“Playing By Heart“…Book Review!
My dear readers. I am going to stray just a bit from my usual “Confessions – Over the Hedge”, to post a book review.
I am an avid reader….and dabble a bit in my own fictional writing, as I have stated in previous posts.
The book I am reviewing is “Playing By Heart” by Anne Mateer.
I received this book over the summer from Bethany House Book Review Program, and I am always glad for the chance to check out new books every month!
First I would like to give you the description of the book from the publisher:
Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.
With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn’t even consider those real subjects!
Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys’ coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She’s returning to college and her scholarship as son as she gets Jewel back on her feet.
However, the more time she spends around Jewel’s family, the firls’ basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she’s given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she’d expected.
At first, I was prepared to “scold” Lula for giving up her mathematical college career…, but as I was drawn deeper into the sweet story, I recognized that she was from a completely different time in the evolution of women and their careers. The history and facts were correct for that time period…which was during World War I.
The excellent story telling provided an interesting description of basketball, …particularly women’s basketball and the confines that were a part of this fun game that we watch today.
I did enjoy this book and I liked the way the author chose to write the book from both Lula and Chet’s first-person perspective…and I especially liked the way both Lula’s and Chet’s faith intertwined through-out their every day lives and the decisions they were both forced to make.
I particularly liked that Lula is portrayed by the author as “very smart” …but still has that inner struggle with many aspects of her life, making it real.
All the characters are well developed which leaves the reader with a deeper understanding of each character and their actions.
Mateer also made the honorable romance between Lula and Chet feel very real and true to the time period.
It was also interesting to note that some of the story was based on the author’s family history.
There were a few twists and turns that brought a smile to my face, but I certainly don’t want to give away any of them to those who haven’t read this book.
I do recommend this book for those who love historical fiction and unique plots.
The book was intriguing, well written, and well researched.
Do you like to read?
What are you reading lately?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Bethany House for the chance to read this book!