Reviewed by Rel Mollet
Where My Heart Belongs by Tracie Peterson
"Where My Heart Belongs by Tracie Peterson."
Amy Halbert changed her name to Sunshine when she turned eighteen, and that was only one example of how she flaunted her disdain of her family and their small town life in Slocum, Kansas. At least that was the way her big sister Kathy always viewed it.
Demanding her inheritance from her parents, Sunshine headed off for the bright lights of anywhere, just not Kansas. For twelve long years the remaining Halbert family grieved, made difficult choices and moved on with their lives. Then everything changes when Kathy answers a knock at the door of the failing farm where she lives with her dad---Sunshine has returned home seeking forgiveness and acceptance.
For Kathy, Sunshine's return is the ultimate slap in the face, a trivializing of her sorrow for the sister she thought was dead. An anger she didn't know was in her burns fiercely, robbing her peace and driving a wedge between herself and Sunshine and eventually damaging the solace she had always found in her faith in God.
Tracie Peterson's prodigal daughter storyline is not new yet it is infused with rich emotions and deep struggle. Kathy is torn between desiring retribution against her sister for all she sacrificed due to her disappearance, the loss of her mother and the illness of her father (which Kathy holds Sunshine completely responsible for) and the remembrance of the deep love she once had for her sister. While the story is well written and the characters infused with genuine feelings, I struggled to connect with the characters. The pacing was a bit slow for my liking as well. Kathy's journey is not simplified nor are her feelings of hatred and fury diminished, which is an encouraging part of this tale. Kathy's faith and her belief in forgiveness is tested and the road is not a comfortable one. No doubt Tracie's fans will enjoy her foray once again into a contemporary novel, and the final outcome will please many.
Rel Mollet is a lawyer, wife and mother of three young daughters and lives in Melbourne, Australia. Reading has been her passion since childhood. She is a Book Club Co-ordinator and has her own website ~ relzreviewz ~ dedicated to reviews and author interviews with the sole aim to support authors writing from a Christian worldview. She believes Sir Francis Bacon's (1561 - 1626) creed, "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body".