Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An Open Heart - by Harry Kraus, M.D.

Jace Rawlings has made a good life for himself in the United States as a cardiac surgeon, far away from his childhood as an MK - missionary kid - in Africa, and far from the God of his childhood.  And yet, due to extreme circumstances where Jace almost dies and believes his dead sister calls him to return to the place from their past, he doesn't hesitate.  Believing he's been sent by his sister, and perhaps by God Himself, Jace willingly returns to Africa to start a heart surgery program.  However, no matter how called he feels, the road isn't easy, and there seems to be much more at work than just the complicated politics of Kenya.  Can Jace let go of his past, find healing, and find the God who has chosen him?

This book was fast-paced, and a compelling read.  Jace struggles with deep loss and disappointment from his past, and has to decide whether he can trust the God he feels has forsaken him.  As the twin brother of a girl who loved God with her whole heart, Jace identifies with Esau and the Bible verse that says "Jacob have I loved. Esau have I hated."  That's a powerful image for him to get over, and his struggle to feel accepted by God is honest and heartwrenching.  His childhood as a missionary kid in a boarding school for missionary kids has turned him off to "Christianese," and that also feels very real in a world where people don't want to just hear big words that don't mean anything to them.   Additionally, Jace faces a spiritual battle that is very real to the world of Kenya, and the book even discusses how missionaries don't really talk about such things in the States, because nobody would believe it here.

Overall, I give this book 3.5 stars.  I liked it, it kept my interest, but I didn't love it.
I do enjoy the author's writing, and like how, for the most part, his inclusion of medical information enhances the story without confusing the reader.

You can find An Open Heart HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

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