This is truly a story of the heart...and heart echoes. Altough Tyndale catagorizes this novel as contemporary fiction, which it really is, it is so much more. It will transend the ages, because it deals with issues that face each generation, each age and era. The truth will make you free is not just a cliché, it is a fundamental truth. Forgiveness is necessary for the victim to face a life of meaning. These are just a few of the things that The Heart Echoes deals with and brings to the forefront in this captivating novel. No, I have not dealt with the exact themes that are portrayed here, but who has not dreamt of a life that would be better if only someone had not done that, or if they would only notice me. But often reality is that life might have been worse if I had gotten what I wished for. Not knowing your parent might throw you a curve ball, whether you never knew them (as in adoption or as this story says it) or whether they abandoned you. But we can not change the past, we can only change our reaction or attitude to it. And our memories of the past may or may not be what actually happened, as Teal finds out in The Hear Echoes. Memories are, after all, our rendition of what has happened, and are shaped by our own thoughts, emotions and history. This is a well written novel about relationships with our siblings, parents and close loved ones. I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves a good romance, but also one that causes us to look into our own lives and learn from it.
Teal Morgan is an amazing women. After escaping an abusive home life and becoming pregnant after a one night stand, she earns her law degree, becomes a partner at a family law firm in L.A., marries a wonderful man who becomes the father her daughter never had, and creates a new life for herself in southern California. When her life is disrupted by a 6.8 earthquake, Teal's daughter begins asking questions about her birth father and about her mother's rocky past. Unable to answer the questions, Teal finds her life just as shattered as the earthquake marred cityscape.
Unfortunately, this book never really pulled me in. I felt like the story lacked depth in parts. The themes of unconditional love, forgiveness, and abandonment fill the book while failing to permeate it. I can't exactly put my finger on what element is to blame in this story. My best guess would be the writing style and character development.
It's clean. It's Christian. While avoiding breaking new ground, the story is still entertaining. The book includes discussion questions. How picky do you want to be?
This is book number three in the Side Roads series by Sally John. They have all been great books and I appreciate that they are all stand-alone titles, but still have the same feel and style to them.
We begin with a massive, life changing earthquake, and Teal Morgan-Adams will never be the same. She is a woman with a huge heart, a passion for life, and a big secret. For 17 years she has never discussed her daughter Maiya's dad. With anyone. EVER. Estranged from her family in Oregon, she lives in LA with her husband River and Maiya. And although River is the awesomest stepdad ever, Maiya begins to act out and wants to know the truth about her heritage. This begins their journey (literally and figuratively) to forgiveness and healing, and what a path it is!
River, by the way, is one of the most understanding men I have ever seen. Just saying. :)
It is said that no life is perfect , it may seem it but it can take only the slightest activity to occur and the cracks can slowly start to be seen. Some though are stronger than others and it takes a huge tragedy to occur before their lives start to break down around them. In Heart Echoes , tragedy strikes in the form of an earthquake as Teal hangs in for her life , she starts to think about her past and her present with her new husband River and daughter Maiya. All she can think is about being home safe with them , but when she arrives home. Life is about to get crazy as Teal learns that her fifteen year old daughter has been lying to them and going behind their back to date ex-con Jake whose Nineteen. On top of that Maiya has been asking Teal questions about her biological dad . Though Teal has a dark secret of her own , she has never ever told anybody - not even her family who Maiya's dad is and the other is that Maiya's dad doesn't even know she exists , he didn't even know that Teal was pregnant. On an impulse, Teal finds herself back in her hometown of Cedar Pointe where her Mum, Stepfather and half-sister Lacey and her husband Will live. What will happen though, when Maiya's dad ends up in Cedar Pointe - will her family and Maiya put two and two together and as she deals with this, is she pushing River further away from herself and will she lose him too ? Find out in this new exciting book by Sally John, one that will have you engrossed from the very first page.
Only an earthquake could shatter the wall that she has built....
In the aftermath of a massive LA earthquake, the perfect existence that Teal Morgan-Adams has built begins to crumble. Teal's daughter, Maiya, is determined to learn the identity of her biological father, despite the loving devotion of her stepdad, River Adams. However, that is a secret that Teal had hoped to leave buried forever. She has never shared the truth with anyone -not her family, not River, not even Maiya's father.
As Maiya's prying reopens old wounds, Teal receives tragic news from her sister and decides she must travel home to Cedar Pointe, Oregon -a place she has avoided most of her adult life. Will her already strained marriage survive the distance and the secrets that Teal will be forced to face there?
