Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Internal Chaos and Expectations

The past is a common theme in novels. It's a novel in itself, the history of who we are. Heartfire by Karen Rose Smith centers around Tessa and Max, two people who let their past step in the way of their future. Their fear of rejection and the threat of giving up who they are forces the love they have for each other to become unstable.

Tessa was left by her mother when she was young. Thrown into the world of foster homes, she never felt she really belonged anywhere. A relatable thought between her and some readers. After chasing news across the world as a foreign correspondent, she knows where she wants to belong - with Max, but will she give up her life of traveling to finally put down some roots?

Max's wife died of cancer when their son, Ryan, was just a little boy. When Ryan's godmother, Tessa, comes back to town for his birthday, old feelings are rekindled between Max and Tessa. Tessa's the whirlwind where his wife was the calm and he'll have to accept that Tessa isn't Leslie.

This novel was a little slow at certain parts but after connecting with the characters during the first few chapters, I couldn't put it down. Smith writes her characters with all of their flaws put onto the table, flaws the characters themselves don't even know about. The expectations that the characters put on each other was an idea that usually goes unnoticed but Smith was focused on the details. The internal chaos of each character was almost enough to make me want to scream at the words on the pages.

Tessa's sense of adventure and fear of settling down are aspects of her character that readers can really relate to. The question between career and family appears a few times and forces the reader to question what they would do in the same situation. The answer seems easy at first, but on second thought it's much harder. Smith does an excellent job in Heartfire by showing the reader that there are different perspectives to be seen and compromises to be made in every situation.
Heartfire on Amazon
rating: 4/5 cups

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