A heart attack has stopped Mara Keegan in her tracks, leaving her daughter’s unfinished photo memory quilt hanging by a thread. Little does Mara know, this quilt—and the memories it bolsters—are the key to her rehabilitation. But Mara’s heart needs to be healed in more ways than one. And Joel Ryan is fraying her last nerve. With her daughter’s graduation fast approaching, even Mara starts to wonder if she—and her faith—can mend in time.
Mara is an appealing, well developed character. Her husband's death in a snowmobiling accident and a promise made to him left her in charge of "25 employees, business loans, and a dream built for two." Anyone who has ever been guilty of putting work ahead of family can relate to Mara as she strives to become everything to everyone. But as is often the case, that goal wasn't achieved very well at home.
Business coach Joel, brought in to assist Bridger Pack and Rescue, is a completely likeable character - intelligent, trustworthy, lives out his faith, and is good with Mara's children. I liked how Joel appreciated Mara's art for its beauty rather than as a marketing commodity.
It's interesting how the title, A Healing Heart, has a double meaning, as Mara heals both physically and emotionally. She has some important things to work through - care of her physical heart, learn to delegate, make peace with the past, and grow close to her children again. The construction of the memory quilt is woven beautifully throughout the narrative, and tells the story of Cadence's life through family pictures. A statement of Joel's sums the theme up nicely: "Our lives are woven together with what feels like scrap pieces. We can see clearly what's happened in the memories of our past. But the future is all about hope."
I enjoyed A Healing Heart and recommend it to all who enjoy inspirational fiction. A sequel is in the works, tentatively titled Climb Every Mountain. It’s the story of Cadence Keegan, all grown up as a fitness coach with her own gym.
Learn more about Angela and her books at angelabreidenbach.com.
This book was provided by Abingdon Press through BookFun.org in exchange for my honest review.