Refuge of the Heart by Ruth Logan Herne

Book Review

This is a wonderful story of courage, survival, the undefeated human spirit, terror, relationships, faith in God and redeeming love.  I loved this story and couldn’t read it fast refuge of the heartenough. Author Ruth Logan Herne did a wonderful job of instilling emotion into this story; I could feel Lena’s emotions; the cultural differences, the language, having to start her education over here, I thank God I live in America.  Lena, the main character of this story has suffered as no human being should have to suffer, and came to America with the help of the Catholic Church for a new life. Grozny, Chechnya was a battleground of fighting and evil men with evil intentions.

Lena and her 5-year-old sister, Anna, live in an apartment skirting a crime-ridden neighbor but a good school for Anna.  Mitchell Sanderson is the county DA up for re-election.  God has plans in store for Mitch, Lena, and Anna; God orchestras a meeting between them.  Lena and Anna are very solid in their faith in God and Church; Mitch not so much, he lost his wife and unborn son to a drunk driver which made a huge impact on his life and religious convictions.  Mitch, Lena, and Anna meet on a cold snowy day over a flat tire.  Mitch is a good man who could not leave Lena and Anna to fend for themselves.  He takes them carefully under his wing, seeing the conditions they live in and how little money is available for their upkeep.  Lena has so little money that putting $7.00 gas in her car is a cause for celebration.  Lena was in doctor training in Chechnya, but her degrees mean nothing here, she is studying to be a nurse and working part-time in a nursing home.  Lena is compassionate and understanding, with her geriatric patients.  I could feel Lena’s terror of the police and any law enforcement as in Chechnya they are the terror at the door in the middle of night, family members disappear, and they are never seen again.   I felt such compassion for her and the horror she had faced.

But Lena also has secrets, and Mitch can feel something is off. The groundwork of Lena’s past was well executed and played an intricate part in the book. Mitch and Lena come to care for each other, but the secrets from Lena’s prior life will be revealed. Can Mitch accept what happened and go forward in Gods Grace and love? You will have to read this lovely story to find out. I loved watching Mitch and Lena find their way to what God had planned for them and realize the love they felt through all the adversity of life, and I loved watching Lena find her courage that had served her so well. The author’s pacing of the story, the character development, relationship development, and the plotting was excellent.

I would highly recommend this book, it is full of emotions that are so pungent that I cried at times and felt wonderful at others. A great Christian love story.

Books reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion;  book reviews on line under my name are my opinion.

I received this book from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an honest book review.


Link To Author’s Website



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