Review: Heartland by Cathryn Hein


Title: Heartland

Author: Cathryn Hein

Published: Michael Joseph: Penguin May 2013

Read an Extract

Status: Read from May 04 to 05, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the Publisher}

My Thoughts:

In Heartland, Callie Reynolds has spent eight years avoiding her family but her grandmother’s death necessitates her return to Glenmore, the property that was once Callie’s childhood refuge, and which now belongs to her. Intending to simply sell up and move on, Callie’s plans are quickly sabotaged by a warty horse, a mad goose, a frightened girl and her handsome neighbour, Matt Hawkins. But Callie is determined to do what she is sure is the right thing by her sister’s memory, even if it breaks her heart. A delightful novel, Heartland is Cathryn Hein’s third heart warming rural romance.

The tragic death of Callie’s sister, Hope, has been a burden Callie has carried for almost a decade. She has avoided anything that could give her more than a fleeting moment of contentment, punishing herself due to misplaced guilt. Focused on her goal of selling the property and donating the proceeds to the foundation established in her sister’s name as some kind of restitution, Callie is surprised to find herself reluctant to let go of Glenmore. I sympathised with Callie who was struggling under the weight of so much pain and self recrimination. Though fragile and vulnerable, Callie is not weak or helpless and I loved that Hein allowed Callie to find her way forward at a natural pace.

Callie’s journey towards forgiving herself is supported by the relationship she develops with Matt. The romance between the emotionally crippled Callie and physically scarred Matt is written beautifully. Matt is kind and patient with an emotional strength earned from overcoming a difficult childhood and his experiences in Afghanistan. He is just the type of hero that appeals to me and I was half in love with him myself. Though their relationship is sweet and tender, there is also a delicious simmering of desire, and more importantly they are what each other needs and there is a genuine sense of respect between them.

The animals featured in Heartland have their own personalities and play an vital role in the story. Honk, the recalcitrant goose, adds hilarity to temper the more sober themes. Phantom, aka ‘Warty-Morty’, helps Callie overcome her fear of attachment and is instrumental in curing Lyndall’s fear of horses. Patch, the puppy Callie begrudgingly accepts as a gift, assists Callie to process her guilt over the death of her sister.

With Heartland, Cathryn Hein has written a wonderful, moving story exploring the themes of grief, guilt, family and love. It will definitely be on my favourites list for 2013 and I am happy to recommend it.

Available to Purchase

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via Booko

My Review



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Teddyree
    May 20, 2013 @ 15:58:45

    A book I probably would have missed if not for your lovely review. Definitely sounds like one I’d love 🙂



  2. Trackback: AWW Feature: Q&A with Cathryn Hein, author of Rocking Horse Hill | book'd out

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