When Ruthie Turner was seven, her father left. A few days later, when reading the announcement sheet at church, her mother rushes her from the building, never to return again. Ruthie and her mother are shunned by the society of their small Texas town, Trapp. Ruthie is now working part time at the elementary school and part time at the grocer because her mom cannot seem to hold down a job. Although, lately working at the local diner has been going well. Ruthie’s mother goes to work and then spends her evening watching television. That is better than the anger and the depression. Ruthie spends her days working, taking care of her mother, and spending time with her best friend and cousin, JohnScott.
One day, a new preacher, Dodd Cunningham, comes to town with his younger brother, Grady, and mother. This turns Ruthie’s world upside down. Not only does the preacher talk to her, and offer to drive her to the grocery store to work after she gets off at the school, he likes her. Dodd’s younger brother, Grady, even tells her so. Due to her family’s past history with the church though, Ruthie spends a majority of her time trying to avoid Dodd. Eventually JohnScott becomes good friends with Dodd, even eventually gets baptized. This makes Ruthie uneasy.
Will Dodd win his true love’s heart or will past judgements linger in the way?
Author Varina Denman brings to life a story that discusses themes such as judgement, forgiveness, love, and God. She brings to light struggles that women face and can easily relate to in the story. Varina’s first novel, Jaded, has strong characters and a beautifully written storyline. Winning the 2013 ACFW Genesis Award, this novel comes highly recommended. I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoy reading about struggles and overcoming them with the love of God.
Series: Mended Hearts
Genre: Christian fiction; contemporary; romance; drama; women’s fiction
Literary Awards: 2013 ACFW Genesis Award
Publisher: David C. Cook
Publication date: March 1, 2015
Number of pages: 432
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