Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review: Hidden in the Heart

This week I’ve been reading Roseanne Wilkins’ LDS novel, Hidden in the Heart. This is a sweet story about a woman who was traumatized in her past and tries to handle things on her own. Her parents are dead, and she’s alienated any relatives she has, but while on vacation with her daughter, she meets Garrett, a man with a big heart, but who has also been wounded. This story is about the struggle to put back together a life so that life can be shared with someone else. I enjoyed the story, but especially the relationship between the main character, Cathee, and her daughter. Nicely done!

I know Roseanne is a newer author and I commend her storytelling skills. Her characters were sympathetic and I was quite drawn to Cathee, but some spots made me wonder if events were moving too fast for what we knew of the characters, especially one who had been as traumatized as Cathee. I really liked the RAD/adoption/counselor angle, and Garrett was the hero every woman wants to know. The romance really was sweet. Sometimes, however, there was just a bit of overflow on details, which was a little distracting. It’s just a matter of show, don’t tell, the bane of every writer’s existence, and something we’re all trying to overcome. But, again, the storytelling aspect was strong, and the characters were likeable. I would definitely pick up another book by this author.

Here is the back copy for it:

Cathee is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has suffered from severe post traumatic stress disorder for several years. During a vacation with her four year old daughter to Topeka, Kansas, she meets Garrett, a therapist. He hopes Cathee will let him help her work through her issues, but her past has come back to haunt her.

and the author's bio:

Roseanne Wilkins

I was the second oldest of 9 children. When I was 8, my family moved from the protective mountains of Salt Lake Valley to the open wheat fields of Kansas. Although terrified to start a new life in an area where we would be the only Mormons many people would ever meet, I soon came to love the land and the people there. I majored in elementary education while attending BYU. After marrying Craig, we moved around the country for several years. Before we had children, I spent spare moments writing but put my writing aside when my first son was born. That was 1991. In 2008, I was moved to write a fanfiction book, Noonday Sun. It had been so long since I'd written for my own enjoyment that I'd forgotten how much I loved it. After finishing the fanfiction, I searched through boxes that hadn't been opened since we moved back to Utah over a dozen years ago. I found several old manuscripts which I intend to finish - even if it takes another 20 years to do it.


Debra Erfert said...

It sounds like a heart-tugging story. Is there a tissue rating? Good review, Julie! I will be looking for her book on Amazon.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra, I should totally take you up on that and do tissue ratings! What a fun idea. :)