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Hearts Set Free: An Epic Tale of Love, Faith, and the Glory of God's…

by Jess Lederman

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I have to say I had a hard time getting into this book. There were many so many storylines to keep up with easily. I also believe this book would have been more enjoyable to enjoy if it was broken into smaller parts focusing on one storyline during one time period. The fact that not all the stories are about characters that do not all relate to each other.

I have to say the author did an excellent job of utilizing Scriptures and Bible stories in this book. Having a desire to travel to Alaska, I enjoyed the descriptions of Alaska.

So I recommend you check out this book for yourself. ( )
  PattiPeanut1992 | Mar 2, 2020 |
What I think you should know:
Hearts Set Free is a Christian Fiction book by Jess Lederman. It is a time slip novel with three timelines, the 1920’s, 1930’s and 2011. It contains fictional stories about real historical figures.

What you might need to know:
Lederman tackles tough subjects including addictions, violence and marital affairs. Spiritually Lederman tackles the subject of demons in a roundabout way.

What I thought about this book:
Hearts Set Free is complex, heart wrenching and beautiful. When the story began I saw no connections between the stories and struggled to get into part of the book. However Lederman wove each story perfectly so that when they intersect they will leave you hanging on every page to see what happens next. My favorite character was easily Luke, his strength, determination and compassion is something that captured my imagination. The descriptions of early Las Vegas and the building of the Hoover Dam were very intriguing, I enjoyed those part of the story more than the modern day story. Although I do not like everything that happened in the book I enjoyed the overall story and understand that not everything ends happily ever after . I recommend this book when you are not looking for a light read, but are looking for substance and a story that will stick with you long after you finish it. A lovely story of God’s Grace and Forgiveness.

I received a complimentary copy for this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own. ( )
  DonnaC83 | Feb 28, 2020 |
What right did he have to expect the Lord to answer his questions? What cross had he ever lifted up to follow Him? Despair and self-loathing engulfed David Gold.

These thoughts of David Gold certainly aren't unusual and this is the story of both David and several other people who have experienced doubts but eventually find their way to God and love. In Hearts Set Free author Jess Lederman shares a tale that follows different seekers on their journey to faith and acceptance. He mentions several familiar names, including Jack Johnson, Bugsy Siegal, Amelia Earhart, and Albert Einstein, and he also has characters patterned after him and his late wife.

I have mixed emotions about Hearts Set Free. Some of the language isn't typical for Christian fiction but I realize that Lederman is showing a realistic depiction of non-believers. I sometimes felt lost because the storyline often jumps between the early twentieth and twenty-first centuries. I did, however, appreciate that Bible scripture is featured throughout the book and that forgiveness and redemption are the central themes. One of the characters is an atheist and it is very moving to see him accepting the reality of a loving Heavenly Father.

Lederman offers readers an intriguing story and I'm sure that many will enjoy Hearts Set Free.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. There was no obligation to write a positive review. These are my own thoughts. ( )
  fcplcataloger | Feb 23, 2020 |
I had an extremely hard time trying to get into this book. Besides the language that at times was crass, the story flip flopped so much I became lost. I somewhat got the idea that it started in Alaska. Now I did like the author’s description of Alaska. The mother and son traveling to find someone important to them was interesting. The violence that took place in front of them was a bit too graphic for my taste. The theme seemed to be questioning if God existed.

There is an ongoing discord between scientists and the proof that God does exist. The mere thought that scientists are out to prove that God doesn’t exist did get my attention. They call the Bible fantasy and that set me up to really open my eyes to what the book was trying to convey. Okay I was a little more interested than at the beginning. I needed to see where the author was heading with this story.

Forgiveness is very much represented in this story. The people who experience this will be forever changed and humbled. It was so hard to read how far people went against God, but by His mercy they found freedom. It was a little unsettling to read about Amelia Earhart and her uncaring way about marriage. Oh my there are so many characters in this book that need to know Jesus. I couldn’t wait to see how the author would tie all these people’s stories together.

The author does one thing very well in the book. The scriptures and bible stories are strong throughout the book and helps characters start to understand that God is real and He can free you from sin. Each character had to decide for themselves what they would believe and it was interesting where the journey took readers. The author does unravel the truth step by step and allows readers to join in as hearts are changed and forgiveness is experienced. Overall I liked parts of the book, but I didn’t like the jumping back and forth between time periods because it was confusing. The author could have left out some poor choice of words that I was surprised to see in a Christian fiction book. I think my biggest problem was how long it took to get some points across without it being so tiring at times. I do appreciate the very simple truth that God is real and we are changed when we accept Him into our hearts.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. ( )
  Harley0326 | Feb 23, 2020 |
With a book such as this, there is so much contained within the pages that it is difficult to know where to begin. Jess Lederman truly pens an epic novel with “Hearts Set Free”, one that explores and plumbs the depths of the human condition through a variety of characters ranging from 1914 to 2011. The first segment of the novel is, I think, the most challenging. I struggled with the abundance of characters and time periods, and as someone who is terrible with names, it took me a long time to adjust and begin to follow each character’s thread. It is interesting to see how they interconnect over the years. Even this novel’s layout seems indicative of its message; there are four segments, which mirror man’s fall through the new heaven and new earth, Genesis to Revelation. Other topics also find ground here, including scientific discoveries and current events. I loved the surprise appearance by Amelia Earhart! In many ways, you could say that this novel is Luke’s story, as he is 99 years old and still holding onto the memories that have shaped his life and, more importantly, his faith.

“Hearts Set Free” is partly allegorical, drawing upon the characters’ own memories as well as the Bible. There are multiple scenes throughout the novel that clearly reflect Biblical events, such as Jacob wrestling with God, which brings up another point. I do take issue with the profanity used in the text; while I understand that people do talk that way, I do not expect to see it in Christian literature. An overarching theme throughout the narrative is the importance of planting seeds of faith; only the Lord can save, but as Christians we should be generously planting the seeds of hope and faith. It is these life-affirming words and actions that cause some of the characters to question and to take the first steps forward toward salvation. One of the passages that tugged at my heart the most, and which sums up the novel and reinforces God’s love for us, was the initial conversation between Sister Anna and Yura: “‘You did this for your God?’” my mother asked her. “‘No, Yura, God did this for me.’”

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own. ( )
  Stardust_Fiddle | Feb 21, 2020 |
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