Restless Heart
By Dorine Linnen
Sep 21, 2011 - 1:16:56 AM

Destiny Hart's future changed the day that one of her high school friends entered her name into a singing contest, hosted in her hometown by a local radio station in Wilmot, Kentucky.  Invited to observe the competition by three of her friends, Destiny is shocked when she hears her name announced as one of the contestants!  Never being one to turn down a dare, she faces her fear and bravely sings her heart out on stage.

Destiny unbelievably wins the state competition and moves on to the national finals.  She doesn't win the nationals, but places as a runner-up.  The state prize money and the national runner-up prize money combined give her the courage to move to Nashville in hopes of making it in the music industry.  It's a tough business and like other star hopefuls, she ends up waiting tables at a bar, eager for that big break to sing on stage.  Alienated from her family and friends, Destiny questions how long she can continue working alone toward her dream.

She keeps her waitress job in Nashville a secret from friends and family, implying that her music career is taking off, but they soon suspect something.  It's confirmed when her high school crush, Seth, unexpectedly comes into the bar while Destiny's waiting on tables.  Seth hadn't been very supportive of her move to Nashville, so she doesn't have high hopes that seeing him again will help them renew their friendship.  Or, renew more than friendship if Destiny's secret wishes come true.

Fate sometimes messes with our hopes and dreams by putting people, obstacles and opportunities in our path all at once, at what seems like the wrong moment.  This is what happens to Destiny, and RESTLESS HEART is about how her choices may or may not ruin her future, and more importantly, make her happy. 

Will Destiny find a way to have everything she wants, or will her dreams change through experience?

Wynonna Judd's novel is a realistically portrayed peek into the music business, filled with soul.  If you're looking for sordid details or scathing double-crossing in a business which you might think of as cutthroat, then you will be disappointed.  Destiny's journey isn't perfect, nor is it easy, but it always has an underlying message of hope.  I was pleasantly surprised at this delightfully unexpected aspect. 

RESTLESS HEART is a "feel good" story, but there are several characters within the novel who give it some heartbreaking moments.  This adds to the story, and by the end I was rooting for everyone, even if at the beginning I didn't think they deserved anyone's best wishes.  That's what I enjoyed most about RESTLESS HEART — the growth from within, of more than one character, deftly demonstrates that nothing worthwhile is ever easy.  It hits home, and you can't help but speculate how much of this book may be based on Wynonna's real-life experiences. 

If I had a daughter who had dreams with impossible odds, I'd want her to read this book.  Is there romance?  Absolutely and more than one, but so much more kept me riveted to the pages.  RESTLESS HEART is the perfect inspiration for anyone who knows ambition and the hard work it takes to fulfill a dream while keeping balance in your life.  This engaging story compelled this restless heart to shed a tear during the poignant moments just before the endearing end.  Great book!

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