cover image Heart Land

Heart Land

Kimberly Stuart. Howard, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-5011-8056-9

Stuart (the Heidi Elliot series) tells a heartwarming, faith-based tale of a driven woman struggling to straddle small-town life with big city aspirations. Aspiring designer Grace Kleren has dreams of working her way up in the New York City fashion industry, but a disastrous interview with a powerful designer leaves her future in limbo. Ready to regroup and develop a plan after half a decade in the city, Grace decides to return home to Silver Creek, Iowa, and into the loving arms of her grandmother, Gigi. As she works at Gigi’s flea market stall selling retro dresses, Grace becomes inspired and uses her design knowledge to update the looks of the dresses. When her dresses start selling both at the flea market and online, Grace believes she’s found a way back to New York. As Grace grows her side business into a full-fledged company, she enlists local sewing circles to help and becomes reacquainted with her high school sweetheart, Tucker Van Es. But when a former boss offers Grace a dream job back in New York, Grace is torn about her future. Stuart’s inclusion of God and the Bible are minimal but effectively illustrate how important God is in the lives of both Gigi and Tucker—something Grace missed when she was in New York. Although Grace frets about her relationship to Tucker, romance is never the focus of the story. Stuart’s wholesome, fun tale wonderfully conveys Grace’s journey toward realizing her dreams. (July)