Thursday, 18 September 2014

Playing By Heart - Anne Mateer

When tragedy strikes her sister Jewel, spirited mathematician Lula Bowman heads to her old home town of Dunn, Oklahoma. But it's with a heavy heart. She finally made her dream come true - a teaching position and a scholarship to carry on her college education in maths.

Now she has to leave it all behind - but for how long?

When she arrives, childhood memories come rushing back that she'd rather forget; like her 'mama' dying and her nickname 'Fruity Lu'. She cringes at the thought that the townsfolk may still think of her like that.

When she arrives, she discovers that things are worse than she thought and the only way to support her sister is to get a job. And the only opening is that of a combined music teacher and basketball coach. Both subjects fill her with dread. Can she do this? But she has to prove that she has gumption and staying power.

With a need to prove herself she asks for help from the boys coach, Chet Vaughn. But that's a problem as he's handsome and single. Lula doesn't want to fall for 'a local boy'. She's only in Dunn for a short time anyway.

Yet the more time she spends with her Jewel and the children, the girls basketball team and Chet she is beginning to realize that God's plan for her is very different from her single-minded thinking. What is the future for Lula and will she stick with it?

Mateer's story is filled with engaging characters that help create a compulsive read. Lula is a young intelligent woman who is determined to make something of herself if only to please her father. But in doing so is she ignoring all she learnt from her mother? With Chet taking on a more pivotal role in her life and can she ignore the tug at her heart that he causes?

A thoroughly enjoyable, easy to read a in a few days or less story. There was drama, humor and a deeper meaning of what God's purpose is for each person. Mateer's style of writing isn't over complicated and she manages to give great depth to just met characters as well as providing food for thought subject matters. A highly recommended read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House publishers as part of their blogger program. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique. 


  1. Great review! I liked the idea of trying to please one parent and then seemingly forgetting about the other. Life is about balance and sometimes it is harder than people think to find the right kind of balance in life. And a simple writing style can be beneficial because then it doesn't confuse readers. Sounds like a good book!

    Check out my review:

  2. Thanks Olivia, it is a good book. I know a lot of people are not into christian fiction but I love that they give you something to think about.