Friday, November 7, 2014

Playing by Heart- Anne Mateer

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But when she receives a shocking telephone call from her sister, Jewel, everything she's worked for begins to crumble.

After the sudden death of Jewel's husband, Jewel needs Lula's help. 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. Neither subject belongs anywhere near the halls of academia, according to Lula!

Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year, determined to do well and prove herself to the town. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends in Dunn, the more Lula realizes God is working on her heart--and her future is beginning to look a lot different than she'd expected.

My Thoughts: Playing by Heart was a very well written book. Everything from the time period, down to posters and girl basketball rules, has been brought in to make this time period come to life. And Lula's struggle with doing what she knows is right rather than what others told her to do was one I could easily relate to. As was Chet's feelings of inadequacy.

My only issue was the sudden way in which the story ended. While I really liked how Mateer drew out the details of the world at large and let us get a true view of the characters' lives and struggles, I thought that they were rather simply tied up at the end. Personally, I would have loved a second book, showing how their relationship played out through the war.

After reading Playing by Heart, I will definitely be looking out for another of Mateer's books. Hopefully the rest are just as delightful a read.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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