By: Bonnie Leon
Baker Publishing Group| October 1, 2008| Trade Paperbac | ISBN 978-0-8007-3177-9
It is the early 1800s and the wondrous land of Australia is full of possibilities as settlers stake their claims. Hannah and John are settling some land in New South Wales and hoping to a family. But their bright hopes for the future are clouded with trouble. As they try unsuccessfully to have a baby, Hannah suffers from guilt over her past. Now this haunts her and her relationship with John--she's never told her husband about this chapter of her life. Full of the kind of emotional longings romance readers crave, Longings of the Heart is the heart-rending second book in the Sydney Cove series. Established and new Leon fans alike will finish this story wanting more.
Hannah and John are married and decide to build their dream home on some land in New South Wales, Australia. They are hoping for a happy and bright future but Hannah’s conscience begins to bother her as she hasn’t been totally honest with John.
Both Hannah and John desperately want to have children but after a year of marriage they are still barren. Hannah’s conscience kicks into overdrive and she worries constantly about not telling John the truth about her past before they got married. Hannah had been raped and had a baby that was born too early and it died, but Hannah always prayed that the baby would die. Hannah now thinks that God is punishing her and keeping her womb barren because of the prayer to have the baby die.
Soon John is picking up that Hannah just doesn’t seem herself and keeps asking her what is wrong. She finally relents and tells him the story and he is utterly furious and leaves her for 3 days. During the time he is gone something terrible happens that John will feel guilty for when he returns.
To make matters worse, there is a woman at their church who knows about Hannah’s past and she is threatening to tell the Pastor and Elders of their church and then Hannah’s reputation will be ruined and they’ll be run out of town. To keep her quiet they begin supplying this woman with sheep, hogs, cheese, bread, and money.
John then hears of a 10-year-old boy who is an orphan after losing both of his parents. He is currently living with another family but they can’t afford to feed him and are looking for another family to take him on. John decides to surprise Hannah and brings young Tommy home but Hannah doesn’t give him the reaction he expected. She is livid and tells John that Tommy is NOT her child he is someone else’s child. Unfortunately, young Tommy was standing on the porch at the time and heard what Hannah said. This caused a very tumultuous relationship between Tommy and Hannah. Hannah wants John to get rid of the kid and take him to some other family but John refuses to do that.
What is going to happen to this once happy couple who had such big dreams? Will Tommy stay or is he dumped on yet another family due to Hannah’s selfishness? Will Hannah ever have a baby of her own, a baby that she thinks she can love?
At 299 pages, I just buzzed through this novel. It grabbed me right in at the beginning and kept me turning the pages until the end. Longings of the Heart is Book #2 in the Sydney Cove Series. The third and final book is titled: Enduring Love which I’ll be reading next.