(blĕs'ĭng) n. Something promoting or contributing to happiness, well-being, or prosperity; a boon

Friday, September 26, 2008

Where My Heart Belongs by Tracie Peterson

I've said before that books sometimes force me to think through situations that have never happened (nor may never happen) to me. This books is a modern day retelling of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).
Twelve years ago, Amy Halbert, eager to leave small-town life behind, demanded her share of the family money, changed her name, and dropped out of sight. Her older sister Kathy, was the one who stayed and witnessed the ripples of consequences Amy left in her wake.

Now as her father lies dying at the family farm in Kansas, Amy shows up out of nowhere. Her father is overjoyed to see her and learns that she has come to know the Lord. Before he dies, he begs his older daughter, Kathy, to be a good sister and welcome Amy back into the family.

But Kathy is struggling with the feelings of betrayal and bitterness. How can she forgive someone who brought such misery into their lives? -- Back cover

I honestly have to say that I was very sympathetic with Kathy's character. In fact several times I found myself mentally having words with Amy's character. :-)

The author really brought to light the different perspectives of everyone involved in the situation. The parents who saw their youngest child choose a path far away from them and the lifestyle their child had been brought up in. The sister who stayed and whose choices thereafter created a life path she wishes she could change. And the sister who left behind her family, life, friends, and even her name.

I think sometimes families take each other for granted. The expect and infer reactions and opinions and don't take the time to talk to each other.

That being said. What did I like about this book?

I like the characters. Both Kathy and Amy (the sisters) were so believable. Whether it was a little sympathy for Kathy or a harsh word for Amy, I found myself having imaginary conversations with them as I read the story.

I like the story. It is a timeless parable first told by Jesus to illustrate the acceptance new believers should receive into the kingdom of heaven.

Title: Where My Heart Belongs
Author: Tracie Peterson
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Published Date: 2007
Pages: 330p

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