Bridges of the Heart by Joan Sowards

Bridges_FrontBridges of the Heart by Joan Sowards provides the reader an intriguing contemporary romance as well as unique perspective of early the 19th century South. It is the perfect time travel novel for family history buffs.

Twenty-one-year-old Rachel Lisenby finds life hard to cope with after her mother passes away from cancer. To add to Rachel’s confusion, her boyfriend Maxson proposes marriage on the evening of the funeral. She escapes to Utah to think and take time off from the relationship. Over the phone, she tells Maxson she is not ready for marriage, and suggests he start dating other girls.

After returning to Arizona, Rachel finds Maxson in a relationship with Paige—her rival throughout high school. With time, Rachel convinces herself she is over him, but a strange Southern visitor named Jonathan tells her that she is meant to marry Maxson. Jonathan insists it is her responsibility to apologize to Maxson and set things straight, since she broke up with him. But Rachel refuses. Because of her stubbornness, she is whirled back in time to 1820 to learn that family ties reach into the past, as well as the future.

Quote from Joan Sowards published in Acknowledgments found in the front of the Bridges of the Heart:

“This story would not have happened without Lucretia. I found her Revolutionary War widow pension application, and hoping she was the mother of my ancestor Jonathan, I felt prompted to sit down and write what she would say in an interview. To my surprise, she scorned me and harbored hard feelings about her son’s death. From there sprung the story of Bridges of the Heart. Though it is my fourth published novel, it was the first written, and through it I discovered my love for writing. Bridges is dear to my heart. It is a story about the past and future, intertwining two families that are one in eternity—my family. . . As is the custom with historical novels, I took a great deal of literary license and invented most of the incidents and all of the dialogue. ”

Multi-talented Joan Sowards also composes music. Look Away is sung in chapter 25, pg 176. Though not sung by Coker, it symbolizes how he looks forward to leaving South Carolina and making a new life in Alabama. Sung by Ryan Stock.

My fathers before me worked this land.
By sweat and toil, they made this place grand.
But alas, I know I’ve a roving heart,
It’s time for me and my homeland to part.

Look away, look away to a life that is new,
My season has come, to mine own heart be true.
Look away, look away, I fly like the dove
Leaving my home and the people I love.

Verse two:
The grass is greener o’er yon hill.
Beyond the horizon, my dreams to fulfill.
I will leave my doubts and fears behind.
A bright land of promise I know I’ll find.

Repeat chorus

More about Joan Sowards can be found on her blog:

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  1. Joan Sowards says:

    Thank you for reviewing Bridges of the Heart!

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