Thursday, November 5, 2020

A HAVEN FOR HER HEART by Susan Anne Mason, Reviewed by Winnie, Paula and Rebecca

Set in Toronto, Canada around 1940, A Haven for Her Heart is a poignant, heart-wrenching story of redemption, forgiveness, and healing. Based on actual happenings, this story is a little grittier than Susan Anne Mason’s other books, but she writes sensitively about the horrors that happened to some young women who were incarcerated at a reformatory for women.

Upon her release from the reformatory, Olivia Rosetti is trying to restart her life, but no one will hire her. Destitute and ill, she is befriended by Ruth Bennington who gives her a place to stay. Together they plan to open a maternity home for women who have nowhere to go. I admired Olivia’s pluck and compassion for those down on their luck.
Darius Reed is a wonderful, caring hero. A Greek widower, he wants to raise his young daughter as a Canadian and combat prejudice. With his integrity conflicting with his employer, he has some big decisions to make.
With these two engaging, emotionally-layered main characters, and a wonderful cast of colorful secondary characters, Mason has created a captivating and gripping story that kept me turning pages. Faith elements are seamlessly incorporated into the storyline and add depth and dimension to the tale. This is the first book in Mason’s Redemption’s Light series, and I’m anxiously waiting for the rest of the series.
*4.5 stars. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author and publisher. All opinions are my own.

From the lovely cover, aptly depicting Olivia Rosetti, to the profound spiritual truth in the story, Ms. Mason crafts a bittersweet story.
Disowned by her family, Olivia is in a church when Ruth Bennington takes pity on her and gives her sanctuary. Together they work to open a maternity home for unfortunate women. There is opposition to overcome and a hungry property developer to thwart. But God works in His own way and His own time. It does not hurt Olivia to have a brother who is a priest. 
Pastor Sal addresses the town council: 
* Two of the most powerful mandates Jesus gave us are -Judge not, that ye be not judged- and- Do unto others as you would have them do to you.- These are not mere platitudes. These are the cornerstones of our faith, the very foundations of what we are called to do as Christians.
* Nor does it hurt to have handsome widower, Darius Reed concerned with her welfare, although Darius has some soul-searching of his own to do.
This is a very fine start to the new series Redemption’s Light. I look forward to reading the next book.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* I give this book 4 stars. It has a strong faith thread. 
"God wouldn't want you to remain a prisoner of your shame, Olivia. Be brave enough to claim the happiness He has in store for you."
Olivia Rosetti has remained a prisoner to her own guilt and remorse long after her release from a women's reformatory; a result of her father's cruel decision to have her arrested under a seldom used Females Refuge Act indicting unwed mothers. Being deserted by her family and having lost her newborn son to the authorities, Olivia is providentially introduced to another woman, much older, whose love for life has grown dim and without purpose. Together Olivia and Ruth Bennington form an unlikely alliance, transforming Ruth's residence into a maternity home for troubled women.
Working for a high profile real estate developer, Darius Reed is tasked with unearthing some reason for the city of Toronto to close down 
Bennington Place, the property is strategically located and there are already neighbors are callous to its mission. But when Darius meets the enigmatic Olivia Rosette, he has a hard time keeping his mind focused on business. What is a lovely woman like Olivia doing in a home for women of questionable repute? And why is even thinking about it? He is a man engaged to another.
On the surface, "A Haven for Her Heart" is a really good story; on a much deeper level it's an outstanding well of inspirational truth. The history is appalling, the characters are broken and flawed, the scenario could quite possibly happen and does happen in many forms today making it quite authentic; and challenging for the hearts and minds of its readers to comprehend. What does forgiveness really look like?
"Two of the most important mandates Jesus gives us are 'Judge not, that ye be not judged', and 'Do unto others as you would have them do to you'. These are not mere platitudes. They are the cornerstone of our faith." *I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
BackCover Blurb:
Homeless after being released from a women's reformatory in 1939
Toronto, Olivia Rosetti is taken in by an angel of mercy, Ruth Bennington. The two discover they share a painful past and together decide to open a maternity home for troubled women.

Despite the success of the home, Olivia is haunted by her inhumane treatment at the reformatory and the way her newborn son was taken from her. She feels undeserving of love--until she meets businessman Darius Reed. Although his attention makes her heart soar, he can never learn of her past.

Greek widower Darius Reed is determined to protect his daughter from the prejudice that killed her mother. He'll ensure her future by marrying a woman from a respected Toronto family. But when Darius meets Olivia, he's immediately drawn to her beauty and compassion.  

Can love prove stronger than prejudice and past mistakes? Or will Olivia's secrets destroy any chance at a future together?
Bethany House, October 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:


  1. Thank you, ladies for these insightful reviews!! ❤️❤️

  2. I'm reading it now. It's a powerful book.


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