The Indelible Heart

The Indelible Heart

4.5 4
by Marianne K. Martin

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"Marianne Martin is a wonderful storyteller and a graceful writer with a light, witty touch with language and a sensitivity to the emotions of people in love. There is a tenderness and brightness to her characterizations that make the personalities quite beguiling."—Ann Bannon

"Marianne Martin is a skilled writer who fully develops her characters and


"Marianne Martin is a wonderful storyteller and a graceful writer with a light, witty touch with language and a sensitivity to the emotions of people in love. There is a tenderness and brightness to her characterizations that make the personalities quite beguiling."—Ann Bannon

"Marianne Martin is a skilled writer who fully develops her characters and pulls the best from them."—Mega Scene Book Review

Twelve years ago, Charlie Crawford shot dead his two lesbian neighbors. Now he's terminally ill and requesting early release from prison.

Back then, Sharon and her friends fought to bring him to justice. Now she has to find the strength to fight again. But the man who killed her friends also took her sobriety. And with it he took her partner, Laura. Sober again, all Sharon has left is a life she's just about surviving.

She'll do what she can to keep Charlie in jail. But it's hard—really hard—to cope with the news that Laura's back in town.

Hate has spoiled Sharon's world. There just doesn't seem any place for love. But she's forgotten just how powerful friendship can be. She'll soon remember.

Indelible is the inspiring sequel to the best-selling Love in the Balance.

Marianne K. Martin is the author of eight novels and has been shortlisted three times for the Lambda Literary Award.

