“Heart of the Country” by Rene Gutteridge

heartofthecountry1After sixty-two days, Luke Carraway knew Faith Barnett was his soul mate. Since the Carraway family is beyond wealthy, they believe Faith is with Luke for his money. Luke and Faith leave their families out and elope. Then Luke decides to leave the family company to be independent and make a name for himself with competitors, the Michov Brothers.

Faith starts to overhear conversations about the Michov Brothers being a part of a Ponzi scheme. “[A] Ponzi scheme is when a fund…takes the money from new investors and uses it to pay off existing investors’ returns on investments. It gives the illusion of profit when there isn’t any.” Luke promises Faith that he is not involved in anything illegal. But her faith in Luke is shattered when the SEC arrests him “for conspiracy to commit federal securities fraud.”

When Luke refuses to answer any of Faith’s questions, she packs up her belongings and goes to the only place she can – Columbus County, North Carolina – her family’s home. This is difficult for her. The reason why Faith left is because the community wanted her to pick up on the life her mother left behind when she died. But Faith has never really dealt with her mother’s death. She left the rest of her family to deal with losing her as well. Now, ten years later, there are mixed emotions about Faith’s return.

Back in New York, Luke’s scandal has caused everyone to turn away from him. Faith was just the first. Luke is alone and facing prison time, wondering the ways he could kill himself while inside. There is only one direction for Luke to turn and it goes against everything he was trying to do by himself. Plus, he has not heard from Faith and needs to decide whether to fight for her or let her go for betraying their vows. Unexpected news puts a new twist on everything and everyone.



It has been so long since I have read a book with so much realistic content, situations and emotions. The character conflict is amazing.

The author uses real life circumstances and writes how real people would act in that situation. Independence, pride, ethics, vows, family and death are just a few of the struggles the characters of this book have to deal with.

Family dynamics play an extremely large role in this story. I found myself comparing my family to those of the two main characters, Luke and Faith. I will say that some actions the family members took surprised me.

I struggled with this book in the sense that I felt connected to the story at my very core. While the 400+ pages seem daunting, it is well worth it. It is a quick read because you will not want to put it down. And I did not. Very emotional. Have a tissue handy.

For more books, go to http://www.booksbysteph.com

Until next time, live life one page at a time!



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