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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Homeless after being released from a women's reformatory in 1939 Toronto, Olivia Rosetti is taken in by an angel of mercy, Ruth Bennington. The two discover they share a painful past and together decide to open a maternity home for troubled women. Despite the success of the home, Olivia is haunted by her inhumane treatment at the reformatory and the way her newborn son was taken from her. She feels undeserving of love--until she meets businessman Darius Reed. Although his attention makes her heart soar, he can never learn of her past. Greek widower Darius Reed is determined to protect his daughter from the prejudice that killed her mother. He'll ensure her future by marrying a woman from a respected Toronto family. But when Darius meets Olivia, he's immediately drawn to her beauty and compassion. Can love prove stronger than prejudice and past mistakes? Or will Olivia's secrets destroy any chance at a future together?…

A Haven for Her Heart

by Susan Anne Mason

Overall Book Review:

A Haven for Her Heart by Susan Anne Mason is a fictional story about a fictional character based on some of the real-life experiences of Velma Demerson in the 1930s in Canada.  The experiences upon which it is based are autobiographical and not easy to read.  Part of what makes this story so genuine and sad is realizing the most unpleasant parts really happened to many women.

This piece of historical fiction follows the experiences of Olivia Rosetti following her release from the Mercer Women’s Reformatory.  This is a story of redemption and rising above one’s life circumstances.  Olivia has the opportunity to recognize her own value in God’s eyes and to show others that unwed mothers deserve to be treated a people who matter.

The parallel story of Darius Reed brings up many interesting points and questions.  What is a person willing to sacrifice for money and is it worth it?  Following his story really makes one appreciate the value of forgiveness and compassion.

There is a great deal to be learned in this book as the historical events are chronicled in fictional format.  The author does a nice job of describing the challenges without becoming so lost in the details that the reader is overwhelmed with facts.  This is a heart wrenching and painful story in many ways, but it is also a story of love and renewal.

Review of a Digital Advance Reading Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Bethany House Publishers

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None 

Violence/Gore:  A man slaps his teenage daughter because she did something he did not like; many references are made to a woman being restrained and surgically and chemically tortured in her genital region, although no details are given the reader can glean what was happening; a character reports that a family is burned to death in their home as an act of hatred; report of a pregnant woman being beaten and kicked in her stomach; a mob attacks a home by throwing projectiles at it and breaking windows; a woman is struck by a heavy object and she bleeds from the wound; a man attempts to hit several pedestrians with is car; report that a character had an abortion.

Sex/Nudity:  Many women are pregnant and unmarried; it is implied several times that a woman was a prostitute; report that a character had an abortion; non-married characters kiss and embrace.

Mature Subject Matter:

Unwilling adoption; death of family members; abortion, physical abuse; prostitution.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Report that a man was drinking; a character under the influence of alcohol crashes his car.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I primarily read fiction from all genres. I have six children and many happy hours have been spent reading together. I also love quilting, hiking, and camping.