The Heart Between Us: Two Sisters, One Heart Transplant, and a Bucket List by Lindsay Harrel - Reviewed

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Title: The Heart Between Us
Author: Lindsay Harrel
Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota hometown and living with her parents, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.
When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.
As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.

About Lindsay Harrel:

Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd with a B.A. in journalism and M.A. in English. She lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. Lindsay has held a variety of jobs, including curriculum editor for two universities, medical and business writer, and copywriter for a digital marketing agency. Now she juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with working freelance jobs, teaching college English courses online, and—of course—writing novels. 
When she actually has time to do other things, she loves to sing, read, and sip passion iced teas from Starbucks. She loves to watch God work in ordinary lives to create something extraordinary, and she writes to bring hope to those who may have lost it along the way. Connect with her at and any other place she hangs out online, including Facebook and Twitter. 

My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a book with heart, look no further. This is my first read of Ms. Harrel's and I was struck by her ability to bring home the reality of someone striving to fight and pursue somewhat of a normal life. 

As someone who has epilepsy, I could identify with Megan and her feelings of being smothered by her mother who just wants to keep her safe, my mom would be happy to put me in a bubble and keep me there. Megan is also frustrated at her twin sister's risk of her own health and taking it for granted because she knows first hand what it's like to not be healthy. These two sisters have a very rocky and tense relationship, and traveling together brings the issues in their relationship up front and personal.

My Bottom Line:

This book has everything you look for in a Christian Contemporary Fiction read. Characters struggling not only with each other, but within themselves, a sweet romance, and my favorite element, travel. In this book you will go from Rome, to Australia, to Greece, Peru, and running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, which had my heart racing.
I definitely recommend this book!

My favorite quote in this book is:

"I'm saying your mother has many fine qualities. She's loyal and loving and generous. But she's afraid of losing you. She always has been. She wrestles with God about that every day. If you're going to be like your mom, then copy her loyalty or her love or her generosity. Not her fear." 

Thank you, Lindsay Harrel for writing that. For the first time since being diagnosed with epilepsy 28 years ago, I finally understand my mom.


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