Wednesday, October 13, 2010
In Every Heartbeat by Kim Vogel Sawyer Review
In response to readers’ attachment to the main characters in her bestselling novel My Heart Remembers, Kim decided to give fans a special chance to find out what happened next in their lives.
Set more than a decade after that book, In Every Heartbeat also introduces readers to new friends—three orphans struggling to pursue their dreams and to find a place to belong as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.
As three friends who grew up in the same orphanage head off to college together, they each harbor a special plan for the future. Libby Conley hopes to become a famous journalist. Pete Leidig believes God has called him to study to become a minister. And Bennett Martin plans to pledge a fraternity, find a place to belong, and have as much fun as possible. But as tensions rise around the world on the brink of World War I, the friends’ differing aspirations and opinions begin to divide them, as well.
When Libby makes a shocking discovery about Pete’s family, will it drive a final wedge between the friends or bond them in ways they never anticipated?
My take: Even though this is the second book, it can easily be read alone. It is the continuation of three orphans who, ten or so years previous, were taken in by a couple running an orphanage. In this installment, the characters are coming of age and learning independence in a new way as they begin their first year of college on scholarship. They are also discovering the interdependence they have on one another and the adults from their childhoods.
Each of the characters have specific challenges. Libby feel herself pulled to become a writer but in order to support herself, she may have to sacrifice some of her moral standards (Don't worry. It's a super clean book). She has not yet decided where God fits into her life. She struggles with pride, friendship, and loyalty.
Petey feels the call of the ministry and his studies are preparing him to become a shepherd. He is, however, struggling with anger and bitterness for his parents. Petey is not an orphan. His parents turned him out to the streets when he was only 7 years old. He either had to get street smart or die. In one episode, a trolly nearly takes his life but instead he (only) loses a leg. He struggles with his feelings of bitterness and estrangement while dealing with his peculiarities and peg leg.
(A word from this blog's sponsor - that's me. My great, great, great grandfather, who lived a little before Pete and gang, also wore a Peg Leg. Just for a really good Halloween scare, please feel free to look at this story. Go ahead. I'll wait.)
Bennett is a nice, strapping young man who feels the need to prove himself at all times. He is also painfully unaware of others beyond his narcissistic view. When he feels threatened, he tends to do the extreme. You'll still like him.
Overall, a really satisfying read. There is more to be written on this story, but the ending is not a cliffhanger.
Did you read the story, yet? Oh, please do. I don't know if I should be giggling with glee that this is my ancestor or if I should be keeping skeletons where they belong.
Under the pear tree.
Make ghost sounds here.