Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota hometown and living with her parents, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.
When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.
As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.
The Heart Between Us was an endearing tale of twin sisters Crystal and Megan, one healthy and one not. Megan was diagnosed with a heart disease when only eight years old. She spent a good portion of her life very sick until she was able to receive a heart transplant. The twins now 32 years old, have drifted away from each other. Crystal is married and a busy, very busy architect in New York City. Megan still lives at home with her parents working at the library part time. Those things are what define them from the outside. From the inside, though, both of these women have a lot going on. I really liked how the author showed that sickness in family effects everyone, not just the seriously ill.
There is another person who is a piece of this puzzle, and that is a teenager by the name of Amanda who is Megan’s heart donor. We meet and get to know Amanda through her journal where she recorded her bucket list. Both sisters have been living with fear their whole lives. Megan decides to push through hers to fulfill Amanda’s dreams of traveling the world. Crystal who is under great stress from work and her marriage decides to take her husband’s advice and go with Megan. And what an adventure it was to vicariously see the world its magnificence and its dangers through the eyes of the sisters and their experiences.
I really enjoyed the travel part. The romance for both sisters is subtle but when it shows up it shows up in simplest forms and makes a great impact. I liked that through the story we got to know about Amanda and her struggles and dreams. How after a traumatized childhood she wanted to live again. How Amanda inspired Megan to follow her dreams as a writer and to grab life and live it to its fullest. Crystal, sometimes I just wanted to shake her and tell her to stop and slow down to see what she was missing. But I realized she had built walls as well to protect her heart.
This was quite an unexpected story by a new to me and very talented author. I look forward to more from her writing pen.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
About the Author:
Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd with a B.A. in journalism and M.A. in English. She lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. Lindsay has held a variety of jobs, including curriculum editor for two universities, medical and business writer, and copywriter for a digital marketing agency. Now she juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with working freelance jobs, teaching college English courses online, and—of course—writing novels.
When she actually has time to do other things, she loves to sing, read, and sip passion iced teas from Starbucks. She loves to watch God work in ordinary lives to create something extraordinary, and she writes to bring hope to those who may have lost it along the way. Connect with her at www.LindsayHarrel.com and any other place she hangs out online, including Facebook and Twitter.