Book Review: Emma’s Hero by Carrie Walker

Posted April 5, 2024 by meezcarrie in Book Review, Carrie Walker, Christian, contemporary, romance, women's fiction / 6 Comments

Emma's Hero book review

Emma's Hero by Carrie WalkerEMMA’S HERO by Carrie Walker
Faith Endures #1

GENRE: Romantic Women’s Fiction (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Mountain Brook Ink
RELEASE DATE: April 5, 2024
PAGES: 328

“God won’t give me more than I can handle? I’m pretty sure He just did.”

After a year of loss and bad choices distance Emma Reynolds from her lifelong beliefs, she finds herself pregnant and alone at a twenty-week ultrasound, hearing the words “incompatible with life.” When her son, Theo, survives birth, she fights to give him the best care possible. As each day passes, Emma’s love for Theo grows—along with her fear of losing him. She can’t understand why God allows her son to suffer.

Seventeen-year-old blogger, Mason Hughes, feels lonely and worthless after his father left their family years ago. When he ignores his mother’s push to “contribute to society,” she volunteers him to help Emma each week. Wishing he’d applied for any other job, Mason has no choice but to grocery shop and practice his rusty social skills with a mother and son he doesn’t know.

Paramedic Ben Sullivan has earned himself the title of “most eligible” bachelor among his friends as they continually set him up on blind dates. While he’d love to avoid the uncomfortable events, his heart can’t help but seek the one thing missing in his life—a marriage like his parents have. If only he could find the woman himself.

As Theo’s tiny life connects them to each other, their loneliness breaks under the love of community, and they will never be the same.

Let me just say upfront that nothing I say about Emma’s Hero could possibly come close to adequately conveying the depth of feeling and beauty to this story. Carrie Walker’s debut novel is tender and heartfelt, and she unpacks the characters’ sometimes-raw layers with thoughtful care and authenticity. She doesn’t shy away from the ‘hard’ but also ushers in plenty of grace and goodness, a reminder to all of us that as children of God we are never alone even in the fiercest storm.

Emma is in an impossibly difficult position as a single mom-to-be, still grieving the loss of her own father, and now facing a terminal illness for her unborn baby. Her bravery is evident from the beginning, even if she would likely laugh at that assertion, and Walker honors real-life moms in similar situations with her portrayal of this fictional one. I felt Emma’s fear, frustration, and helplessness as little Theo (who completely took over my heart) and his multitude of health issues took her through the wringer, despite his continued defying of the odds. Some of the tenser medical moments stole my breath as I found myself nearly praying for this warrior mom and her warrior baby, but rest assured that this isn’t a heavy book. It deals with some heavy stuff, certainly. But there is always an undercurrent of joy and hope and love that overflows from little Theo’s trusting gazes to the support network that God sends their way. Not to mention an incredibly sweet romance with a paramedic named Ben who steps up to the plate in big & small ways – and not just for Emma & Theo.

Along those lines, one of my favorite things about the title of Emma’s Hero is how many different people it could apply to within this story. There are a host of heroes that you’ll encounter on these pages, but it’s Mason who touched me the most (outside of Theo, of course). I couldn’t help picturing my 18-year-old nephew when I read Mason’s scenes, and perhaps that’s why I developed such a tender spot for this video gamer/blogger/reluctant hero. Except I’m pretty sure that even if you don’t have a teenage boy in your life you’ll love Mason as much as I do, because his character growth over the course of this story is so poignant. I’m super excited that he’s the lead character in book 2 and I can’t wait to read it!

Bottom Line: When everything else crashes around us, faith, hope, and love remain – and Emma’s Hero by Carrie Walker is a touching reminder that sometimes we encounter this anchoring trio in unexpected ways and from unexpected people. People like the ones in this story who quickly stole my heart, from rescuer-at-heart Ben to awkwardly endearing Mason, infinitely precious Theo, and fiercely-loving Emma. As we ride the roller coaster of Theo’s medical crises with Emma, Ben, and Mason (as well as other memorable characters), Walker beautifully captures the the power of prayer, the outpouring of grace God gives us for each day and the importance of paying attention to (and acting on) those little nudges from Him. Highly recommended for fans of Cynthia Ruchti, Nicole Deese, and Amanda Cox!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

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Carrie Walker

Carrie Walker lives in Michigan with her husband and seven children. From her ten years serving as a high school youth minister, adventures around the globe, and raising a family, many stories have been knit within her heart.

As an avid reader she pens what she loves to read, contemporary stories that bring hope to a hurting world. Weaving romance among story lines of characters in struggle, she aims to show God working in all situations. When she’s not playing board games with her husband, shuttling kids in the Walker bus or wishing for snow, Carrie can be found at the keyboard bringing those stories to life.

Carrie’s writing has been recognized in many contests. Her debut novel, Emma’s Hero, placed in the ACFW Crown Award, Monroe Walton Center for the Arts Award, and won the 2020 ACFW First Impressions Contest. You can connect with Carrie on her website.

Carrie Walker interview

What about you? What makes you want to read Emma’s Hero by Carrie Walker?

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