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Bywater Books MI
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The Indelible Heart 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Sage320 More than 1 year ago
One of life's lessons is learning where boundaries are and how to live within them. Marianne K. Martin uses the interactions between friends to show how boundaries can be difficult to maintain. The book picks up a story line first addressed in Martin's book Love in the Balance and brings it forward ten years. Charlie Crawford murdered two neighbors who were lesbians and now his family is trying to get him out of prison early because he is dying. The killings nearly destroyed the life of Sharon Davis who was a friend of the slain women. The trauma of the incident drove her into alcoholism and caused her relationship with her lover Laura to fail. Years later Sharon thinks she has finally put her life back together and then the effort to free Crawford sends her back into the bottle. On top of that, Laura has returned to town to care for her ailing mother. Sharon has two obsessions and they're about to slam into each other. She can't resist Laura and she cannot forgive Crawford. People who know her, especially her best friend and business partner Kasey Hollander, are afraid Sharon is going to lose control of her life again, but disagree over what they should do about it. What they do not want is a repeat of what happened ten years ago. The Indelible Heart can be read and appreciated as a story of a woman who is trying to find balance in her life and her chance to possibly recapture the love she once knew. If the reader is looking for a romance, then this book suits that purpose. Marianne Martin has a habit though of going deeper with her characters and sometimes that can make the observant reader uncomfortable. Sharon, for example, cannot just commit to an action, she becomes consumed by it. Movements need people like Sharon, but they can be very difficult to live with, even when someone loves them. Sharon becomes so focused on revenge against Crawford that she cannot see the fact that, no matter what is done to him, it will never bring her friends back. Her boundary failure is that she cannot turn off her campaign for justice at appropriate moments. Her way of coping with frustration is to get drunk. Even when she has an opportunity to get Laura back there is still the chance that she will turn to alcohol instead. As the book develops, Sharon is not the only character with boundary issues. Kasey confronts the fact that even best friends have limits they should not exceed. Laura has to learn not to let her early life interfere with what she can have with Sharon. One of the things that makes reading The Indelible Heart interesting is that it deals with the characters realistically. These people make mistakes. They have emotional reactions that ring true and sometimes those reactions are totally inappropriate. Readers will be able to say "I know someone like her" or, perhaps, "I am her." Ultimately however the message is about survival. It is about how, even when you make mistakes, friends and family will be there when you figure out what you have done wrong. That is what real relationships are about. The Indelible Heart is not a dark book, but it is a thoughtful one. It will not take long to read it. Not nearly as long as it will cause the reader to think about what it says. For those who say they want to see more stories that deal with real issues in an entertaining way, this is the answer.
WiseBearBooks More than 1 year ago
The Indelible Heart takes on a lot of emotional and interpersonal issues including depression, anger, substance abuse, love, personal boundaries, balance, healing, forgiveness, etc. all amongst the backdrop of historic hate crime legislation initiatives in Michigan. Ten years after the murder of her friends Evonne and Donna at the hands of their next door neighbor, in what was clearly a hate crime but not initially seen as such, Sharon Davis is still having a difficult time coping in her life. Her chronic anxiety and depression are renewed and perhaps even exacerbated by attempts from the family of convicted murderer Charlie Crawford to try and get him released from prison because he is an elderly dying man. It's not that Sharon Davis can't move on, but more that she unconsciously doesn't seem to want to leave the past behind. Even her most loyal and closest friends are struggling to get Sharon to wake up to the reality she's created for herself. As a protagonist, Sharon is both charismatic and polarizing. People are drawn to her for her ability to lead and use her voice in social activism effectively and with great force, but in most other areas her life is one hot mess because she seems unwilling to move beyond the tragedy of her friends' deaths. Healing ultimately comes in the form of a four-legged friend named Abby—a small dog inherited from an oblivious neighbor who only consents to give the dog to Sharon when the animal is badly hurt in a car accident. Nursing Abby back to health becomes the catalyst for Sharon's own healing as she initially works in concert with the owner of the car that has caused Abby's physical wounds. Being of service to Abby and giving and receiving unconditional love also helps Sharon to overcome the other major obstacle in her life—the loss of her great love, Laura. Although most of her friends oppose any reunion between Sharon and Laura as it resulted in Sharon's spiral into alcoholism and general dysfunction, her reconnection to Laura becomes an important symbol of Sharon's new found balance in her life, although the terms and boundaries of their new union is yet to be decided. The point is—Sharon is back on the right path in all areas of her life and ready to take on new responsibilities professionally and emotionally. Sharon's wounds clearly go deeper than physical pain. Why she feels more deeply and passionately about the death of her friends than the rest of her close group of friends wasn't completely clear. It's important to note that we are evaluating The Indelible Heart as a stand alone novel although it's technically a sequel set ten years later. The novel is well written and can act as an independent work, but it does require the reader to draw a few conclusions on their own without the benefit of character familiarity and back story. For example, murdered couple Evonne and Donna were important visible standout leaders in the gay community. Perhaps part of Sharon's difficulty in coming to terms with their death deals with taking on the mantle of their leadership—a kind of passing of the torch before she was ready to assume her de facto position within the activist community. The other couples in the extended friendship play roles ranging from supporting to almost superfluous. As Sharon's best friend and business partner, Kasey is the main bell weather for the frustration Sharon's friends feel about her. Connie is Kasey's warm and wise life partner who seems to have little purpose beyond being a calming influence. And then there's Sage and Deanna, whose role in this novel beyond being part of their group seemed completely unnecessary. There is a minor subplot about a portion of Sage and Deanna's extended family moving closer to them, but this story line didn't seem to mesh with the primary focal point of Sharon's personal journey of healing and emotional maturation. Once again this is most likely due to reading The Indelible Heart without corresponding knowledge or context for the first book in the series. The Indelible Heart is a good novel that flows well and is an easy read. There are a few noteworthy powerful yet poignant moments, particularly when Sharon meets with a family member of the convicted murderer.  The author does a great job of showing all sides of the story with good character development. It truly is a feat for readers to embrace Sharon and her many rough edges, but the author manages to not only make Sharon likeable, but also believable as she steps into her role as community leader with a new found wisdom and compassion. If you are looking for a book that encompasses drama, a little romance with a timely tale of real life social and political events, The Indelible Heart won't disappoint. This book was reviewed as part of the Wise Bear Digital Book Awards competition. Entry fees associated with the contest are administrative in nature and do not influence our honest, unbiased book reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago