Playing by Heart

Title:  Playing by Heart
Author:  Anne Mateer
Pages:  320
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Bethany
Playing by Heart is a well-crafted tale that entwines two lives, Lula and Chet, whose pursuit or choices are often misunderstood.  Lula went to college in pursuit of higher education during a time when women weren’t expected to work anywhere but in the home.  Chet believed the Lord led him to stay home to care for his elderly mother when his brother was drafted in WWI.  However, it seemed as though these two main characters were going to be challenged in every way due to others actions and/or words.
The tale was thoroughly enjoyable as the multitude of themes and story line wove in many ways I didn’t expect.  I felt at times like I was on a rollercoaster ride because one character’s actions or words would have consequences on many people living in the small town where the story is set.  Chet was trying to care for his mother even when all she wanted was her other son home from the war, but she saw Chet as worthless.  Then, there is Lula following the path her father believed was right for her, but family obligations temporarily changed her near future or so Lula thought.
Each of the main characters in the book come to a place where they realize that the only one they have to please is God.  For some though that means letting go of dreams, plans, unforgiveness, expectations and more which turns out to be easier said than done.  Lula is asked to coach the girls’ basketball team when a war is raging overseas and many cannot understand why women need to participate in a sport.  As I read about women’s basketball, the uniforms and ways that they played back then as depicted by the author I was thinking how different it is now.
The best part was seeing how Lula and Chet built walls around their hearts in an attempt to stave off being hurt because of the low view people had of them and not being free to pursue their dreams.  Letting go of our own hopes and dreams is hard, but the freedom along with fulfillment some of the characters experienced was truly amazing and inspiring.
My rating is 4 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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