Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Gillian's Heart book review

Gillian's Heart

Gillian’s Heart 
BJ Bassett

Desert Breeze
c. October 2015
ISBN 978-1612525358

Buy on Amazon 

About the Book
Abandoned as a child by her alcoholic parents, Gillian Grant was raised by her grandmother in a beach house in California. As an adult, in tribute to Gram’s memory, Gillian wishes to restore the house to its former splendor. But she can't do it alone, and hires Dusty Bradshaw to help her.

Gillian and Dusty have nothing in common, except the restoration of the house. Gillian suffers from anorexia and is in denial. While she has a strong faith in God, Dusty is an unbeliever. Add to the complicated mess Gillian's confusing feelings for Josh and the sudden, unwanted appearance of Gillian's mother Betsy, who claims the house is hers. And she intends to sell it.

Gillian always dreamed of her wedding in her grandmother’s garden overlooking the Pacific. Will there be a wedding? Who will capture Gillian’s heart -- her stable, longtime friend Josh -- or Dusty, a new Christian, who has kept secrets from her? And who holds the deed to the house?

My Review
A young woman feeling abandoned with the death of her beloved grandmother is estranged from her alcoholic mother. Gillian, a school teacher, lives in her grandmother’s once-safe haven of a California beach house, surviving by holding to her deep Christian faith and gift of music, and by renting a bedroom and the apartment over the garage to friends Samantha, Josh and his new friend. Josh notices her predilection toward extreme thinness, and his friend, the surfer/handyman Dusty, who matches her loss for loss, reluctantly agrees to help watch over her while Josh is away on business.

Dusty challenges her prejudices in ways that make Gillian take stock of her soul. She is unaware of her friend Josh’s lifelong love and hopes to marry her, instead turning away from him, her close friend, toward Dusty who she is determined to introduce to matters of faith, and inadvertently creates a tangled romantic web. A quick, pressure-filled engagement reveals their need to trust before their mutual leap.

Told in multiple viewpoints, Gillian’s Heart is a lesson in overcoming life skirmishes that threaten our identity and relationships with others and with God. The author takes a lighter touch with the troubling illness of anorexia nervosa than a more realistic approach which would normally include lots of hard work and therapy to deal with, but other than that I found the characters compelling and the story entertaining and well told. A sweet romantic read with the sweetest happily ever after.

About the Author

B. J. Bassett encourages others as an author, teacher and speaker. Her books include a historical novel Lily, iUniverse; A Touch of Grace—The G.R.A.C.E. Ministries Story, Xulon; and coauthor of My Time with God, Focus on the Family, Heritage Builders, with over 55,000 copies sold. She teaches writing workshops at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon and at writer’s conferences. As a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries, she tells her story of rejection and acceptance, not only in life, but as a writer as well. She also offers book talks, including discussion questions and shares the journey -- from the seed of an idea to a published book. She enjoys reading, jigsaw puzzles, knitting, munching warm scones oozing with butter and strawberry jam and sipping earl grey tea. A native Californian, she now lives with her husband of 57 years in Roseburg, Oregon, where she wrote Gillian’s Heart. Her current work-in-progress is Sweet Charity.

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