"Song of the Brokenhearted" by Sheila Walsh & Cindy Martinusen Coloma Publisher's Summary:
Ava has a loving family, a beautiful house, and a solid faith.
Suddenly, her ideal life will be completely broken . . . in the best of ways.
Ava’s life is full of great things. Her daughter is getting married to just the right guy, her husband’s company has kept them financially thriving for years, her son is a freshman in high school, playing football and doing well, and the ministry she started is keeping her busy as she reaches out to those with “broken hearts.”
Then it all falls apart. Ava’s safe world becomes unanchored, and she is forced to face the childhood she’s run away from her entire life. Just as she’s trying to sift through the pieces, the doorbell rings and Ava is confronted with the surprise of her life.
Ava must set out on a journey that takes her back home—something Ava hasn’t done in twenty years. As she travels across the state of Texas, strangers offer her kindness and remind her of the meaning of hope and forgiveness.
It is in this journey back that Ava discovers God in a new way. She sees she's been hiding her brokenness behind good deeds and a safe life. Learning what it means to lose it all is just the start of Ava’s journey – as is the new song God is writing on her heart.
I really enjoyed this story. The main character was very relatable. Having survived a tough childhood, she maintained her love for God and was serving Him to the best of her ability in her adult life. She had the good husband who worked hard to provide a well-to-do lifestyle for their family, she was a stay at home mom who was in charge of a large growing ministry in their church and her children were doing well. They were living the dream. She was doing everything right. Until one thing at a time her world started to crash down around her. It culminated with a very difficult decision to return to her childhood home which she had left at 17 and never looked back. The story was about trusting God even when everything seems to be falling apart and learning what is truly important in life, about facing hard things and keeping our trust in the Lord. We all have times in our life when all seems to be rolling along fine and then things start to unravel. Then we have a choice to make: to keep trusting God or to panic and make all sorts of wrong decisions culminating in a loss of faith. The exact situations in the story might be different than what we would go through but we would all be faced with hanging onto God. Or not. That's what is so relatable in the story. When Ava faces going home after so many years of sheer avoidance it spoke to finding courage in those situations when we must face hard things. Usually I'm not into stories that have a lot of symbolic references, I'm not that great at figuring it out, but there is a willow tree in this story and how it was woven throughout the story was really meaningful and not at all convoluted and muted. It's meanings stood out clearly in the story and I liked that. I finished this book in a couple of days just because I was so drawn in to it from the beginning.
Thanks to Booksneeze for providing a complimentary copy for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Song of the Brokenhearted is available here and here.