Steve Cushman s debut novel, Portisville, was the winner of the 2004 Novello Literary Award. Portisville went on to be named a finalist for both the Independent Publisher Book Award in general fiction and Foreword magazine s Book of the Year Award in literary fiction. His Fracture City was published in 2008. Cushman is an x-ray technologist and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, NC.
Heart with Joyby Steve Cushman
In Heart with Joy, fifteen year old Julian Hale's life is turned upside down when his mother suddenly moves from North Carolina to Florida under the pretense of running her parents' motel and finishing the novel she has been writing for years. While Julian has always been closer to his mother and wants to go with her, she tells him he has to stay with his father until the end of the school year.
When Julian's father decides to run a marathon, Julian agrees to help him train, and the two develop the sort of close relationship they've never had before. Also, with the help of an elderly neighbor who loves to spend her days bird-watching, Julian learns that the most important thing in life is to follow your heart. And Julian's heart leads him to a passion for cooking and a young cashier at the local grocery store even as his own parents drift apart. By the end of the novel, Julian is forced to choose between staying with his father and going to live with his mother.
Heart with Joy is an uplifting coming of age novel about the importance of following your heart and trusting that it will take you where you need to go.
- Canterbury House Publishing, Ltd
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
- Age Range:
- 16 Years
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The story of 15 year old Julian Hale doesn't take off at a rapid pace, full of action and adventure. His tale is real; it builds and builds as Julian grows. Julian's relationship with his mother, father, neighbor, and even himself, evolves in the short months after his mother leaves. He learns more about himself in those months than he ever did before. Cushman approaches Julian's story with care and ease. This is a boy who feel s alone, who is alone. His mother left for Florida and he barely speaks to his father. Julian has to make it on his own until summer when he can move in with his mom. Slowly, but surely, Julian grows closer to his dad, gets to know his elderly neighbor Mrs. Peters and finds out just what fills his heart with joy. His interactions with Mrs. Peters are a highlight of the book. She brings him out of his shell and makes him want more out of life, and in the process, Julian grows closer to his dad. Cushman's writing easily flows off the page and Julian's various food dishes sound absolutely delectable. A warning to all: Do not read this book when you're hungry. It's worse than grocery shopping when you're hungry. His newfound friendship with grocery store cashier Tia is sweet and tender. It is everything first relationships are supposed to be. Heart With Joy is the type of book that sneaks up on you when you least expect it. It's a heartwarming story of a boy becoming a man, finding out what matters most in his life, and learning to love along the way. It's uplifting and full of passion - a book about life, about family, and about the little things in life that mean the most. Don't miss this one. Opening line: The year I turned fifteen two things happened that took me by surprise: my mother moved out and my father decided to run a marathon. ~ pg. 9 Favorite line: And we both laughed, laughed like a father and son on the way to some place we had never been before. ~ pg. 108
Fifteen-year-old Julian Hale is not the typical teenage male. Instead of playing sports or actively dating, Julian loves spending time cooking with his mother. Julian's world is upended when his mother unexpectedly moves to Florida and suspects her reason, to manage her parents' motel, is just an excuse. Julian, who rarely interacts with his father, blames him but remains behind, determined to move to Florida after the school year ends. When an elderly neighbor befriends Julian, he begins to enjoy his time with her, feeding and watching the birds in her yard. Through her, Julian begins to understand it's important to know someone other than superficially and to follow one's passion. Since Julian's passion is cooking, he begins to make dinners for his father and befriends a young woman who shares his love for cooking. When school ends, Julian is faced with the decision to move to Florida or stay at home with his father and new friends. This well-written coming-of-age novel is heartwarming and poignant. Characterization is exceptional and realistic, the plot meaningful and intriguing. The development of the relationship between Julian and his father as it evolves is insightful and well-done. Through Julian's narrative, the reader witnesses his journey of self-discovery, acceptance of his parents' estranged relationship, and love of family and friends.
I read "Heart with Joy" in two days. I would have read it in one if I'd had more time. It reminded me of my passion and how important it is to follow your passions- for me, writing, and I have been forming something in my head ever since- I can't wait to get started on it... my grandmother, who passed away two years ago, taught me to love birds- reading this renewed my interest in them and I can't wait to get some fresh seed and put it in the feeder she gave me. And cooking... I used to be a good cook, and enjoyed making nice meals...while it is not my passion, I bought myself a cookbook yesterday on healthy and quick meals to make, and I can't wait to try them on my family! I can't even tell you how many parallels there were for me, and even if there hadn't been, I couldn't wait to see what would happen with each of the characters! It was a GREAT read and I love that it is set here, in Greensboro. This has become home for me. It was well written and captivating...it's been a while since I've read a book I didn't want to put down.
In his latest novel Heart with Joy, Steve Cushman takes us into the life of fifteen year old Julian Hale's life in Greensboro North Carolina. We catch a brief glimpse into a troubled time for him when his mom announces she is moving to Florida to run her parent's motel and finish her novel. When Julian probes her for a reason, she simply says that there is no one else plus it will give her time to write. Julian and his distant father are staying to finish his school year out in North Carolina. When he pushes his dad for the reason of his mom leaving all his dad can reply is, "What did your mom tell you?" This doesn't provide the answer that Julian is looking for. However never seeing his parents actually fight doesn't mean things have been going well for either of them. His father spends all of his time at the hospital where he is a nurse and his mom spends hers writing leaving Julian to wonder if this is truly what a happy family is all about. When Julian is forced to take on some of the responsibilities of his mom from cleaning the home, to learning to cook something besides mac and cheese hotdogs, he turns to the Food Network, where he becomes a natural chef in the making, cooking for him and his dad. On his weekly trips to the market, Julian meets Tia, the cashier and she invites him to join their cooking club. He is reluctant at first trying to figure out why a boy his age would want to show girls he can cook. He ultimately finds comfort in the strained relationship with a ninety year old lady whose been his neighbor. When she asks for help retrieving something under her home, this begins the basis of a unique relationship with Julian that ultimately will help him sort through his feelings of resentment with both of his parents. I received this book complements of Steve Cushman himself for my honest review and absolutely loved this book. It takes the reader into a short time in these peoples lives to see how broken relationships can be mended through finding out what really fills our hearts with joy! I would rate this book a perfect 5 out of 5 stars.
It's amazing how a book can make it's way into your heart and change you forever. This is one of those books. Julian is an extremely likable character who you can't help but fall in love with. Steve captured the meaning of family with Heart With Joy. When you're in the mood for a feel-good book, this is your best option.