Monday, March 22, 2010

Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis - REVIEWED

“Forgiveness is the foundation of my belief.” (p. 275)

I believe if we truly understood all that we have been forgiven, we’d all live our lives very differently. I know I am guilty of judging others by their circumstances and then mentally patting myself on the back that I’m not as bad as they are. Truth is, we’re all sinners, worthy of God’s most severe punishment, and if we’ve found grace in His eyes and been forgiven, then we should NEVER be quick to pass judgement on anyone else. No matter who we are, where we’ve been or where we think we’ve arrived, we’re all sinners saved by grace, and we are commanded by Christ to offer this same grace to others.

Jill Marie Landis’ novel, Heart of Stone, paints a vivid portrait of grace amid the lives of Laura Foster and Brand McCormick. Both of these very realistic characters have pasts that lie in the shadows of their present circumstances like a lion ready to pounce. Laura runs the local boardinghouse, and Brand is the widowed father of two rapscallion children trying to shepherd the flock of the local church. When he begins to court Laura, the town begins to anticipate that Brand’s children won’t remain without a mother for long. No one anticipates that the past is going to come barreling into their present life and cast very dark and uncertain shadows into their future.

Heart of Stone is my introduction to Jill Landis’ work, and I can honestly say I will now eagerly seek her name along the spine of a novel. The story of Laura and Brand is very similar to many of the stories I’ve encountered as a volunteer at the local women’s rehab center, and the truth of their forgiveness is as life changing as the story portrays. I’ll never forget the moment I realized that my sins were no different that those women I was trying to minister to. I wept before God and begged Him to forgive my harsh and unfair judgement of others. When God forgives someone, He changes their heart. No wonder it was so easy for Brand to fall in love with Laura! He lived in the freedom of forgiveness.

Heart of Stone is a love story set in the past. Yet the truth within the story is as modern as the latest tune downloaded on your ipod. The truth of God’s grace is, indeed, the Old Old Story that will never grow too old to share, and Landis has done a marvelous job of capturing its essence again within this novel. This book is the beginning of the Irish Angel Series, so I will now eagerly await the next story, Heart of Lies!


Jill Marie Landis is the bestselling author of over twenty novels. She has won numerous awards for her sweeping emotional romances, such as Summer Moon and Magnolia Creek. With her toes in the sand and head in the clouds, Jill now lives in Hawaii with her husband, Steve. Visit Jill Marie at


Mocha with Linda said...

Great review. I enjoyed this book.

Anonymous said...