My Foolish Heart by Susan Warren

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Book Reviews
My Foolish Heart by Susan Warren
This month's inspirational fiction read is a tale of love and agoraphobia.

All of us have fears, but rarely do they prevent us from our daily routines. In Susan May Warren’s My Foolish Heart, Isadora Presley struggles with fears from the past and also agoraphobia, a panic disorder that keeps her from interacting with people.

Since the family’s car accident that took her mother’s life and left her father paralyzed in a hospital, Isadora’s world is minimized to her well-maintained garden and a few blocks past her home. Isadora’s best friend, Lucy, the town’s donut shop owner, is the only guest who visits and brings her grocery and a complimentary bag of “the world’s best donuts.”

Unknown to the small Minnesota town of Deep Haven, Isadora has her own secret world. Working from a studio on the second floor of her home, she is the host of the late night syndicated radio show, "My Foolish Heart." Isadora gives advice on how to find love and pursue romance and attracts a big group of fans. She is congenial and encouraging to her listeners. But does she really know what love is all about? Isadora’s famous quote to the lovelorn on-air is “the perfect love might be right next door.”

Entering into Isadora’s unusual life is Caleb Knight, her rough-looking neighbor, who owns a messy, shaggy mutt. Caleb is new in town and rumor has it that he aims for a position of the town’s football coach. Caleb has a dream of inspiring the young athletes to be their best and even leading the team to a state championship. But he might not succeed since Seb Brewster is vying for the same job. Seb was the town’s rising football star and had played for Iowa State before returning to Deep Haven.

Caleb meets his cool yet pretty neighbor. The two get off on the wrong foot when Caleb’s dog, Roger, tramples Isadora’s beautiful flowers and makes a big hole in her fence. Desperate to make friends with Isadora, Caleb calls into My Foolish Heart and seeks expert advice from Miss Foolish Heart.

Missionary-turned-inspirational-author Susan May Warren has a rare gift for building intriguing characters and suspense in her fiction. Even though the first few pages of this book are a bit slow, once the two main characters meet, the reader will be immediately drawn into their story. Warren makes Caleb and Isadora realistic, with real-life struggles, flaws, and aspirations. The fact that both have severe disability adds depth to the story. Warren’s writing style is fresh and the dialogue natural and witty.

At first I find it difficult to believe that Isadora, who is an introvert and even homebound, can run a talk show radio. However, the author explains in the last chapter about how the protagonist becomes a talk show host and has her own show. At the end of the story, the author wraps up the story too quick without much explanation about a subplot, but I still find the ending satisfying.

My Foolish Heart’s recurring message is about fear and overcoming fear, and how God can strengthen and sustain you in what seems to be a hopeless situation. It is also a book about leaving your pride and admitting that you need help and support.

Readers who like talk show radio and football will enjoy this book. A good combination of sweet romance, humor, and suspense, it is a perfect summer read. I recommend this entertaining novel for those who like Christian romance genre, especially readers who are fans of author Coleen Coble, Robin Lee Hatcher, and Dee Henderson.

Further Reading
Read the first chapter of My Foolish Heart
Happily Ever After (Book one in Deep Haven series)
Tying the Knot (Book two in Deep Haven series)
Perfect Match (Book Three in Deep Haven series)

About the Author

Sukalaya Kenworthy is a senior library assistant at the Westport Branch. To join the Inspirational Book Group, e-mail her at sukalayakenworthy@kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3488 for more information. The group meets the third Wednesday of the month at 4:30 p.m.

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