Monday, October 27, 2014

Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer

Playing by HeartPlaying by Heart by Anne Mateer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary
Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But when she receives a shocking telephone call from her sister, Jewel, everything she's worked for begins to crumble.

After the sudden death of Jewel's husband, Jewel needs Lula's help. With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister. But the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Neither subject belongs anywhere near the halls of academia, according to Lula!

Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year, determined to do well and prove herself to the town. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends in Dunn, the more Lula realizes God is working on her heart--and her future is beginning to look a lot different than she'd expected.

My Review
I really enjoyed the setting and characters in this book. I haven't read many books set during the time period of this war, and this time of change.

The different perspectives of Lula (I like that name) and Chet were well done and I was glad it switched perspectives because it added more layers to the book.

Lula was determined to prove her nickname of Fruity Lu wrong. It drove her nuts, and she would get to frustrated and determined to finish what she set out to do - and that would be to get her doctorate to make her father proud. Then life happened and her plans had to take a detour. While she wasn't happy at first, she did the right thing, and I admire her for that. She was determined to help her family! Can both math and music be her thing, or is there only room in her life for one? It was kind of funny to see her trying to teach girls basketball though, especially at first!

Chett was a good guy. He wanted adventure, he wanted to fight like his brother, but instead he stayed behind to take care of his mother. The dynamics of their relationship were great to read about and learn from.

Both Lula and Chett had more in common than they thought they did. For one, their love for their families. Also, not only their attraction to each other, but also their hope and helpfulness towards their students. Those students taught them something too! I hope to be a teacher someday, and I hope that I'll be as dedicated to my students as they are, and make a difference in their lives. Then there's the matter of basketball! Can it really draw them together though?

The matters of faith in this book were also great, as they tried to trust God to control and plan their lives for them through thick and thin. Life doesn't have to be logical all the time Lula, there room for "frivolities" such as music too!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

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