A Heart Revealed

Written by Julie Lessman
Review by Sue Asher

This Christian novel is different: the characters are Catholic, and the reader peeks into the married couples’ bedrooms. Emma Malloy has fled an abusive marriage and is content working in her friend’s store in 1931 Boston, until Charity’s brother Sean comes into her life. He claims marriage is not for him, because he can’t control his flashes of anger. And Emma can’t even think about marrying another, when she still has a husband back in Ireland. Or does she? Secrets are revealed in the climax, which change Emma’s fate.

Lessman tackles the weighty topic of spouse abuse, and I liked how the story was realistic about married couples having a sex life while staying within genre bounds. Interior decoration and clothing details lend period flavor. The heavy religious content deals with the characters’ personal relationships with God, rather than mass, confession and other Catholic topics. The volume includes characters and subplots from the previous book in The Winds of Change series, which I had trouble keeping straight without a list. That and its length convince me that more editing might have helped the story. Lessman has some fervent fans, judging by other reviews, but this volume didn’t recruit me.