Charlie Finch is a charming and likable fellow. He is also a drug dealer, and that has occupational hazards. He spends his days out-running the cops and the consequences of his choices, but eventually the collateral damage catches up to him. Will he be able to stay alive long enough to find redemption and make restitution? Or is he too far gone?
Charles Martin shows the fast-paced high societies of Miami and London, and masterfully juxtaposes them with the poverty-stricken life surrounding a Nicaraguan coffee plantation. The scenic descriptions of Water From My Heart are incredibly picturesque and poignant. As a result, it is easy to be immersed in the culture and location of the novel. Martin’s intimate knowledge of the various settings gives him credibility, and the attention to detail does not get in the way of the story itself.
Water From My Heart is told through the point-of-view of drug-runner Charlie Finch. First-person point-of-view can be limited and distracting, however, in this novel, it is a most intriguing literary device, and extremely effective. Charlie may not be trustworthy with the other characters, but he is honest with his audience. He has a unique voice and personality which make him endearing in spite of his failures and transgressions.
The dialogue is honest, heart-warming and humorous. It is never used to inform or make a point. It aids the story’s flow and reveals even unlikeable characters and their motivations as sympathetic. Martin’s multi-dimensional characterization is nothing less than brilliant. All the personalities within the storyline are multifaceted and are portrayed with a depth that is rarely communicated in any genre. These characters are so authentic that it is hard to believe that Water From My Heart is a work of fiction.
With a serious tone and some heavy contemporary problems such as drugs, greed, and poverty, the plot is well developed, driven equally by outside events and the internal motivations and actions of the characters. The delicate balance makes the storyline both substantial and suspenseful. Every twist and turn is purposeful, but unpredictable. The story takes place in the present day, but there are flashbacks to past events every other chapter, which is disorienting and requires a constant adjustment. This is the only major drawback to an exquisitely well-written novel.
The central conflict of Water From My Heart centers around Charlie’s poor choices and his attempts to evade their inevitable negative consequences that cost those he loves as well as himself. This journey allows Charlie to experience a complex and complete character arc, and the best and worst traits of human nature are displayed and explored in him and also in those around him. The romance angle permeates the storyline and has an authentic emotional pull.
Water From My Heart explores some significant spiritual themes. A strong Christian message and sin, forgiveness reconciliation, love, and redemption are woven together and displayed seamlessly throughout the novel. The story shows the natural consequences of a living faith but isn’t preachy, or promote theology, or used as a tool for evangelism.
Water From My Heart is a stand-alone novel and geared toward Christian women who like romantic suspense. However, the novel is so well written that it might appeal to a general audience as well. There is no objectionable material but there are mature subjects discussed and clinical scenes portrayed which may be unsettling to some readers.
Once acclimated to the repeated flashbacks, I found Water From My Heart an engaging and entertaining read, full of incredible settings and multi-dimensional characters who are larger than life. Water From My Heart is more than a well-written story. It is a journey that touches the heart.
I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.