Sometimes it is nice to read a novel that doesn’t have any tricky plots, hidden metaphors or creepy characters. Every now and then, I like to get back to the basics, and “Heart of Gold” by Robin Lee Hatcher did just that. “Heart of Gold” is a breath of fresh air: simple, good, Christian historical fiction.
I’ve read quite a few of Hatcher’s novels in the past, but very few of those have been historical fiction. In “Heart of Gold” the heroine, Shannon, a preacher’s daughter, moves to Idaho with her father in the midst of the Civil War. What they find in Grand Coeur, Idaho is a town that was founded by miners that is a little rough around the edges. It is nothing like Shannon’s precious Virginia that she left behind and she instantly loathes the town and unfairly judges its inhabitants. Her opinion of Matthew Dubois, a Wells, Fargo driver, is immediately soured by his flippant attitude about the war that rages on in the East, the very same war that Shannon is most passionate about and served as a nurse to the wounded Confederate soldiers. However, Matthew has more important things to worry about: he has decided to put his nomadic lifestyle on hold to care for his ailing sister and her nine year old son. Caring for her on top of holding down his desk job proves to be too hard of a task, so he seeks the help of Shannon, who is qualified to nurse his sister during her final days. Over the course of events throughout the novel, Shannon and Matthew come to care for each other a great deal and, well… the rest is quite predictable. But it’s also quite good!
As much as I love novels that are different and have endings that I wouldn’t quite expect, I also really appreciate a novel that is quick and enjoyable to read. My heart didn’t pound with anxiety of what was to happen next, but that’s okay! Sometimes it’s nice to know that your beloved hero or heroine is going to be okay (even if that happens in the middle of the book!).
I reviewed this book for Thomas Nelson’s book blogging program called BookSneeze. The book was given me to free, as were my opinions about the novel.