Filled with anger, a wealthy young man moves to a small town north of Atlanta and takes a job as a construction worker to escape his opulent world. His inner transformation hinges on the help he receives from the townsfolk, the wise advice of a young woman, and the commitment he makes to a child.
Excerpt from The Heart of a Child:
“In the cool interior, tiny beads of sweat created by the high temp outdoors still rested along the ridge of Manuel’s cheeks. He gulped water from a frosty glass and beamed at Hank. Acting on strange inspiration, Hank stuck his fingers inside the pitcher and flicked water down onto Manuel’s overheated skin. The child’s eyes squeezed shut, and his mouth dropped open. Carried further by impromptu, Hank crouched, resting on his haunches, and dipped Manuel’s hand so the boy could have revenge. Manuel’s grin broke out. Droplets splattered against Hank’s face. He made huge blinks, his expression aghast. Like a dog twisting water from its coat, Hank shook his head, bounced, and wiggled. The child went wild, and Hank released his own bursts of laughter that stalled suddenly in his throat. He got up and stood as massive as the ancient Frigidaire next to him. With a loud “clank,” he placed the pitcher a little too hard on the counter.
Child’s play. His earliest memories were of his caregiver telling him to occupy himself outdoors but to stay within the walls. His enclosure was the ornamental, eight-foot-tall barrier surrounding the grounds of the Palm Beach mansion at the edge of the sea. At a very young age, he wandered alone on the neatly clipped zoysia, between the hibiscus and palms. After a time, his small feet always led him to the gate where he peered through to the beach. On the sparkling white sand, a proud horse stood, two dimensional, highly stylized, larger than life. Iron oxidizing in the salt air, the steed designated the Averill property. Only the child could perceive the minute degree the sculpture leaned to one side, destined for a fall.”
The author, Patti Brady, was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Her high school years were spent in Jacksonville and Atlanta. A former elementary school teacher and a graduate of the University of Georgia, she has been married since 1970 to Brad Brady. They have two grown sons. The family moved to Woodstock, the setting of the novel, in 1980.
You can purchase her books here.
This heartfelt story of redemption has many wonderful elements to it. The plot itself was gripping and the heroine refreshing. The story left you until the very last page wondering if a happily ever after was in store for these multifaceted characters.
At times the book was difficult to read partially due to a lack of dialogue. Unfortunately, the extensive, lavish language the author uses and lengthy paragraphs made it hard at times to follow the story flow. I believe that many southern writers have a flourish with words that is a beautiful part of their culture and lives. This was an in-depth, not shallow story, that I felt got distracted from with wordy metaphors that could have been trimmed down a bit.
I absolutely love that the author took her hometown, and most probably elements from real people she knows, and weaved them together into an interesting plot line. I am thrilled that this author followed her dream and made this book series into a reality. I’m sure that many lives have been and will be touched by these stories of love, hope, and faith.