Heart Echoes is heart wrenching story of the power of forgiveness and the importance of honesty and trust. The plotline of the novel is wonderfully well written and was easy to follow yet still held my interest completely. The characters were developed into realistic and flawed individuals that I could relate to and understand their problems. I really liked River, Teal's husband. His honesty, openness, and tenderness for his family were sweet and extremely admirable.
The themes of Heart Echoes were very stirring and important. The story clearly showed the need to be honest with your loved ones and trust God to take care of the issues. The plot line also revealed the importance of abstinence before marriage and the heartbreak and problems that arise with broken and divided families. However, the story also showed the redeeming that only God can bring to those relationships and the good He can brings out of the mistakes we make in our families.
Overall, I really enjoyed Heart Echoes, and I highly recommend it. I cannot wait to read other books by Sally John, especially other books in her Side Road series.
I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
A great book full of mother daughter bonding (even through the tough times) and the love they have for each other. The story line was full of love, redemption and mystery. This book takes pace after a massive earthquake. A daughter in search of answers, and a mom that doesn't want the secrets she has so carefully buried to come up. Can this family not only survive but come out stronger then ever? Will the daughter be happy when she finds or biological father or finally realized that her father was right in front of her the whole time (I'm talking about her step father who has raised her)? Will Teal, River and Maiya come out of this with a great strong family and even stronger trust in God? All these questions were swirling around in my head as I read this book. It was a good book and I plan to read the rest of the series as they come out.
thank you tyndale for sending me this book for review
Teal has worked hard to forget her past and make a good life for her and her daughter. Marrying River may be one of the smartest decisions she ever made, but even that can't erase the past and the secrets she's carried for 17 years. When an earthquake hits L.A. and traumatizes Teal and her daughter hits a rebellious streak, Teal decides that returning home may be the only thing that can help put their family back together again.
Sally John is an incredible story-teller, and Heart Echoes is a beautiful story. John has a way with words that pulled me into the story so that I felt more like part of the story rather than merely a spectator. I felt like I was reading a movie at times. :)
I loved the characters in this book. They were "real" people—complete with flaws and real personalities. Maiya was an outrageous, drama-filled teenager (so glad I'm not still 16!); I alternated between wanting to hug Teal and wanting to shake her; and River seemed to be too good to be true, but I loved him just the same! The rest of the family and neighbors were equally interesting and I would love to see another book or two about a few of them. (Hint! Hint!)
Heart Echoes is an emotional story about secrets, family, faith, and love. Fans of writers like Nicholas Sparks and Denise Hildreth Jones will surely enjoy this wonderful book! [5 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House in exchange for my fair and honest review.
When a massive earthquake rocks the city of Los Angeles, it brings to the surface some things that Teal Morgan-Adams has kept buried for years. At the thought of almost losing her daughter Maiya and her new husband River, she is faced with a challenge to return home and confront the past she has tried to forget.
When Maiya begins to act out against her parents wishes and begins seeing a boy name Jake, her parents are at a dead end with how to deal with her. At 16 she has been forbidden to date anyone until she finishes with high school, but since Jake showed up at her house to help with yardwork, she thinks she has fallen in love. When he shows up on campus, the school is immediately placed in a lock down mode until they find him. Now Maiya faces a 5 week school suspension, even though she claims, she didn't invite him to come see her.
When tragic news arrives from home in Cedar Pointe, Oregon, Teal is faced with a decision to return home to face her past or will she once again simply close that door and try to forget that was ever her home?
In the novel, Heart Echoes by Sally John, the reader is immediately invested in the story through a tragic circumstance surrounding the earthquake that makes everyone question their own mortality. Even though River has tried to become a great father figure for Maiya, her mother Teal refuses to provide her with any information regarding her father, simply saying he didn't want anything to do with Maiya or Teal once she told him she was pregnant, but for Maiya it's a piece of her life she is desperate to know about but her mom won't budge, until the call from Cedar Pointe comes and perhaps God is answering her prayer after all.
I received this novel compliments of Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review and think this one opens the readers eyes on what hiding the truth can do even though it may be hard to admit it. As always God is the central focus and shows the characters how trust and honesty are the bases for a good family foundation that will only grow in the years ahead. It also showcases the struggles of step parenting from a unique perspective and one I personally feel the author did a great job at. It isn't an easy role at all at times. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and know you'll enjoy this heart-warming story.
Heart Echoes – Sally John Back Cover Blurb: In the aftermath of a massive Los Angeles earthquake, the perfect existence Teal Morgan-Adams has built begins to crumble. Teal’s daughter, Maiya, is determined to learn the identity of her biological father, despite the loving devotion of her stepdad, River Adams. But that’s a secret Teal hoped would remain buried forever. She has never shared the truth with anyone . . . not her family, not River, not even Maiya’s father.
