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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.