One of the first things capturing my attention in A Home for My Heart, by Anne Mateer, was the intriguing setting— a turn of the century orphanage. Raystown Home for Orphan and Friendless children is a refuge not only for those whose parents are gone, but for those whose parents are unable to care for them.
The main character, Sadie Sillsby, came to the home as a youngster and now works as the assistant to the matron. She’s in love with her beau, Blaine, who once resided at the home, and dreams of marrying him one day. But when the matron announces her engagement, Sadie is next in line for the job. The position is a dream come true for this young woman who hopes to make the world a better place for children in circumstances much like hers once were.
But Sadie faces a dilemma—matrons cannot be married. If she accepts the position, can she give up her desire to become Blaine’s wife and raise his children? Can she meet the demands managing the home will require? Keeping books, raising funds, and staying within the law will all weigh heavily on her limited skill set. When it is discovered the home is spending more than it takes in, can Sadie prevent the house’s closing?
Published by Bethany House, the book will raise the reader’s awareness of how indigent children were cared for in the early 1900’s. As someone who has researched foster care in our century, I found many of those early guidelines refreshing—the nurture of the child’s emotional state as important as meeting physical needs. Sadie is motivated by what she experienced in her past and the children in her care are better off for it.
This book would make a wonderful Christmas present for someone who likes romance, turn of the century lifestyles, and a story with many twists and turns. Available from Amazon, Christian Book Distributors and wherever good books are sold.