The Circle of Friends Book V: Heather by L. Diane Wolfe

3 Jan

 

Heather Jennings is lost within herself.

She should be happy, she should be thrilled. Having finished college, she’s been offered an assistant coach position at Clemson College, her dream job. Heather loves the thrill of the sport and the challenge of it.

But part of her knows that her heart isn’t really in it.

Part of her heart is held in check. Her father, Thomas, is dying of terminal cancer. Heather is constantly afraid that the next phone call she gets will be from her mother telling Heather that her father is dead. Though she doesn’t say it, the fear is eating away at her.

Another part of her heart is held by Matt Gardener. Friends since high school, Heather has carried a flame for him for years. A flame that went unanswered. Matt never felt the same way about her as Heather did for him. Instead, he fell in love with Heather’s college roommate, Sarah. Eventually they married and now they have children.

After that heartbreak, Heather chose to keep herself alone and isolated from the opposite sex. With too much to lose if she let herself love again, Heather prefers to keep herself alone. But that all changes when she sees Matt’s brother Mark again.

The two are instantly attracted to each other and soon they are in the midst of what Heather never wanted: a serious relationship where love is involved. Added to that, Mark wants nothing to do with marriage or children, two things that Heather has come to realize she wants more than anything.

Heather’s world is further complicated when her dream job becomes a nightmare. One of the team members of Clemson’s Lady Tigers reacts badly to Heather’s position of authority within the team. Challenging her at every turn, Brandi seems to have made it her life’s ambition to make Heather’s job a living nightmare.

With everything in her life so upside down, Heather’s confidence begins to fail. Soon, Heather is only a shell of her former self.

But when a life changing event shatters what confidence that remains, Heather will have to fight to regain control over her life and begin to believe in the healing power of love…

I have been both anticipating and dreading The Circle of Friends Book V: Heather by powerhouse author L. Diane Wolfe. I’ve been anticipating the book because it is the last book in her phenomenal series. And dreading much for the same reason.

Having been a long time fan of L. Diane Wolfe’s The Circle of Friends Series, I gobbled up each offering, each new book, knowing that the end was coming; knowing that the end would eventually have to happen. And the end is here.

I had wondered how Wolfe would end The Circle of Friends Series. Each book in the series has been better than the last one; she has given herself a heavy task of topping herself. How do you end a series that has everything you could wish for?

In The Circle of Friends Series you have love, hate, betrayal, friendship, devotion, abuse, relationships, family, buried secrets and earth shattering events. How do you end a five book series and top all that?

Thankfully, L. Diane Wolfe’s The Circle of Friends Book V: Heather is the ultimate ending to the series and she finishes off the series with her best and most emotionally charged novel yet.

Heather has always been one of my favourite characters in the series and I wondered how her story would play out. What I didn’t expect was to become so emotionally involved with her during the reading of the book. I ached for Heather, I yearned for her to find love. I needed her to find the healing she needed.

It takes a very gifted author to make her characters so incredibly real. It takes an even more gifted author to fill her pages with so much emotion, you can’t help but become emotionally involved. Wolfe has always succeeded in giving her readers character that we can care about. But in The Circle of Friends Book V: Heather, she has gone above and beyond that.

Wolfe has given us characters that we can love and know as well as our own friends and family. She has given us characters that feel like family, our family; we know them so well by the end of the novel and this helps to fuel the books emotional charge.

What I love so much about Wolf’s writing is that she gives us real people living through very real situations. Not only can we relate to them, but we feel for them because they are so real and because they are living through things that each and every one of us have gone through.

A lot of authors would not be able to handle such an emotional storyline, but in The Circle of Friends Book V: Heather, Wolfe handles the emotion and plot with grace and aplomb. Instead of having it read like a saccharine after school special, The Circle of Friends Book V: Heather is one of the most intense and real novels ever written.

Wolfe has given us what in the end is the ultimate study of human nature. She has let us into the lives of these incredibly real people and their plight. Even after reading the novel, I am haunted by these characters: Heather, her father Thomas, her mother Lauren, her sister Dawn. Matt and his brother Mark. These characters are real to me, living breathing people that I now feel like I’ve known for years. This is the power of Wolfe’s writing.

Though I have been silently dreading the ending of The Circle of Friends Series, I am thrilled that Wolfe has ended the series with Heather’s story. Not only is Heather’s story the one that most readers have been looking forward too, it carries the most important message.

Yes, Heather has a lot to deal with during the course of her story. But Wolfe shows us that with the power of love, we can overcome anything. With the healing power of love, even the most devastating blow to our self confidence can become a positive.

She shows us that, with the healing power of love, anything is possible.

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