September 12, 2010

Review: Heart with Joy by Steve Cushman

In Heart With Joy, fifteen-year-old Julian Hale’s life is turned upside down when his mother suddenly moves from North Carolina to Venice, Florida under the pretense of running her parents’ motel and finishing the novel she has been working on for years.  While Julian has always been closer to his mother and wants to go with her, she tells him he has to stay with his father until the end of the school year.

Six weeks after his mother leaves, Julian’s father decides to run a marathon.  This surprises Julian because he has never seen his father exercise, but once he agrees to help him train the two develop the sort of close relationship they’ve never had before.  Also, with the help of an elderly neighbor, Julian learns that the most important thing in life is to follow your heart.  And Julian’s heart leads him to a passion for cooking and a young cashier at the local grocery store.  By the end of the novel, Julian is forced to choose between staying with his father and going to live with his mother.

Heart With Joy is an uplifting coming of age novel about cooking and bird watching, about writing and pottery, and about falling in love and the sacrifices we all make.  But ultimately, it’s about the importance of following your heart and trusting that it will take you where you need to go.  

It's amazing how a book can make it's way into your heart and change you forever.  This is one of those books.  Julian is an extremely likable character who you can't help but fall in love with.  Steve captured the meaning of family with Heart With Joy.  When you're in the mood for a feel-good book, this is your best option.

Canterbury House Publishing
September 1, 2010
184 pages
$14.95 US
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Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free from the author.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you purchase a book using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.

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