Friday, September 12, 2014
Book Review - Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer
I love getting new books in the mail, and it is even more of a treat when it is historical. This book, Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer, is my latest. It is set during World War I in a small town in Oklahoma. The main character, Lula, has had to come home to help her sister after the death of her brother-in-law. She takes the only job available, as a music teacher and basketball coach at the local high school. Romance stirs between her and fellow teacher Chet Vaughn, despite both teachers' intentions of not seeking romance.
This was a really good book. I especially enjoyed how the chapters alternated between Lula's viewpoint and Chet's. It gave the author the ability to bring out more of their backstories without being a distraction. The author clearly understood the time frame, as the story flowed naturally with lots of historical detail. I do think it would be helpful to many readers to state the year at the beginning of the story. This book also featured a great deal of spiritual growth for both main characters that continued throughout the story. I enjoyed several secondary characters as well, and some, like Chet's Ma, proved more complex. I highly recommend this book. It has great historical detail, complex characters with realistic issues, and is just a good read.
This book was given to me by the publisher, Bethany House, for the purpose of a review, but all opinions are my own.