4 out of 4 stars
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Why do people do what they do? What’s the difference between a job and a calling? How can we effectively deal with pain in our lives? In her debut novel, It’s All About the Heart, author Lenore Schur explores the answers to these questions through the eyes of Jannie, a college student who is at a crossroads in her life.
When Jannie expresses doubts about finishing her current degree plan to her close friend, Derek, he suggests that she meet one of his father’s friends, elderly Mr. Sherman. At first, Jannie is somewhat puzzled by Derek’s suggestion, but she reluctantly agrees. However, after they meet and Mr. Sherman welcomes Jannie into his home and begins to share stories from his life with her, she realizes Derek’s insight.
Mr. Sherman quickly endears himself to her, and a friendship is formed. Jannie looks forward to their tea time and mentoring sessions with anticipation. She admires his ease of sharing his personal thoughts and his devotion to his dear wife Isabella, who was moved to a nursing home after breaking her hip. As Mr. Sherman continues to share his experiential wisdom on various matters of the heart, Jannie gains clarity regarding the decision that had previously been troubling her.
Another aspect of the story unfolding is the relationship between Jannie and Derek. As he spends more time with Jannie and her family, their long-time friendship develops into something deeper, with the hint of romance on the horizon. The romantic in me would have liked to have read more on their blossoming relationship, but perhaps that will be addressed in another book.
Schur masterfully weaves the threads of well-written fiction, scriptural principles and resources from her research to craft well-developed characters. I found myself wishing I could curl up in one of the comfy chairs in Mr. Sherman’s library with a cup of tea while soaking in his wisdom. On a personal note, I found the friendship between college-aged Jannie and eighty-five-year-old Mr. Sherman a welcome change from the disrespect and ageism that is common in our society, today.
There are several rather lengthy sections in the book where the author quotes other sources, and usually, I would have the tendency to lose interest. However, because the information is interesting and supports the story’s plot, it held my attention. Furthermore, I didn’t notice a single grammatical error. I rate this uplifting book 4 out of 4 stars and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys inspirational fiction. Though it contains a lot of scripture and biblical teaching, it doesn’t come across as preachy and the book is well written enough that I believe it would appeal to Christians and non-Christians, alike. Also, there is a resource reference section at the end, for those who are interested in digging deeper into the spiritual principles taught in the book.
It's All About the Heart
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