Hidden Under Her Heart by Rachelle Ayala takes the reader up and down the emotional scales in the lives of Maryanne and Lucas. From their first meeting, the ride begins when Lucas plays a ridiculously immature prank on Maryanne who’s on duty in her job as a nurse. Maryanne is equally immature in her vow to remain celibate until she finds the right man, but then when she and Lucas go on their first date, she teases, flirts, and makes it seem as if she’d like more. As the story moves forward, the reader learns that all she wants is to be loved. She also needs to find peace with her past. When confronted with a life-altering decision, she finally starts to grow into her skin.
As the book proceeds, choices made by both Lucas and Maryanne force them to grow up and face their demons as well as the reality of grown-up lives faced with grown-up decisions. Their past catches up to both of them. It’s often said that it’s not what we have to deal with, but how we deal with the what is presented to us either based on our own decisions or the decision forced on us by others.
I admit I wasn’t sure I’d like this book because of its pro-life bent, but I decided to give it a chance because I’d read and enjoyed Michal’s Window by Ms. Ayala, which is the story of King David and his first wife, Michal. The Biblical story was intriguing as well as sensual. The premise for Hidden Under her Heart also sounded interesting. As a pro-choice woman, I found the book an interesting study of the choices we make when life hands us rotten eggs.
The author does not shout her beliefs, which allowed me to continue the story. She merely shows through her characters that when it comes to pregnancy, adoption, abortion, and parenthood, consequences ensue, which means the choices require extreme consideration and soul searching.
Subtle religious overtones emerge throughout the book; yet again, there was no shouting. I’m a spiritualist, open to many religions, even though I was raised Christian. The religious aspects of this book only confirmed my own belief that faith in God helps us through the worst of times.
I give Hidden Under Her Heart five stars for its honesty. I also give Ms. Ayala five stars for her bravery in writing a story on a controversial subject in such a thoughtful and considerate way. Our discourse on divisive topics should always remain as civil as it does in this novel. I may believe differently than Ms. Ayala, but with her prose, she made me pause and think. If only we could all get back to this type of discourse in this country, we’d be able to solve a bundle of problems facing us today. Thank you, Ms Ayala, for helping confirm my own beliefs on not shouting our opinions through writing.
What other books have you read that put forth opinions without shouting?