I’ve been slacking on my quest to read 52 books this year, but I got back in the saddle with Not in the Heart by Chris Fabry. When I saw the opportunity to review this book in my inbox, I was intrigued by the subject matter.
Not in the Heart is a story about Truman, a washed up, gambling addicted, former star journalist. Out of work and pursued by loan sharks, Truman is offered the opportunity to write the story of a death row inmate – a death row inmate who wants to donate his heart to Truman’s dying son.
It’s an ethical dilemma for sure. As Truman researches and writes the story, he must wrestle with his feelings about his dying son, his estranged wife, his distant daughter, and his relationship (or lack of relationship) with God.
I had a difficult time reading this book. The character of Truman Wiley was extremely hard to like. His fears and addictions caused me to be thoroughly frustrated with him…so much so that it was hard to continue reading. But continue I did, and I’m glad for it.
As the story unfolded, a mystery opened up. Was the death row inmate, Terrelle Conley, actually guilty of the murder of which he was convicted? Truman and his daughter work together to find out, realizing that if Conley is innocent, Truman’s son will likely die without Conley’s heart.
The mystery kept me reading, and the last few chapters of the book really got intense, which I love in a good mystery. I did not at all expect the ending, which was another bonus.
In my own life, I have dealt with “Truman-type” people, and it is frustrating. Perhaps that’s why the character of Truman bothered me so much. As in real life, Truman was so slow to change. I just wanted to yell at him and tell him to get his life together.
Even though Truman in the story didn’t completely get it together the way I would like to have seen, Not in the Heart reminded me that God can work on even the most hopeless of people. Nobody is beyond redemption, even if it seems so at times.
Not in the Heart is a good reminder to continue praying for difficult people, even though it seems they will never change. You never know what God is doing in their hearts, even if their outside behavior doesn’t show it.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of Not in the Heart in exchange for my honest review.