I received this product free from Revell Reads for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions. Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale. Any blessings we receive go to helping our homeschool and grocery budgets!A Place in His Heart by Rebecca DeMarino
Series: The Southold Chronicles #1
Also in this series: To Capture Her Heart
Also by this author: To Capture Her Heart
Genres: Christian Historical Fiction
Published by Revell Books on June 3rd 2014
Source: Revell Reads
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Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Puritan Barnabas Horton is still in love with his deceased wife and needs only a mother for his two young sons. And yet these two very different people with very different expectations will take a leap of faith, wed, and then embark on a life-changing journey across the ocean to the Colonies. Along the way, each must learn to live in harmony, to wait on God, and to recognize true love where they least expect to find it.This heartfelt tale of love and devotion is based on debut author Rebecca DeMarino’s own ancestors, who came to Long Island in the mid-1600s to establish a life–and a legacy–in the New World.
*This post has been updated with my new format,
thanks to the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin, on July 23, 2015.*
When it comes to a new author, I’m always a little bit nervous. Yet when the book is endorsed by a top favorite author like Laura Frantz, it is hard to bat an eye and I just have to jump in and discover what the pages might hold for my imagination. In today’s publishing world of Christian Historical Fiction, there are so many different types and formats of covers out there. I have to admit though, that I truly love the cover for A Place in His Heart. I haven’t seen one like this in a while and I truly love it. The colors, the overlays, the character images both in their faces, expressions and even the period dress is just fodder for my imagination and I’m delighted with the influence.
In the back of the book the author leaves a reader note telling how Barnabus and Mary Horton are actually her ancestors and gives a bit of information on her research and things she discovered. To me, as a genealogist, this is fascinating and truly gives me hope for future writing from Rebecca DeMarino and other stories she might write. As for this book, not so much.
A Place in His Heart was a horribly sad story. It was depressing and bitter and frankly there was not much will to live for anyone through out the entire story. All the characters need a good dose of B and D vitamins as well as a slap in the face. Before you see my two star rating and cringe, please know according to Goodreads, where I review and rate most of my books, two stars is listed as “It was Ok”. It was okay, mostly.
The characters are interesting. The writing IS GREAT, and the story comes off the page. It is just absolutely miserable. There are not enough happy moments put within the sad to give anyone a reason to go on. I’ve read happier war-time novels and Oregon-trail tragedies than this one. Starting in a London hamlet, and venturing to the New England shoreline there is bound to be sadness and hardship for the people involved, but there has to be some hint of joy as well outside of just words and the repeating verbal promise that God will provide.
Mary is a neat character and it is interesting to watch her change, but so much it is not the growth that you find in a woman from a time of old, but the falling apart of herself and she just sorta exists, because there is nothing else to do and I find that to be sad. But the absolute worst part is Barnabus. At first I had so much hope for this character, but frankly I find lots of explicative in my terminology for him. To put it in kind terms, he’s a complete jerk and fully oblivious. (I want to read more about Jeremy, because I think he has some great hero qualities.) Shortening the name to Barney, just about did me in, but alas, personal preference. As a person he’s mean and has no heart much less to be entitled to cold-hearted. He suffered a loss, but it was during a time that was hard anyway and not nearly uncommon, so his misery infecting everyone for more than fifteen years or so should have labeled him as a hermit and man of malice rather than the kind-hearted outgoing baker than a town thrives upon. He just cannot be both.
The split in romance to go from nothing to something was bizarre and didn’t fit. I know my review is completely cranky, but I am truly surprised by everything. The absolute statements of God WILL give us a child if we do as he says, was misleading and not accurate in history and really painful to tell a woman who may or may not be dealing with infertility. God will give you a child if he means for you to have a child, he might have other plans in mind for you and the constant harping otherwise is cruel.
I’ve read other reviews out there that are over the top positive and I just wonder if we read the same book. I’ve read books in the past that were miserably depressing, but the thing was that they had hope within the pages. You cannot just pile on the misery and call it an interesting historical read. There has to be something for the characters to live for. Books like A Constant Heart is really a split manner, the historical aspects are great and the writing is great, but if I were to rate the book solely upon my enjoyment and escape into it’s historical aspects, it does not succeed.
“This debut novel by Rebecca DeMarino, based on her ninth great-grandmother’s extraordinary story, will pull you into love and loss, then sweep you across the English sea to the rolling landscapes of Long Island. Be prepared to have your heart strings plucked to the music of God’s song of love in sickness and in health, and in times of richness and want. Mary and Barnabas have been obedient to family and their faiths, but they discover that all in life does not go as planned; but with God there is always hope and abundance. A Place in His Heart is a satisfying and compelling historical romance sure to win fans early for the entire series. Bravo, Rebecca!”
Jane Kirkpatrick, bestselling author of One Glorious Ambition
“A tenderly told story enriched by the author’s own heritage, A Place in His Heart is sure to win readers’ hearts too. Rebecca DeMarino weaves a lovely spiritual message as old and new worlds collide and love thrives amid the challenges of early America.”
Laura Frantz, Christy Award finalist and author of Love’s Reckoning
Rebecca DeMarino is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and The Southold Long Island Historical Society. She was a 2011 Genesis Award semi-finalist. Rebecca is retired from a major airline and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Tom. Learn more at www.rebeccademarino.com.