As Maiya’s rebellion escalates, Teal receives tragic news from her sister and decides to take Maiya home to Cedar Pointe, Oregon, a place she’s avoided most of her adult life. But will her already-strained marriage survive the distance and the secrets she’ll be forced to face there? And can Teal erase the lies that echo in her heart?
Although this is not the kind of book that I had a hard time putting down, I did really enjoy the interesting and intriguing story line. Sally John did an admirable job of starting this story of with an earthquake, effectively paralleling the aftershocks with the tumultuous times Teal and her family are going through. Especially Teal herself, who is plagued by personal secrets hidden deep in her heart, and now suddenly causing tremors that threaten to rock her world, just like the earthquake they’ve just experienced. Sally characters are very real, facing everyday problems and who learn that God’s love and grace will always help us through difficult times and make us stronger. It was heartwarming to see how Teal’s sister, who was dealing with her own pain, lovingly help Teal see that she was not alone and that no matter what, she has a family who loves her, despite the fact that Teal had forsaken them years before and never even came back to visit – till now.
Teal has a long-kept secret. The people closest to her know she’s keeping this secret, but they’re okay with that. Until a California earthquake reveals her teenage daughter’s secret. Suddenly Teal’s secret begs to be told, leaving Teal desperate to keep the truth from being revealed.
I could hardly put this book down!
A conversation between Teal and her half-sister, Lacey, seemed especially profound to me. During this conversation, Lacey told Teal to:
"Just act like God adores you, no matter how awful you think you are, and after a while, it will become your first thought every day. It will be what echoes in your heart instead of those lies from the hurts." (p. 238)
"There’s so much more to this relationship with the holy Father. I mean, God is absolutely crazy about us. He can’t stop thinking about us. He’s always watching over us, waiting for us to notice Him so He can show us what new gift He’s got in His hand." (p. 239)
I love that!
"Heart Echoes" helps readers understand they don’t have to prove their worth to God because He already loves and accepts them. It also shows that they don’t have to prove their worth to others because we’re all messed up in some way. God offers grace and teaches us to pass it on freely to the people He’s placed in our lives.
I’m happy to recommend this book to you and thank Tyndale House Publishers for sending a complimentary copy for my honest review.
After a massive earthquake in California Teal Morgan Adams begins to rethink her life’s decisions. Her fifteen-year-old daughter, Maiya, is more determined than ever to learn who her biological father is. She adores River, her step dad. But still has the desire to learn her father’s identity. Teal has never told anyone who Maiya’s father is. Not even the father.
Teal decides to travel back to her hometown of Cedar Pointe, Oregon after Maiya gets suspended from school. She hasn’t been back there for nine years. River doesn’t want her to go and Maiya is dead set against the idea of going to “Camp Poppycock” Oregon. Teal can’t be talked out of going.
Teal is forced to face her demons at Cedar Pointe. Teal has to come to terms with her past before she can successfully move forward. Sally John deals with teen rebellion, family disagreements, single motherhood, and grief for lost loved ones.
This is not the type of book I usually read. But I did find it a very good book.
I was given this book by Tyndale Publishing for an honest review.
This book grabbed my attention from the first pages. Tragedy hits through an earthquake. You can't find your family and you witness something horrific before you. Sally John is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. This is the third book I have read from her and I LOVED it! The first book I read by Sally John was entitled, Ransomed Dreams, and the second, Desert Gift. I quickly knew this was an author I was going to love. This is the third installment in this series. You do not have to read this series in order. What I love is the powerful impact all three books make. In each she touches on a different subject. One that has reached us all in some form.
We have a family that is going through some difficult times. Teal, River and Maiya make up this family. I love how Sally John uses an earthquake and after shocks to perfectly capture the shaking foundation of this family. On the surface all seems fine, but all it takes is one moment to change everything. One earthquake can cause major damage, but the aftershocks are just as frightening. What happens after an earthquake? You rebuild and that is what Sally John has captured here in this beautifully written novel.
The characters were so real and I could relate to each of them on some level. John shows us that after the earthquake we can always find grace in God's comfort. Even during the earthquake He is still here unmoving and present in all around us. Even on shaky ground, He is in control. He's in control even when you have a teenager who is rebelling. This is a book about marriage, raising children, facing your past and letting go so you can move forward. Some how we all rebel against something. It's in facing those fears that we find the strength we need to move forward. Sally poignantly pens a story that is rich in truth of today's world. Touching on issues that we all face.
