Her Heart

Christian - Romance - Contemporary
94 Pages
Reviewed on 10/10/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Book is advance galley in Word doc format. The edited and formatted galley will be uploaded this week, if that is possible to do so.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

After an abusive first marriage, Sarah was hesitant to consider another relationship. She just didn't trust men. There were other tragedies, too. One son died at birth, another died of cancer, and the third son, Daniel, was mentally challenged, or so the educators claimed (though neither Sarah nor Daniel agreed with their assessment). After divorcing her first husband, Sarah starts over, keeping her remaining son, Daniel, close. They have a tight bond having both experienced abuse from Sarah's first husband. Aaron is a friend from Sarah's childhood. Since they both work at the local hospital, Sarah as a nurse and Aaron as a doctor, they have frequent contact with one another. Despite Sarah's hesitance to open her heart to another man, Aaron's kindness and dedication, both to her and to her son, slowly warms her feelings. The voice of her deceased Cherokee grandmother also urges her to consider Aaron as a good match.

Mary L. Schmidt's romance, Her Heart, is a tender, heartwarming love story. The story begins with the horrific details of one of the abusive incidents. Leading the reader through the tragedies, the author weaves a plot that opens readers' hearts so they feel compassionate toward the protagonist, Sarah. The story is told in the first-person narrative in multiple points of view: Sarah's, Daniel's, and Aaron's, each new voice beginning a new chapter with the appropriate heading to identify who is speaking. Key issues like self-esteem, loving, caring, mother-son bonding, special needs education, and abusive situations are woven together to make a compelling and engaging story. The most touching part of the story is the ongoing connection between Sarah and her deceased Cherokee grandmother. Speaking from the spirit world, the grandmother, who played such a dominant and loving part in Sarah's life while she was still alive, continues to guide her granddaughter in making difficult decisions. Powerful. I love the grandmother connection.

Jennifer Ibiam

In Her Heart by Mary L. Schmidt, there was a double tragedy for Sarah. First, she lost her son, Simon, to cancer after a sustained battle. Then Sarah’s husband abused her physically, emotionally, and psychologically. But when the life of her only living child, Danny, was on the line, something had to give. At this point, Sarah lost her self-esteem and hated her body. Sarah’s focus was on her son and job as a nurse. Enter Aaron, who was a high school friend and a doctor at her hospital. He was a broken man, done with love and marriage because women were gold diggers. The clash of two hearts put Sarah in a dilemma. With the guidance of her Grandma Cordie’s Cherokee spirit, what will she do?

Her Heart by Mary L. Schmidt is a beautiful novel that will appeal to abuse survivors. It is a story of hope, faith, trust, sacrifice, honor, and compassion. I liked the unique plot and realistic story as it was reenacted all around me. Abusers attack the psyche first, stripping their victims of all self-esteem and value, making them hate everything about themselves. But we should guard our minds and never fault our bodies. We are unique and beautiful. Mary developed powerful characters, and I liked Lisa, Aaron, Danny, and Sarah the most. Cindy was a terrible character. Danny was wise beyond his years, and Sarah was a strong woman. She tapped into that Cherokee blood from her grandmother, which was associated with wisdom and strength. I enjoyed this Christian novel by Mary L. Schmidt.

Jamie Michele

Her Heart by Mary L Schmidt is a non-fiction-inspired story that reads in a novella format, circling around the lives of Sarah, Aaron, and Sarah's son Danny, all three being point of view characters. Sarah is a trauma survivor many times over and has endured more than any person should, all before her early 30s. Her marriage to a cruel husband literally bleeds over into her one surviving son. Having lost two others in tragic circumstances, Sarah is unwilling to lose Danny under the fists of a man who has no care for Sarah and Danny's small bodies. Aaron is a single, handsome, and well-established doctor with quite a few women in his life. These are, of course, his mother, sister, and a daughter named Lisa. In the background remains the spirit of Sarah's Cherokee grandmother Cordie, to whom Sarah turns to in times of need, as well as her faith.

Her Heart is, first and foremost, a story of resilience and rebirth. Sarah is a protagonist who is easy to like even if connecting with her isn't always so straightforward, but nothing about Sarah's story is straightforward so it seems a bit fitting. Mary L Schmidt has done well in weaving Sarah's strengths and vulnerabilities together. Aaron was not so easy to connect with and he frequently came across as being over-the-top-perfect in almost every way, but somehow incredibly clueless in the realities of parenting despite being completely surrounded by estrogen. A man who says he stopped taking his daughter to playdates after being hit on by another mother has a lot to learn about what women go through on a daily basis, and that pulling your child from a playgroup so you don't have to have an actual adult conversation isn't how this works. While this is infuriating, it is also what makes him feel real. It's weird but it is the very thing that pulls him out of a Gary Stu trope. Danny's point of view narratives are refreshing and really balance the book out. It is clear that the spiritual connection Sarah has with her Cherokee grandmother is a source of strength to be cherished. For all the hurt that prompts the story at its onset, the love that blossoms through the storm is really nice.