8/26/10

IF WITH ALL YOUR HEART

by Winifred Turner Sarre

Helen, an attractive young widow, finds the emptiness of widowhood so depressing that she takes a leave of absence from the exclusive girls' school in Adelaide, South Australia, where she teaches; and she flies to Tahiti for a vacation.

Here, after forming a close friendship with a missionary family, she encounters a new way of life that temporarily lifts her from the state of depression that has plagued her. After returning to Adelaide, however, she becomes thoroughly immersed in the social whirl and a risque romance that push the island ideal from her thinking.

Later, in moments of serious self-appraisal, she rebels against her involvement in the affair and resumes her search for a meaningful life. The conflict between the quick release from loneliness and the long, uncertain pursuit of purpose makes a dramatic story. While Helen's pattern of living prior to conversion is obviously contrary to Christian standards, it represents the life situation of many people. The author's delicate handling of this phase of the novel should keep it from being distasteful to even the most sensitive reader.

If with All Your Heart marks a first in Herald House books. Australian terminology and spellings have been retained rather than Americanized—as is the general rule of the house in editing. While this may prove slightly confusing to non-Aussies, it lends both color and authenticity to the story. In theme and in presentation, this is an exceptionally interesting book—one that should be appreciatively received by many readers.