Saturday, October 2, 2010


From Bethany House, I received a copy of WITHIN MY HEART, a novel based in 1877. Rachel Boyd had never recovered from the loss of her husband. Her youngest son, Kurt, is a delinquent at school, causing her endless amounts of pain. Her good friend Ben, the shopkeeper, has fallen ill with heart troubles. He has very little time left in world, despite the efforts administered to him by Rand, the town’s only physician. Rachel knows medicine from her father, who was a doctor for whom she felt little love, and assists Rand with his medical practices. At first, she is wary, expecting Rand to be just like her father. In the end, she recognizes him for the caring individual he really is, and welcomes him into her life. He offers a strong, manly figure for her and her two sons. She offers him the chance to feel complete. Ben remains strong throughout the medical procedures and offers a bravery that touches all those who love him, including his beloved wife, Lyda. Although Rachel never forgets her husband, Thomas, she finds a new place in her life for Rand. The book is touching, a tear-jerker, and a page-turner. I never wanted to put it down, nor did I want it to end.


From Thomas Nelson, I received a copy of THE WAY HOME, a movie based on an inspirational true story. Five minutes into the movie, it easily became the best movie my family and I have seen in months. My dad rated it a 9.75. The story centers on Randy Simpkins, a man who concentrates too much on work. His wife is upset with him for not caring enough about his family, and insists they take a vacation. While packing the van, Randy goes into the house to check his work emails and leaves his two-year-old son, Joe, playing in the driveway. When he comes back outside, Joe is gone. What ensues is a desperate search by the whole neighborhood. Many people pray with Randy and his wife, others start prayer circles in towns across Georgia, and the rest of the community heads off to search with rescue teams. An older man named Ed Walker joins the search, although he has heart trouble, with his son. They break away from their team and travel to a spot known as the “four-corners,” an area of the woods where four one-hundred acre farms meet. Ed played there often as a child, and feels compelled to search for Joe in the area. As night falls, Ed spots Joe’s dog, Cleo…and there nearby is Joe. The movie brings to life how quick a tragedy can happen, and how relying on God can help everything to work out well in the end. Dean Cain, who plays Randy, brings across great emotion. The woman who played his wife, however, could have seemed more upset.