Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Book Review: "A Heart Most Certain," by Melissa Jagears

About the book:
Lydia King knows what it's like to be in need, so she joins the Teaville Moral Society hoping to help the town's poor. But with her father's debts increasing by the day and her mother growing sicker by the week, she wonders how long it will be until she ends up in the poorhouse herself. Her best chance at a financially secure future is to impress the politician courting her, and it certainly doesn't hurt that his mother is the moral society's president. Lydia's first task as a moral society member -- to obtain a donation from Nicholas Lowe, the wealthiest man in town -- seems easy ... until the man flat-out refuses.

Despite appearances, Nicholas wants to help others but prefers to do it his own way, keeping his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, though Nicholas has a few surprises up his sleeve. Neither foresees the harrowing complications that will arise from working together, and when town secrets are brought to light, this unlikely pair must decide where their beliefs -- and hearts -- truly align.

My thoughts:
A Heart Most Certain is a lot more complex than the description makes it sound. It delves into the rise of prostitution in frontier towns in the early 20th century, and efforts by the churches and governments to control it. Double standards caused people to turn the other cheek when men frequented the red-light district, but the women -- who had often fallen on hard times -- were considered the lowest of the low. Were they to be shunned or run out of town? Or could their lives be turned around through compassion and a helping hand? This moral dilemma permeates the story in this book when Nicholas and the Teaville Moral Society have very different views on how to handle the problem, and Lydia becomes conflicted as to which approach is most pleasing to God.

About the author:
Melissa Jagears is a Carol Award-winning author, a homeschooling mother to three, and an extreme night owl. Find her online at www.melissajagears.com.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher to facilitate my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission on purchases made through this link.

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