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Playing by Heart ~ Review

Playing by Heart
By Anne Mateer

Lula Bowman is determined to leave her past reputation behind but Dunn, Oklahoma, and her older siblings won't let her forget that she was Fruity Lu.  Add to that most people don't think she can teach mathematics though she has excelled in mathematics.  When a tragedy strikes, bringing her back home Lula is faced with a dilemma - if she helps her sister she will have to give up her dream of a PhD in mathematics.  A dream her father has taken great pride in, a dream that has taken precedent in her life.

But helping her sister means taking a position at the Dunn High School - a position as music teacher and girl's basketball coach.  But Lula had given up musical pursuits after her mother died.  And basketball?  She hasn't a clue how to play it much teach it!  What's a girl to do if she wants to erase her past reputation as a flibbertigibbet?

But being a female teacher comes with a lot of strings attached.  No keeping company with men, home between the hours of 8 pm and 6 am, dress and conduct code.  But Lula sees no problems with fulfilling these rules of conduct, but she hasn't had to deal Chet Vaughn yet.

Chet Vaughn has managed to avoid all the matrimonial-minded teachers so far and he's determined to avoid the new music teacher if she is of a similar mind.  But when she reaches out for his help with coaching and not romance Chet is pleasantly surprised with this serious and intellectually-minded teacher.

But Lula and Chet are about to discover that they can't fulfill another's dreams nor make up for another's lacks.  They have to discover for themselves who they are and what God has planned for them - what His dream for them is.

Playing by Heart is an enlightening journey to the last century.  It is a time of war and change is slowly coming, but not without its struggles.  Education is considered a luxury and even an unnecessary one by some.  And women are not a good choice for employment as marriage is their goal in life.

Fans of historical fiction won't be disappointed in this book and will be delighted and charmed.

I was provided with a copy of this book through Bethany House's Blogger program in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:
Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn't even consider those real subjects!

Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel's family, the girls' basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she's given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she'd expected.