first chapter. I even found myself talking out loud to figure out how everyone was related. I felt the author could have spent a bit more time on character development and lengthy description in the early pages to make the story easier to understand. But after these initial relationships are made clear, the storyline flows much better.
This book can appeal to all audiences. It will be of specific interest to those intrigued by tales of early humans, specifically those who may have settled in the Pacific Northwest. The story will also hold great appeal to nature lovers and people who enjoy books centered on hiking and braving the elements.
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