I love a good historical fiction book, so I was really excited to get to review a debut book by Jarm Del Boccio, Author called "The Heart Changer". Jarm (pronounced Yarm) is a teacher from our very own SchoolhouseTeachers.com! This is the e-book that I reviewed. There is also a hardcopy! The mobi version was super easy to use :)
So what is this book about?
Basically, the book follows a young girl named Miriam as she is taken captive from her own country and taken to Siria to be the slave of a Sirian Captain's wife. The captain turns out to be Namaan from the Bible!
Miriam struggles deeply with her anger and bitterness over being kidnapped and the probable murder of her family. How can she be kind to the man who did this? How can she serve his family while harboring hatred in her heart? How can she be true to the God of her family while serving in a pagan household? All of these questions plague Miriam.
One day, she overhears the master and his wife discussing the fact that Namaan has been diagnosed with leprosy. There is no cure and no hope for him. Isolation, loneliness and death are the certain future for him. What can she do? What should she do? What would you do?
Now, Miriam knows about Elisha from her homeland who has raised a young boy from the dead. Will she tell the mistress about this prophet? Why should she care what happens to someone who would steal her away?
What would you do in this situation? Do you think Christ can change our hearts from bitterness and anger to love and peace in our difficult circumstances?
While I firmly believe Christ can be a Heart Changer for us (and anyone) I also acknowledge that this would be extremely hard to even consider doing. In fact, I can't really even begin to fathom doing this! Its hard enough in my "easy" life to forgive those who commit petty offenses against me.
This book challenged me to question how deeply my love for Christ is rooted in my heart if I am guilty of not speaking love to those who have offended me. Also, if I don't tell others about the saving grace of Jesus then am I guilty of not telling someone about the very cure for their disease of sin?
I thought Jarm did an excellent job of telling this story! It was very interesting and very well-written. I loved her descriptions and the historical accuracy she strove for!
There is also a study guide available. Its on the book page. You will need to scroll down and find a little square with "The Heart Changer" Teacher Guide on it. You click it to download the pdf study guide. The guide was fun and thought provoking. It told you more about Jarm and let you get a deeper insight in Miriam's life. It also had many good questions to consider.
This would make a perfect book for 12-16 year old girls! Honestly, I really enjoyed it also, so I recommend it for multiple age groups. In fact, you can read it to the younger levels!
Check out the other reviews at the link below!