Lindsay Harrel. The Heart Between Us: Two Sisters, One Heart Transplant, and a Bucket List. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2018.
When I first looked up this week’s book, I couldn’t believe the length of the title! At first, I thought it was an autobiography, but it is most definitely a work of fiction. :)
Ms. Harrel’s The Heart Between Us tells the story of twin sisters, one of whom has received a new heart after a childhood spent in hospitals. Megan’s life post-transplant looks very much like the rest of her life, calm and controlled by a mother who loves her and protects her perhaps a bit too much. With some motivation from a childhood friend and fellow heart transplant recipient, Megan finally meets her donor’s family. They offer her an unimaginable gift, their young daughter’s journal and bucket list filled with global destinations that were once Megan’s own dreams. Determined to set a new course for her life, Megan takes a chance on a trip of a lifetime, but she needs her twin sister’s help. Crystal has made a name for herself as an architect, but her professional life has been an excuse to distance herself from her family. With the chance to renew their relationship, the bucket list serves as a springboard for new adventures and an opportunity to overcome their fears cultivated by a lifelong threat of illness.
Ms. Harrel presents a compelling and heartwarming story of two sisters and their search for a renewed relationship with one another. The Heart Between Us is filled with globe-trotting adventures and emotional moments that will keep readers coming back to this author for more stories in the future.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Heart Between Us. At first, I was a bit reluctant to try this story, as I’m not typically a fan of overly-emotional storylines and those that have a strong medical element (too close to real life situations for my taste). However, Ms. Harrel manages to expertly balance her characters’ backstory, while managing to keep serious topics light and approachable for her readers. I also enjoyed her writing style and pacing, which made a story that could otherwise be overwhelming and depressing into one that was a pleasure to read. I also appreciated this novel’s faith-oriented focus, as this shows further improvement of this element within works published by Thomas Nelson. Some reviewers had issues with the ending of this novel. However, it fits well within the Christian fiction genre in style and tone, so readers who are familiar with this genre will find the novel’s structure to be fairly typical. Based on this novel, I look forward to Ms. Harrel’s future stories.
Fans of Ms. Harrel’s previous work will likely enjoy reading The Heart Between Us. Additionally, those who enjoy contemporary Christian fiction will also find this novel to be a worthwhile read.
Special thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the complimentary copy of The Heart Between Us! Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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