Oct 24, 2014

Book Review: Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer

Back Cover: Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn't even consider those real subjects!

Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel's family, the girls' basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she's given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she'd expected.

My Review: This book provides an interesting mix of mathematics, music, and basketball at the start of the 1900s. The thing I enjoyed most about this story is how the main character, Lula, had to come to understand what she wanted for her life, not just what other people want for her life. Lula is so afraid of becoming the person she's been teased about - the flakey girl who flits from activity to activity without finishing anything she started. But she's bound to disappoint someone when her father's dream for her to become the first woman PhD in Oklahoma collides with her siblings' desire for her to help care for her sister's family after the brother-in-law dies unexpectedly. As Lula works to care for others, she is able to hear the promptings of her own heart.

My Rating:

My Recommendation: I highly recommend this book to readers of historical romance.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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