Book Review and Giveaway: Leap of Faith

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Author: Fiona McCallum
ISBN: 9781743692400
RRP: $29.99

Fiona McCallum has penned six Australian bestsellers, Leap of Faith is her seventh novel and set in the picturesque Adelaide Hills.

All of the books I have read by McCallum have been set in South Australia but this is the first in my neck of the woods. I’m not sure exactly where the farm is but I’m familiar with the surrounding towns and the roads mentioned so it had a very familiar feel to me right from the start.

I am not sure where my headspace is at just of late but it is affecting my reading and my empathy with heroines. I enjoyed the premise of Leap of Faith which has McCallum’s signature writing style and well drawn characters. Her animals are characters in their own right and you can’t help but be drawn to them. My issue was I couldn’t connect to lead character Jessica, I couldn’t get past some of her attitudes and decisions.

In the early pages Jessica has a traumatic accident in the middle of a horse riding event; leaving her hospitalised but thankfully her horse Prince suffers only a few scratches. Jessica’s broken ankle means she is out of action for six weeks with little to occupy her. The extremely capable, physical and independent Jessica is unable to ride, unable to teach and perhaps the most frustrating she is unable to care for her horses or help husband Steve on the farm.

All of this time off her feet gives Jessica way too much time to think, and to question EVERYTHING. A lot of her self evaluation is to be expected and completely natural but it seemed to me that she got a little melodramatic about it all for a while there. Jessica is concerned about the loss of condition in her horses and all of the extra responsibility on her husband looking after them so she rushes into a decision that those around her think she will come to regret. And, to top it all off she tries to isolate herself at home away from the entire horse community, and her town, because she’s not ready to face anyone.

Jessica is given time to look at her career so far and analyse what she has achieved, and why. Her pit of self-pity is quite deep but I think it needed to be for her to grow and tackle things from a different angle. The time and distance from her competition offer a very different perspective and allow her to recognise things she had never noticed throughout her career, and her rash decision allowed a second chance at happiness.

leap of faith

Faith is the rundown and forlorn horse Steve brings home from a clearing sale, after Jessica has sold hers. There’s a lot at play here and it seems quite obvious that Steve picked up the horse to try and rekindle Jessica’s passion but she is determined to keep her distance. It turns out that Faith affected Steve in a way he wasn’t expecting and he just couldn’t bear to leave the horse behind.

Every character has a story and Faith is no different, her story is heartbreaking and she too needs a second chance. The slow unfolding of Faith’s story broke my heart. It was beautiful to watch the blossoming relationship and growth of trust between Faith and Jessica as they both had a lot to learn.

Leap of Faith is an aptly named and beautifully told story of love, loss and second chances. It tells a tale of self discovery and demonstrates the need for honesty and the importance of in sickness and in health, and sharing with your partner because trying to hide it and struggle through alone hurts both of you.

A beautiful weekend read for a journey to the lush greenery of the picturesque Adelaide Hills.

Leap of Faith is book #14 for Australian Women Writers Challenge 2015.

For more about Fiona and to get a look at all of her titles you can find her on Facebook, her website and the Harlequin website.

We have copies of Leap of Faith to giveaway to 5 of our lucky readers. If you want to be one of them tell us in the comments below about an injury that had you out of action and appreciating all the things you take for granted.

Competition closes 1/05/15 midnight AEST. You must be subscribed to the Beauty and Lace newsletter OR a Facebook fan to enter. Make sure you use a valid email address so we can contact you if you are a lucky winner

Terms and conditions

– All decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
– Competition is a game of skill. Chance plays no part in determining the winner.
– Prize not negotiable, and cannot be exchanged or taken as cash.
– One entry per person
– Competition open to Australian residents only
– Entries are only valid if all required fields have been entered. No responsibility accepted for lost, late or misdirected entries.
– All entries become the property of Beauty and Lace. Your details will not be given or sold to any third parties unless required for claiming of the prize.
– We reserve the right to make changes to the prize and competition if required.
– Winners will be notified by email


61 thoughts on “Book Review and Giveaway: Leap of Faith

  1. I love reading, and though Parkinsons has disrupted my life for the past seven years physically, reading great novels keeps me sane!

  2. I once had a broken shoulder, giving me a new appreciation for being blessed with 2 arms both of which usually work well. The difficulty sleeping and then against a background of fatigue, trying to do housework and gardening with 1 hand and depend on someone else to drive me places, was a truly humbling experience.

  3. About two years ago I broke my foot and I was surprised at how much it affected daily life. Having a shower was difficult because I had to tape it up, taking stairs or catching a bus was tricky. I really started wishing I owned a car! The support I got for a minor injury was great. Bus drivers would let me on for free, colleagues would offer to get me lunch and friends would pick me up. It really made me realise how much support people can offer.

  4. I haven’t been so unlucky to experience this but reading all the other comments I am now enlightened and realize how horrible it would be

  5. It wasn’t an injury but a long term immune issue – for a while I could hardly walk and it really made me appreciate the little things that in the past I’d taken for granted. Luckily its all under control now but I never now take my health for granted.

  6. when i was in Vietnam a few years ago i fell and tripped on the tiles in the shower and broke my arm trying to soften the fall.
    it’s true that you take for granted the things you are able to do when all your limbs are working but when i couldn’t do the most basic of things like tie my shoelaces and shower with only 1 hand i understood the meaning of patience and not taking anything for granted again

  7. THANK YOU SO MUCH – I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected as one of the 5 winners of Leap of Faith. It appealed to me immediately and I was so hoping I would be fortunate enough to win a copy.

    Thank you so much, Michelle and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to enter this competition. My congratulations to the other 4 winners and to everyone who entered may I say how much inspiration was gained through the entries. Thanks again – one very happy reader!

    1. Thanks so much, Mandy. You can imagine my delight when I got Michelle’s email letting me know I’d won one of the books. I appreciate your congratulations.

  8. Books and reading are and always have been one of my passions. I was completely thrilled to win one of the copies of Leap of Faith which I enjoyed very much. Michelle’s review is perfect, as usual – I’ve never know any one who can review a book so thoroughly as Michelle does, without spoiling the book in any way for those yet to read it.

    I still haven’t worked out whether Jessica was meant to be as clueless as she was at times or whether Fiona McCallum “let her get away on her.” As much as I enjoyed the book I wanted to scream at Jessica more than once – who in their right mind desperately wants to become pregnant but continues to use pain killers daily??? The other part that I found strange was that Jessica didn’t need to have an x-ray either before or after the plaster was removed from her broken ankle. My orthopaedic specialist would have a fit!!! Jessica does “grow” and mature through handling her difficulties and appreciating her loved ones.

    I loved the way the animals were drawn, each becoming a character in their own right and Faith, the horse Jessica’s husband rescues is portrayed beautifully. The ending was relatively obvious but it was done well and tied the rest of the story together.

    As Michelle has given such an extensive review I don’t feel it necessary to add more to the story line. It is a book for many ages, especially those who love animals. I am very grateful to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Enterprises, the publishers, for the opportunity of owning this book which has such a wide audience appeal. Thank you.

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