Author: Courtney Walsh
Review by Grace Olson
Taken from Goodread’s description of Change of Heart:
A Colorado senator’s wife, Evelyn Brandt seems to have it all. But her carefully constructed life comes toppling down when the FBI crashes her society brunch with news that her husband has been arrested for embezzlement, and he’s far from repentant. It turns out this was only the start of his indiscretions―for which he has little regret.
As the weeks following the scandal turn into months, Evelyn withdraws, even shirking her duties with the philanthropic Valentine Volunteers. The inquisitive women of the group are determined not to let Evelyn’s divorce destroy her. They have big plans for her to use her long-forgotten artistic talent to reimagine the city’s iconic lamppost hearts. But doing so will force Evelyn to work closely with Trevor Whitney, her ex-husband’s former best friend. Though she and Trevor used to be close―and he’s been letting her hide in his guesthouse―his gruffness conveys his unease with the situation.
Amid the beauty of Trevor’s farm and the comfort of a paintbrush, Evelyn starts to reclaim the dreams she sacrificed to become the perfect politician’s wife. And as creativity inspires them both, Whit begins to see the girl he fell in love with before his friend―and his own mistakes―stole his chance. Possibilities for a new beginning emerge, but long-kept secrets threaten to ruin everything. After so much time, is a change of heart too much to hope for?
I absolutely loved Courtney’s book, Paper Hearts, so I’ve been watching for her next book to come out. When I read the description of Change of Heart, I wondered how she would pull it off. After all, divorce is a tricky subject, and I wasn’t sure how she was going to write about it. Courtney was able to write this story with grace and tact. She showed all the messiness of sin, but also the redemption that comes through faith in Christ. None of the characters in this book are perfect, in fact, they almost feel as real as you or me. Which I think is why I enjoyed this book. A good portion of it centers around Evelyn’s divorce, both before and after, which made me wonder how Courtney was going to time the romance aspect of the story. She did a good job of that, though.
I liked both Evelyn and Trevor’s characters. They dealt with a lot, a lot that they tried to brush over and ignore. This is really a story of surrender. Surrendering their lives to God and His timing and leading. I love that theme, because it’s something I’m personally trying to do right now. It’s a subject that never gets old, and never gets easier.
While I didn’t like this book quite as much as Paper Hearts, it really made me think. I was entertained, but I also had some food for thought, which I appreciated.
About the Author
Biography from Tyndale’s website: Courtney Walsh is the author of Paper Hearts and the Sweethaven series. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, was a New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller and a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. In addition, she has written two craft books and several full-length musicals. Courtney lives with her husband and three children in Illinois, where she is also an artist, theater director, and playwright. Visit her online at www.courtneywalshwrites.com.
I was given a review copy of Change of Heart from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.