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A Heart Deceived by Michelle Griep Review

About the Book

Title: A Heart Deceived

Author: Michelle Griep

Publisher: David C. Cook

Released: June 2013

Genre: Gothic Regency

MIRI BRAYDEN teeters on a razor’s edge between placating and enraging her brother, whom she depends upon for support. Yet if his anger is unleashed, so is his madness. Miri must keep his descent into lunacy a secret, or he’ll be committed to an asylum—and she’ll be sent to the poor house.

ETHAN GOODWIN’s been on the run all of his life—from family, from the law…from God. After a heart-changing encounter with the gritty Reverend John Newton, Ethan would like nothing more than to become a man of integrity—an impossible feat for an opium addict charged with murder. When Ethan Goodwin shows up on Miri’s doorstep, her balancing act falls to pieces.

Both Ethan and Miri are caught in a web of lies and deceit—fallacies that land Ethan in prison and Miri in the asylum with her brother. Only the truth will set them free. 

My Impressions

Recently I discovered some of Michelle Griep’s earlier books that I hadn’t read. A Heart Deceived is a gripping Gothic regency, much along with the style of her latest, Lost in Darkness. In fact, A Heart Deceived could easily be a part of Griep’s newest series, Of Monsters and Men. Maybe not the physical type of monster, but a monster, nonetheless.

I loved poor, conflicted Miri Brayden. She is torn between fearing and loving her brother, who alternates between treating her hatefully and regressing into partial insanity. Can she keep him safe and both of them housed and respected? What will the arrival of Ethan Goodwin do to her physical and emotional stability?

I loved Ethan because he is both despicable and charming. God gets ahold of his life through John Newton and transforms his desires. But will it be soon enough to salvage his character and keep him from reaping the whirlwind his wastrel life has sown?

Best supporting actor award goes to John Newton, whom we meet as an older, merciful clergy who understands depravity, grace, and faith. He is not afraid to present God to the basest of society. He does so with such humor, love, directness, and confidence that one can’t help but like him. If Griep portrays him correctly, what a transformation God made in his life! Newton’s goal is then to transform as many other lives for the kingdom as possible, but he is so winsome and positive about it!
“God believes in you. Your belief or lack of it doesn’t change His existence.” “When we are at our weakest, God’s at His strongest.”

Michelle Griep had me smiling so many times, even as she wrote about very serious topics. Her ability to turn a phrase at a precise moment gave comic relief to extremely suspenseful scenes. I love that! “‘Your brother treads in dangerous waters, Miss Brayden. Dangerous and deep. See if you can talk some sense into the man.’
Miri dipped a curtsy. She might more easily talk a chicken into giving milk. “And I chortled at, “Why did it never fail that her most wicked thoughts crept out in the holiest of places?”

Jails and insane asylums were horrible places in the regency era, and Griep provides an accurate, eerie look at both. You will think you are in either location with our hapless characters.

The climax and resolution of this wonderful novel are superb, just like the rest of the book. The action is very quick.

A Griep book is always full of “Notable Quotables,” treasures of words, often Biblically-based, that transcend the time into our present lives. How I love this feature of Griep’s books!

If you haven’t discovered this early Griep work, the time to change that omission is now! Most highly recommended!!

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!! Gothic Regency Highly Recommended!

About the Author

I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write…except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

You can connect with Michelle on her website, http://michellegriep.com

or on Twitter @michellegriep.