Set against the backdrop of small town America on the eve of World War II, Defiant Heart features two extraordinary characters and one unforgettable love story.
In the spring of 1941, young Jon Meyer's family dies in a tragic accident, and he is sent to live in a small Indiana town. He arrives to find himself unwanted and shunned.
Mary Dahlgren is the daughter of the town's mayor. A pretty girl, she could have the pick of the boys in town, including Vernon King, the star of the vaunted high school basketball team. To the chagrin of her friends, though, Mary has always been more interested in books than boys. That is, until she meets Jon.
But Jon and Mary are kept apart by an insidious campaign orchestrated by Mary's father, who perceives their relationship a threat to his political aspirations, and Vernon, to whom Jon is a rival for Mary's affections. For months Jon is subjected to a painful ostracism. Then, just when the young man's earnestness and perseverance begin to win over many of the townsfolk and it appears that love may conquer all, tragedy strikes.
As the country is caught up in war, so too are the young lovers swept up in events beyond their control, leaving both fighting for their very lives. If, against the odds, they are to be together, each will need to find the strength, the courage and the resourcefulness that beat only in a defiant heart.
Rating- **** 4 stars
I really enjoyed this book. While I sometimes feel historical fiction can be a hit or miss for me, this somehow captured both sides of a complex storyline, both historical and romantic, that kept my rapt attention.
From the minute I was presented with the first page I was enthralled. I felt like Marty gave me more than enough insight into the characters: Mary & Jon, how they came to have such a forbidden love, and the strong efforts they put forth to keep their love strong through the ever deceitful natures of the people trying to keep them apart.
I fell so deeply in love with this story it took merely a few hours to complete. It wasn’t hard to grasp any concepts because Marty kept the reader on an elegantly scripted flow, it wasn’t too convoluted or hard for me to grasp. I felt like the storyline, plot and characters were so in sync there could be no misguidance.
This is definitely a good read.