Thursday, June 10, 2010

Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw

Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw
Publication Date/Version: May 2010/Hardcover
Publisher: Amulet Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Around The World Tours (Thanks!)

“Evangeline,” he repeated, calling at a whisper. “Evangeline.” He was not calling that she may hear, he was calling that somehow her soul might know that he was devoted entirely to her, only to her. “Evangeline, I will find you.”

Eva and Gabe explore the golden forest of their seaside Maine town, unknowingly tracing the footsteps of two teens, Evangeline and Gabriel, who once lived in the idyllic wooded village of Acadia more than one hundred years ago. On the day that Evangeline and Gabriel were be wed, their village was attacked and the two were separated. And now in the present, Gabe has mysteriously disappeared from Eva.

A dreamlike, loose retelling of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous love poem “Evangeline,” Anxious Hearts tells an epic tale of unrequited love and the hope that true love can be reunited.

Eva and Gabe, Evangeline and Gabriel. Two pairs whose fates are unknowingly intertwined through a tiny seaside town. Eva and Gabe, the modern pair, aren't a couple, but things are leaning that way. Both have lost their mothers, and only they can truly understand each other. Evangeline and Gabriel, the classic couple, are destined to be married after a picturesque courting. On the day of their wedding, however, the two are separated. The present reflects the past as Gab disappears from Eva. Will either pair reunite, or will love be lost?

Anxious Hearts switches not only perspective, but time periods as well. The book changes from present to past, Eva to Gabriel. Both offer similar but unique stories. And each is equally enthralling.

Both tales were comforting and alluring. The love described was aching, painful, and hopeful. Gabriel was a true gentleman, and Evangeline was feisty and independent. Their story was one of an ideal courtship in a more simple time. Gabriel had an intense love for Evangeline, and it really came off of the pages. In the modern setting, Gabe and Eva simply understood each other. That was what made their connection so real and strong. Both had lost their mothers, and only the other could fully understand. No one else knew the pain they were going through, and they were able to find solstice in each other.

Each perspective offered something different, both aspects being enjoyable. Within Eva's story I found excitement and spontaneity, while in Gabriel's I found wonderful prose and a heart-wrenching story. I loved how each storyteller had a different font and design to go along with their story.

I anxiously flipped pages, finishing this quickly. Both stories left me satisfied, if not more than a bit sad. They weren't perfect endings, and that's what made them all the better. They were real and whole. I have not read the poem Evangeline, but I intend to after this beautiful book.

Overall: Gorgeous stories of love, hope, and understanding. Great alternative perspectives.

My Advice: Buy a copy. I look forward to owning it. I can't wait to read much more by Tucker Shaw.

The Cover: This is what originally drew me to the book. I love the model, but the background feels a bit fake to me. I also don't like the title font, but the model is so lovely that she makes up for the rest.

*This was read as a part of the 100+ Reading Challenge


  1. Hey! I'm glad you liked this book - I read it about a month ago and thought it was pretty good!
    Excellent review :D

  2. I've seen mixed reviews of this but I thought that it looked great, so I'm glad that you liked it! I agree about the cover backround and the model too. Great review!

  3. What a beautiful review! I too read some negative reviews of this. It is really nice to read a different perspective. You've quite captivated me with your words in this.

  4. Thanks for the wonderful review! This is in my to-be-read pile and I can't wait to get to it. :-)

  5. Sounds interesting. Doing the two tales in one thing doesn't always work. Glad you liked it!

  6. I love that this book is based on a poem. You make it sound so good! Glad to hear that having two perspectives works for this book. Thanks for the review!


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