Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Book Review: Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer

Book Details
Title: Playing By Heart
Author: Anne Mateer
2014, Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1065-5
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Book Summary
Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do riht be her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn't even consider those real subjects!

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

However, the more time she spends around Jewel's family, the girls' basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she's given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she'd expected.

My Review
Honestly, that summary on the back cover really sums up the whole book. I think it is set during WWII. The book is told from the perspective of Lula and Chet. Lula has received a prestigious mathematics award and is teaching at a university and studies for her PhD. She has reject all her other pursuits from before her mother died and has decided to go far with her education to fulfill the dream of her father ... and herself of course. 

Chet is the school boys basketball coach and math teacher. He's really much more into the basketball part though, I think. Many of the other men are enlisting and going off to war, but Chet has decided to stay home to take care of his widowed mother while his brother goes to fight.

Chet and Lula both have their reasons for not wanting a relationship at the moment, but of course they fall for each other. I liked that even though they had an almost instant attraction, that they took their time with getting around to an actual relationship. It wasn't two weeks long like many of these books. 

I also really enjoyed the parts where Lula was trying to teach basketball to the girls. I could just imagine if I attempted to do such a thing and what a disaster it would be. 

Overall a very enjoyable read and easy read. 

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.

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