Sally John takes us on a journey of faith, hope and love through a family we can all relate to. This is surely one you will enjoy too. I love walking away from reading a book that not only took me to a new place, but one that I enjoyed and learned from as well.
This book was a gift from Tyndale for it's review.
The third book in the Side Road Series, Heart Echoes is a book that can speak to every person. I haven't read anything by Sally John before, nor have I read the first 2 books in this series. With that said, I had no difficulty figuring out who was who and what was going on. This is a book that didn't disappoint and was a great read from cover to cover.
Who knew an earthquake could change so much in the lives of three people. Teal is a mother to Maiya and the wife to River. Maiya is a daughter who just wants to know who her biological father is. Did I mention that she's a bit rebellious at the moment? However, if Maiya finds out who her biological father is, it could upset Teal's life even more. No one, and I do mean no one, knows who he is except for Teal. Not even her husband knows.
Will Maiya find her biological father or will she decide that having a loving step dad is enough? Will Teal be honest with her husband in order to build a stronger marriage? Can River ever get through all of the trauma he has faced in his past?
I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.
Several years ago I was introduced to Sally John’s books, and I have been a fan ever since! Sally’s characters are easy to identify with, her storylines very believable. It is easy to get caught up in her books. Never “preachy”, the characters deal with contemporary relationship issues, and through their faith, are able to come to terms with and resolve their issues.
I was one of the lucky readers fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of Heart Echoes, and once again, Sally John has written a winner! In her newest book we meet Teal, River and Maiya. As the book opens Teal is caught in traffic at the precise moment an earthquake occurs. While witnessing the devastation around her, Teal’s immediate concerns are for her family. Teal’s husband, River, is injured at home when the earthquake strikes. Like Teal, River’s first thoughts are for the safety of his family. Meanwhile Maiya, Teal’s daughter, is not where she is supposed to be. From here the reader gradually learns more of the individual characters pasts, which play a significant role in how each person deals with their present situation. Teal has tried to bury her past, particularly the circumstances leading to Maiya’s birth. River continues to deal with the tragic loss of his first wife and unborn son. And Maiya desperately wants to learn who her biological father is.
Heart Echoes deals with family relationships between parents, parents and child, teenage rebellion, and the effects of past decisions on present day life. Teal and River learn more about their personal relationship when Teal takes Maiya to Cedar Pointe, Oregon, where Teal grew up. It is in Cedar Pointe where Teal finally comes to terms with accepting her past and reconciling it with her present and future.
I loved the book, Heart Echoes, and highly recommend it both to new readers and current fans. Kudos to Sally John for writing another winning story!
Sally John does not disappoint in her latest Side Road Series. I was captivated from the begining of her story. The characters kept pulling me into the story. The relationship between Teal and her daughter, Maiya, had me waiting to see what was going to happen. Throw a caring step-father, some untold secrets and Maiya's longing to know her real father, and you have a recipe for a book that will make you unable to put the book down. I was up several nights quite late because I had to see what was going to happen. I highly reccommend this book. (I was given an advance copy to read)
Sally John creates characters who are multilayered and believable. In Heart Echoes, I felt an instant connection with both Teal and her daughter Maiya and their desire for a bond with a biological father. Although, I never experienced the absence of a father, I understood the longing because I have a great father and I can’t imagine life without that security. That’s what’s great about Sally’s books. The reader doesn’t have to have experienced what her characters experience to feel a connection. She creates a story that draws the reader in. I was in Teal’s shoes, watching a highway crumble in an earthquake, feeling the panic of wondering if my daughter and husband were okay somewhere. I felt Teal’s anxiety over revealing the biological father of her daughter and her own pain over the rejection of both a step-father and a biological father. I saw myself in the family relationships and marital interaction.
A highly successful attorney, Teal has buried her pain in her work. But as she begins to heal, a new and beautiful future unfolds. The story line has multiple layers as we watch Teal go back to her hometown for the first time in many years and as she reconnects with a half sister whose love she hasn’t realized until now. Her husband, River has his own pain from the tragedy of losing his first wife in a terrible accident.
This is a story about reconciliation. It’s about healing the pain of the past in order to move forward. And it’s about the ups and downs in a relationship during the reconciliation process. Readers will see themes of insecurity, parent/child relationships, teen rebellion, the devastation of verbal abuse, the beauty of redemption, and much more.
I highly recommend Heart Echoes. Sally John is a talented writer and I loved it. That’s pretty high praise from a self-proclaimed tough book critic!
(I received a complimentary advance reader copy of this book from the author for review purposes).