Thursday, July 29, 2010
Renee Riva's Heading Home ~ Reviewed
By Renee Riva
Published by B & H
For eight years, A.J. Degulio has been itching to get back to her beloved Indian Island. Its home, but a lot has changed: Sailor moves slower, Danny has grown into a man . . . and A.J. has a promise to keep…but it doesn’t include Danny. When Danny discovers the truth, he’s shocked and hurt. But he won’t stand in the way of what she really wants.
What’s a girl to do? She wants to keep her promise and Danny. But Danny has plans of his own. Can they work it out? It will take compromise and laughter before Danny and A.J. figure out that home is more than a place on the map. It’s a place in the heart.
I’m so thankful to have received a review copy of this entertaining and touching book by Renee Riva. This is a charming tale of a girl coming of age, finding true love, discovering what’s important in life and having peace about what God has called her to do. I remembered growing up in an Italian-American Catholic family and could relate to A.J. and her situation on many levels. I found myself smiling as I read and laughing out loud in parts! The way her family interacted reminded me of the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and how they did family. Fun, Fun, Fun!
A.J.’s best friend and love interest is Danny, a Southern cowboy; he’s waited 8 years for her to return home from Italy and is trying hard to understand the A.J. that has returned and her new mission in life. Danny says to her, “Are we talking nun here, A.J.?”
He exhales, “How can you kind of be a nun?”
“Well, I won’t be kind of a nun. I mean, I’ll be kind of considering being a sister.”
He stares at me dead on. “You’re serious aren’t you?”
Danny doesn’t understand A.J.’s thinking. How can he compete with God for her affections? He respects her choice and leaves A.J. to work this out for herself.
I enjoyed A.J.’s earnest search to do the right thing and follow God no matter what people said. She was confident God would reveal His will for her life. This was a refreshing and fun read. I look forward to reading more books by this author.
Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coordinator
Bonus Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this cute and quirky tale of coming back to your first love, both on a spiritual and human level. In this book, A.J. learns that following God's will isn't necessarily what you think it is and that love, even built on a solid friendship, still requires hard work and some compromise. A.J. also does alot of growing up in this book which in itself is quite comical, from pelting an unsuspecting couple with berries to running away from 'Nun Camp' this book will have you laughing until you cry. I highly recommend this lighthearted read and can't wait to go back and read the 2 books preceding it!
Reviewed by Rachael Schnitker