The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel opens with this:
"That's why she had me write a bucket list... twenty-five things that will make my future brighter, that will stop giving my memories so much power over my life.
I've been in therapy for seven years, but I still struggle. Not every day--like at the beginning. But sometimes still, the memories sneak up on me when I least expect them. They drag me down and pull me under like a riptide. And even though I long to fight them, my arms and legs gets tired. I grow weak.
In those moments, I'm maybe kind of okay with letting and drifting away, allowing the sea to carry me wherever it wants to go. But now when that happens, I have a new tool. I can try and focus on the dreams, the plans, the goals I have. And say, "Not today. I won't let you rip them from me."
It's not necessarily about avoidance or forgetting. There are some things you never forget.
Instead it's about learning to swim parallel to the shore, to be one with the waves, with the pain. To replace weakness with strength, fear with hope.
Hope can be my rescuer. If I let it."
Megan Jacobs was born with a weak heart, and spent her childhood in and out of hospitals while her twin sister lived the perfect life, playing sports, getting the guys, and having fun. Flash-forward to her adult years, Megan has received a heart transplant, but still lives in constant fear. When Megan's heart donor's parents give her their daughter's journal, she is drawn to the young woman's unfulfilled bucket list. Megan decides to take a leap of faith and complete the list, but it is the biggest shock when her twin sister decides to join her on this trip of a lifetime.
While the two estranged sisters visit Inca ruins, tour a Celtic castle, and swim near the Great Barrier Reef, it is here where Megan finally fights the fears and resentments of a lifetime of illness and even begins to see the less perfect side of her sister. Running with the bulls in Spain is one thing, but can Megan risk opening her new heart to her sister, and maybe allow herself to fall in love and pursue her dreams?
I don't often read realistic fiction, I prefer historical fiction or biographies. But I decided to shake things up a bit and see if this book surprised me.
It spoke great volumes to me, although it wasn't the most amazing book I have ever read, it brought up past memories and experiences that I've buried down for a while. The prologue spoke to me on a very emotional level, not just for myself but it helped show me a perspective of a family member. The novel weaves Christ’s transforming power of reconciliation and demonstrates His love through our everyday walks of life. And I think sometimes a book isn't meant to move or change oneself, but it can help you change your perspective on a matter and shed light onto another's life.
We are called to live out out Christ in every aspect of our lives. All we need is the courage to take that first step forward.
For more information on The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel, visit our website here.