Heart of the Country by Rene Gutteridge & John Ward

51oZRQrn9ML Faith and Luke have a good marriage and by the world’s standard they have it all but everything comes crashing down when Luke becomes involved in a Ponzi scheme.

Heart of the Country
by Rene Gutteridge & John Ward
Tyndale House Publishers
February 2013

Heart of the Country by Rene Gutteridge & John Ward is a wonderful story of love, betrayal, forgiveness, and going home again. The story is told in a first person format through Faith, Luke, Olivia, Catherine, and Calvin the main characters in the story. Faith and Luke are happily married, living in New York City, and by the standards of the world they have it all but things fall apart when Luke becomes involved in a Ponzi scheme. Faith does not give Luke a chance to explain but immediately leaves for her father’s home in North Carolina. Faith’s father, Calvin, is delighted to have her home but her sister Olivia is quite upset with Faith’s return. Luke is hurt by Faith’s leaving and finally has to turn to his family for help in getting through all the problems caused by his desire to be on his own and to make his fortune. The story has the feeling of the Prodigal Son in the Bible and just like him, Faith and Luke have to face their problems head on and admit their mistakes and then ask for forgiveness from their families and God.

Rene did an excellent job in the development of the characters and all the scenes that took place in the story. For me the characters came to life and with the story being told in a first-person conversational style, I felt as if I were sitting and talking with each character. Scenes were so well developed that I could feel what was going on and I was right in the middle of the action. The struggles that Faith and Luke were having with each other and with their families was so well portrayed that I was shedding tears with them and urging them on to get their lives back on track. I liked the addition of Catherine’s thoughts to the story for it helped to show why Faith and Olivia felt as they did about each other.

I highly recommend this book to all who like a love story with a good ending even if the couple have to go through hard times to reach the good times.


Deanna Love Gottreu is a 74 year old widow and the mother of two wonderful sons who share second place in her life – with God being in first place. She spends her time reading or making quilts for charity. Her book reviews can also be read on her blog at www.buzzardsroostcrafts.com/blog.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.