Life has a way of surprising us. Detours often happen when we least expect them. And along the way, we have choices to make about how we will respond to those detours as we discover more about ourselves and those whose lives intersect our own.
In her latest novel, A Change of Heart, by Courtney Walsh, we meet Evelyn Brandt whose life looks like the dream pictured in many a woman’s dreams. Her large home is beautiful and decorated like the latest magazine. Additionally, her husband, Chris, an up and coming Colorado senator, has recently purchased a lake house for them to enjoy.
If you were take a peek in her closet, you would discover the best labels and latest styles for every occasion along with all the jewelry and accessories to set off each outfit perfectly.
As the wife of a state senator, she has many opportunities to be involved in community and civic projects with other women in her social circles. Her calendar always seems to be filled with functions to attend and so much entertaining to do whether Chris can join her or not at their home in Loves Park.
Chris spends most of his time in Denver busy with his responsibilities and even though he keeps in touch by phone, Evelyn is becoming more and more aware she does not enjoy the responsibilities thrust upon her as the wife of a senator. Life seems so empty.
One afternoon in the midst of a society lunch in her home, Evelyn’s world smashes to pieces when the FBI arrives to search her home and interview her following the arrest of Chris for embezzlement of large sums of money.
The women gathered for lunch are rudely urged to leave by the FBI. With their mouths gaping at the scandal they are watching unfold in front of their eyes, they rush past Evelyn whispering to each other as they hurry to their cars.
Evelyn cannot believe the charges against her husband, but as reporters camp out on the lawn and headlines hint at additional information pointing to additional areas of impropriety she withdraws from public view. No one can believe she is not involved in the wrongdoing. Her society relationships disappear to avoid being tainted by the scandal.
In the midst of the isolation, Evelyn must come to grips with the reality that she has not known her husband as well as she thought she did. She has been caught up in his dreams, his friends, his charade, and gotten lost along the way.
What had happened to the dreams she had of being an artist and the simpler life she had envisioned for herself?
In the midst of these events, a group of chatty, well-meaning women from Loves Park known as the Valentine Volunteers, interrupt her isolation to invite her to participate in a community project that also connect her with Trevor Whitney to accomplish the task.
Trevor had been a good friend of hers back in high school and also a friend to Chris. Now Trevor offers her a guesthouse on his farm outside of town to escape the reporters and the hurtful stares of the local socialites. The farm offers her a place to complete the community project, but in the midst of that Evelyn also comes to grips with the charade she has willingly played with Chris and how much it differs from the life she imagined for herself.
Evelyn rediscovers the friendship with Trevor that has always been so confusing to her and also discovers there is more to the Valentine Volunteers than meets the eye. Their care for her supports her as she reclaims her faith and gifts of creativity.
Evelyn learns that sometimes a step back is the only way forward.
This romantic story will pull you along page by page through twists and turns as it progresses toward healing, forgiveness and discovery of a dream.
Check out the Change of Heart Book Trailer (YouTube) for a teaser for the book.
To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.