Changes of Heart: Montana Skies Series
Paige Lee Elliston has written many novels and short stories. CHANGES OF HEART reflects her skill as well as her keen understanding of relationships --- relationships not only among friends but also between horse and rider. Woven in and through these relationships is a deep belief and faith in God that binds it all together.
Set on a horse ranch in Coldwater, Montana, the story begins with Maggie and Rich Locke preparing for the birth of their young mare's first colt. It is just before Christmas, and excitement is running higher than usual. As Elliston describes the miracle of birth, on that frigid Montana morning, you can almost smell the barn and hear the sounds of life. Joy runs high as Maggie silently prays: "My cup runneth over, Lord, Thank you for all this."
But before the week is over, tragedy strikes and Maggie's world is shattered. Her greatest fear is realized when Rich's jet goes down while he is testing a new aviation fuel. Her hopes are crushed like the wreckage of his plane, and instead of leaning on her faith and turning to God, she pulls away, separating herself from His comfort. Indirectly she resents God and blames Him for not answering her prayers for Rich's safety.
Though Maggie feels her life is over, the needs of her horses do not come to a stop, so she continues to care for them and receives some solace from her grueling work. Gradually she begins to allow people into her self-imposed isolation: Dan Pulver, friend and veterinarian, was a frequent visitor who had always admired Maggie and now longs to become closer to her; Dr. Sarah Morrison, whose daughter Tessa desperately wants to learn barrel racing despite her handicap; and Ian Lane, the new pastor whose good humor and eagerness to learn about horses is infectious.
Eventually Maggie realizes that God is healing her broken heart through the people who he has placed in her life. And she begins to understand that her new heart is strong enough to hold love again.
CHANGES OF HEART reminds us of the fragility of life and the grace of God that gets us from point A to point B on any given day. Whether you call it a beach book, Chick Lit, light reading or inspirational, CHANGES OF HEART fits the bill.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on May 1, 2005