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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Not in the Heart...Review

About the book:
Not in the Heart explores the life of Truman Wiley. Wiley once reported news stories from around the world, but now the only troubling headlines are his own. He’s out of work, separated from his family and buried in debt. His gambling addiction is out of control, but, above all else, his son needs a heart. When his estranged wife presents the opportunity to write the story of a death row inmate willing to donate his heart to Truman’s son, he takes the bait. And as the execution clock ticks, he will uncover disturbing evidence that may point to a different killer. For his son to live, will an innocent man die? As the investigation escalates, Truman will be forced to face his failures and make a choice that will change his life, his family and the destinies of two men forever.

Not in the Heart is a story of redemption—the story of two men’s lives who bear the consequences of their addictions and receive a second chance. Unfortunately, addiction has become commonplace in our culture, with the effects not only impacting the individuals but also those around them. This story will encourage anyone who has a loved one battling addiction.

Wow.  Simply, wow.  I have loved everything I've read by Chris Fabry.  Seriously.  But, Not in the Heart has to be the best.  Truman is a fantastic, real, flawed character.  He loves his family, but struggles with his demons and his addiction to gambling has led him away from those he loves.  His family loves him, but doesn't know how to help him.  As his life spirals away, he is given one last chance at redemption:  the chance to write the story of the man on death row. A man destined to die.  A man who wishes to donate his heart to Truman's son.  As Truman returns and tries to reconnect with his family, he discovers that his wife is exhausted from caring for their son and dealing with it all on her own.  He learns that his daughter is bright and an able assistant in his writing.  And he learns that his son is patient and long-suffering and simply wants to know his dad.

As Truman and his daughter begin writing Terrelle Conley's story, they uncover evidence that may prove Terrelle's innocence.  Evidence that also puts their lives in danger.  As Terrelle's execution date draws near, Truman's investigation also begins to show him that God indeed has a plan and knows who he is.

This isn't necessarily an easy story to read, but it is a story that has the power to touch the reader on so many levels.  Perhaps you know someone who struggles or who has struggled with addiction.  Perhaps you know someone who has needed or received an organ transplant.  Our personal experiences color our perspectives and how we interpret what we read.  I think we all know a Truman.

I, on the other hand, know what it's like to have a son with a heart condition.  I know what it's like to wonder if my son will live or die.  Fortunately, his congenital heart defect was correctable with surgery that was performed when he was 6 days old.  His future is bright and we don't anticipate any further problems.  However, because of that, my husband and I and most members of our extended family are organ donors.  And, before we knew whether our son would live or die, we determined that, if it were possible, we would donate any of his other healthy organs that we could, if we knew he wouldn't live.  That another child could have lived, because of our son, was very important to us.  It still is.  That another life could be saved from our own organ donation upon our own deaths, is very important to us.

I would hope that if you have not considered organ donation before, that you do so now.  Life is too precious.

Thanks to Audra Jennings of The B&B Media Group for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Chris Fabry here.  You can learn more about National Organ Donor Day on February 14th and becoming an organ donor here. You can learn about Problem Gambling Awareness Week which is March 4-10, 2012 here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 2/12

* * * * *
5/5 Stars


  1. After reading your wonderful review, how could anyone not want to read this book?! I am definitely picking this one up. With your personal connection to this subject, I can only imagine the emotions this book touched on for you. Fantastic review, Holly! By the way, I am an organ donor :)

  2. Great review. I am a staunch supporter of organ donation as well.

  3. This does sound like a really emotional and heartfelt read, and I am glad that it struck such a chord in you. I think it would be a great book for me too, and I appreciate your detailed and personally uplifting review. Thanks!

  4. I've got to finish this--started it and got behind on review books. I was enjoying it, as I usually enjoy his books