Typically, I read a book in one sitting (thank you, Mrs. Mico-Smith, for teaching the first grade “early birds” to speed read!), even if it isn’t of great interest to me. Unfortunately, Where Hearts are Free by Golden Keyes Parsons took me just over three weeks to finish. I got through about half of the book in my first sitting; after that, I don’t entirely know what it was, but I just couldn’t bear to make myself sit down and read it. I would start, then have to stop after about five minutes when I got to the end of a chapter and couldn’t push myself to go on to the next one. I found myself frustrated with the characters and their ridiculous actions, with the inevitable plot twists that I seemed to figure out pages ahead of their occurrences, with the horrid suitor who was all bad.

Bridget Barrington, the protagonist, only becomes somewhat likeable at the end of the narrative; until then, she is portrayed as either selfish, strong willed, or weak. Unfortunately, her character wavers between the three, never fully settling on one personality. Contrary to the author’s supposed intentions, this seems to make her an unrealistic, weak character. Also, there were a few storylines that were abandoned midway.

While I would say that Where Hearts Are Free was entertaining, I thought it had great potential that it did not live up to. Thank you, though, to Thomas Nelson who provided this review copy to me free of charge. My opinions are my own.