Gillian’s Heart by BJ Bassett (review by Kristi)

gillians-heart

About the book:  Gillian Grant, abandoned by her alcoholic parents, is raised by her grandmother in a beach house in California.

As a tribute to Gram’s memory, Gillian restores the house and hires Dusty to help her. Dusty shares the apartment above the garage with Gillian’s childhood friend, Josh.

Gillian and Dusty have nothing in common, except the restoration of the house. Gillian suffers from anorexia and is in denial. While she has a strong faith in God, Dusty is an unbeliever.

Betsy, Gillian’s mother, returns and announces the house was left to her, not Gillian, and she plans to sell it.

Gillian always dreamed of her wedding in her grandmother’s garden overlooking the Pacific. Will there be a wedding? Who will capture Gillian’s heart—stable Josh or can she trust Dusty, a new Christian, who has kept secrets from her? And who holds the deed to the house?

Paperback, 132 pages                  Published September 10, 2015, by Desert Breeze Publishing

 

My review:  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book as I had never heard of this author before. Also, the book is rather short at 132 pages and I prefer books that are longer with the chance to have more character and story development. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story of a woman getting over the death of her grandmother and how her friends supported her and helped her.

The author created characters that come off the page as real. Any of these characters could be the people next door. They faced real-life problems and handled them in a way that was natural and to be expected. The interactions between Gillian, Sam, and Josh were what one would expect from life-long friends and the girls’ reaction to Dusty also came across as natural.

I enjoyed the pace of this story. It didn’t drag but at the same time, it wasn’t told so fast that I felt like everything was being rushed to fit into the number of pages the story was. This book was, to me, more of a novella and a good one. I like novellas where the story could have easily been expanded into a novel but is told in a way that makes me feel as if I got the whole story in a shortened version. This book fits the bill in this area.

There are strong messages of faith throughout the story. They fit in with the story and the characters’ lives and didn’t seem forced or awkward. The author did a good job of weaving these messages into the story naturally.

One thing I did notice is the book has an almost “young adult” feel to it. It is mentioned that Josh went to college for 10 years so I’m assuming they are all around the 30-year mark but at times it seemed as if they were fresh out of college. This wasn’t a bad thing though as I think the book could actually have a broader audience.

I would recommend this story to readers looking for a quick one-day read. I also think fans of Debbie Macomber will enjoy this story as it has the same type of feel as her works. This was a nice reading start to the new year.

I received a copy of this book from the author and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are mine.

 

 

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