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It was a strange thing to know that I was to become a memory to them. I kept searching for pain because pain means life. Instead, I smelled Lip Smackers on Olivia's pale-pink lips. I heard Faith's high-pitched giggles that still sounded childish even though she was growing into a young woman. I couldn't move my arms, but against my fingertips, I felt their hair, their shoelaces, their sticky cheeks.
I knew this would break their hearts into thousands of tiny pieces that one lifetime couldn't mend.
I wished that he knew my name. I wanted somebody to know my name. The sirens wailed and screamed and I wondered if I was coming and going out of consciousness or if that's just how sirens sounded from the inside.
Above me, out of a light misty-gray that seemed like steam from a shower, I saw a man's face come into view. His eyes were frantic but gorgeous and blue. Above him I caught my reflection against a long metal strip that ran the length of the ambulance. There was a familiarity to him, but that was true of everyone in Columbus County. If I didn't know you, I knew your mom or your grandpa or your second cousin.
"Blood pressure ..."
The words faded, just like the sirens, and his beautiful eyes retreated to a far place that I longed to reach for. I only saw the girls now, their faces passing by me like living, breathing photographs. And Calvin standing by his horse.
I wanted to be more than a memory. I hated that for the rest of their days they would only be able to touch me in their minds or set their gazes on a tiny glimpse captured by a camera.
A mother's heart cannot let go. Not even to a father who had all the love in the world to offer them. I could never be replaced.
I looked again to that long metal reflection above me. I was covered in blankets. The EMT was covered in blood, and I thought that was strange. Warm and cold sensations drifted through my body, and I searched again for any sign of pain. My face looked distorted against the metal, like in a fun house mirror, except nothing else seemed out of proportion.
"Fourteen minutes out!"
Yes, it was a long way to the hospital when you lived in the country. Only one winding road led through our neck of the woods. Columbus County did not have a well-designed road system. The state was involved in a plan to pave "farm to market" roads, the idea being to improve transportation of tobacco, corn, sweet potatoes, cotton, soybeans, and livestock to places like Whiteville and Tabor City, where the train tracks ran. But instead of designing a modern road system, they paved the old dirt roads that had generally followed horse and carriage paths. They once connected neighboring farms, working around and over the swampy areas, resulting in a system of meandering roads. I could feel the ambulance hugging the curves of the concrete. It was often on these roads where I heard the music play.
I closed my eyes, or maybe they were already closed. I told myself to live, no matter what, to live. And then I felt it, a tiny prick of pain in my heel.
Excerpted from HEART OF THE COUNTRY by RENE GUTTERIDGE, JOHN WARD, Sarah Mason. Copyright © 2011 John Ward. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted March 2, 2012
Faith Carraway is a country girl turned socialite. She is married to Luke Carraway and madly in love. She wants for nothing. Before she married Luke she lived to sing but no longer has time for her passion of song or for her family back home. Luke's brother is not to accepting of Faith in the Carraway family and does not think this little country girl fits into the Carraway's social circles.
Faith and Luke live the fairy tale relationship until Luke decides to leave the family business and invest in a hedge fund with the Michov Brothers. Then the fairy tale turns into a nightmare when the Michov's alleged Ponzi scheme threatens Luke's livelihood and his marriage.
Faith feels betrayed by his lies and possible involvement in this scheme. Without even a backwards glance she leaves her socialite life behind and heads back to her country life to stay with her father and get her life back on track. Her sister is not too happy to have Faith return home like the Prodigal daughter. But her father is ecstatic to have his little girl back home.
There is so many facets to Faith's story. The pending lose of her marriage, her estranged relationship with her sister and the nurturing relationship with her father. She finds her roots to be healing and it draws her into a renewal of her spirit. She struggles to accept God's will in her life and can't seem to figure out where she belongs or where she is headed in life.
So many people go through these same trials in their life. God has a plan and we don't always agree with that plan. But if we just let go and let God do his job His plan will be fulfilled.
I highly recommend this book.
I rate this book a 5 out of 5.
