Inspirational historical suspense might be my new favorite genre. (Okay – I still like contemporary too.) But I must admit that I really enjoy history combined with action. Below is my review of the first full length novel of book one in the “Strike to the Heart” series.
“But it was a new day. A crisp October day. The type of day where the weather would remind her of God’s promise to restore her soul and lead her in His path, just as Grandfather had reminded her so many times as she walked with him in fields full of abundance. Perhaps there was a mercy in Grandfather not being alive to see the financial depression that held everyone captive. She would not lose her land because Grandfather had owned it outright when he’d willed it to her, but she knew her father had taxed every last line of credit to update the farm with electricity, plumbing, and equipment. If milk prices didn’t rise, what would it cost him?”
The setting for this book is a Wisconsin dairy farm in 1933. Although historical fiction, the book is based on fact of strikes that really did happen during the Great Depression. This is a part of local history that I have not seen highlighted before, so it made for fascinating read. To understand even more of the historical research, I recommend that you read the author’s notes at the end of the book.
I did read the introductory novella first (To Stand in the Breach), and I am glad that I did because there was one character in particular that I would not have liked at all in “A Strike to the Heart” if I had not “met” him first in the novella. That book also contained elements of mystery and a bit of unpredictable circumstances. Definitely an enjoyable read, but not a book that made me feel tense due to its unpredictability.
But this novel took suspense to a whole new level. From the opening page, I felt uneasy (in the very best way) as I could not figure out what exactly was going on. Even as the novel progressed, and I determined some of the guilty parties, there was still so much that kept me guessing. I truly could not tell if this one was going to end in a positive or tragic way. You will have to read the book to find out which way the story went.
While both of the main characters faltered a bit in their faith (for different reasons), they both reached out to God for protection. Prayers for wisdom happened often. Personally, I appreciated that clear approach.
Family and friendship are also important themes. Trust is another one. And while not a theme, another important part of this book is the dog training that is done on the farm. A great read for those who appreciate “working” animals that play an important role in the book.
The heroine is a strong, independent woman. While she does learn to depend on others, her determination is not downplayed. While there is a bit of romance in this one, but bot the hero and heroine rely on each other. She is not helpless, and as a female, I appreciate how she is portrayed. I really enjoyed this book, and I definitely plan on reading the next novella that will come out later this year.
P.S. Since I did review this book as a part of a tour, this is normally where I give a disclaimer about being provided a copy. BUT I actually purchased this one for a great price. All opinions in this book are still my own.
Also, there was a giveaway, but it ended. Still if you want to learn more about the author, please check out this great blog post from a fellow reviewer.