I purchased a copy of this book from Barnes and Noble and reviewed book for Tyndale House Publishing . I was in no way compensated for this review it is my own opinion.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 8, 2014
Beautiful and Tender Story - - This book is very enjoyable. It makes me laugh and cry. The talent of the writers is very impressive. The jumping from one character's voice to another's took some getting used to, but it did fill in the story very well. I love writing that is so descriptive and tells a sweet and gentle story about family and faith. The touching theme was lightened up with humorous remarks. This is creatively and beautifully written.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 1, 2013
This book was wow. I don't even have words to describe it. I have read many books over the years (obviously) but this one hit me so hard.
I haven't read a book that so close to my own reality. I literally cried through the whole thing.
Faith leaves her country roots and meets the rich and powerful Luke Carraday. They fall completely in love and quick get married.
Even though Luke's brother (whom he has always looked up to) doesn't approve of her, he doesn't let anyone get in the way of their love.
With the encouragement and support of Faith, Luke goes to his father to venture out on his own and start a name for himself away from his father and brother.
Luke gets arrested after the Michov Borthers go down for a Ponzi scheme.
Faith doesn't understand what is going on so when Luke won't tell her anything, she packs up and goes back home.
Luke is left with having to depend on his family to dig him out of the mess he created but at the expense of his wife.
As the two try to repair their lives and hearts, Faith's world comes crashing down with the news of her father having brain cancer.
She is left with no choice but to reach out to her husband for help.
My dad has anaplastic astrocytoma and it had taken its course through him so you can just imagine how real this book was to me.
The love and restoration was something that we all need to be reminded of.
With each huge trial they faced you saw the hardship it is to let God take control.
This book was such an encouragement. I hope you all get to read this book and see the movie. It is really life changing.
Posted October 31, 2013
booksbysteph says "Character Conflict & Family Dynamics are Amazing"
After sixty-two days, Luke Carraway knew Faith Barnett was his soul mate. Since the Carraway family is beyond wealthy, they believe Faith is with Luke for his money. Luke and Faith leave their families out and elope. Then Luke decides to leave the family company to be independent and make a name for himself with competitors, the Michov Brothers.
Faith starts to overhear conversations about the Michov Brothers being a part of a Ponzi scheme. "[A] Ponzi scheme is when a fund...takes the money from new investors and uses it to pay off existing investors' returns on investments. It gives the illusion of profit when there isn't any." Luke promises Faith that he is not involved in anything illegal. But her faith in Luke is shattered when the SEC arrests him "for conspiracy to commit federal securities fraud."
When Luke refuses to answer any of Faith's questions, she packs up her belongings and goes to the only place she can - Columbus County, North Carolina - her family's home. This is difficult for her. The reason why Faith left is because the community wanted her to pick up on the life her mother left behind when she died. But Faith has never really dealt with her mother's death. She left the rest of her family to deal with losing her as well. Now, ten years later, there are mixed emotions about Faith's return.
Back in New York, Luke's scandal has caused everyone to turn away from him. Faith was just the first. Luke is alone and facing prison time, wondering the ways he could kill himself while inside. There is only one direction for Luke to turn and it goes against everything he was trying to do by himself. Plus, he has not heard from Faith and needs to decide whether to fight for her or let her go for betraying their vows. Unexpected news puts a new twist on everything and everyone.
I GIVE THIS BOOK: 5 Stars
It has been so long since I have read a book with so much realistic content, situations and emotions. The character conflict is amazing.
The author uses real life circumstances and writes how real people would act in that situation. Independence, pride, ethics, vows, family and death are just a few of the struggles the characters of this book have to deal with.
Family dynamics play an extremely large role in this story. I found myself comparing my family to those of the two main characters, Luke and Faith. I will say that some actions the family members took surprised me.
I struggled with this book in the sense that I felt connected to the story at my very core. While the 400+ pages seem daunting, it is well worth it. It is a quick read because you will not want to put it down. And I did not. Very emotional. Have a tissue handy.
Until next time, live life one page at a time!
Posted October 25, 2013
Posted October 11, 2013
Plot spoilers ruined another booked by revealing every detail then bragging how they got their book for free. Well guess what...we have to pay for ours, so stop ruining our book by telling everything that happpens. A few lines is enough. You dont have to rewrite the entire book. And before some smart aleck says dont read them...i dont. But when you have to scroll past miles long posts where they reveal every detail you usually see something that spoils the book, so please plot spoilers, stop ruining the books for other readers. Have some consideration.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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