“Playing by Heart” Book Review

Nov 5, 2014 by

Welcome back to Rachel’s Back Talk! I’m so glad you could join me again. Today I am reviewing one of Anne Mateers’s books, Playing by Heart. This was also the first book that I’ve read of Anne’s and I love her style of writing!


As is my custom, if I could ask Anne one question about Playing by Heart, it would be — “Why combine basketball and music for Lula’s jobs?” And if you want to know why I asked that questions, I guess you’ll just have to read the book to find out!


And without further ado, on to Rachel’s Back Talk!




From the Back Cover: 

Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn’t even consider those real subjects!

Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys’ coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She’s returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel’s family, the girls’ basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she’s given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she’d expected.


Rachel’s Back Talk:

5 – award winning covers


Playing by Heart, I must say, has been one of my favorite books so far and for this one reason–it is something different that I haven’t read before. The setting takes place in Oklahoma in the time of World War 1. This book took on the viewpoint of what was happening in America and it was neat to see how the Great World War affected even a small town in Oklahoma.

I love the characters and their many personalities. Lula was especially my favorite as she going to college for a math degree, but then taught music and basketball. She had a strong sense of duty to family, yet, she wanted to be on her own. The other main and minor characters drew me in as well and I found myself drawn into the story.

Playing by Heart resembled Christian morals especially as Lula and Chet found that they needed to rely on Christ in every area of their life.

I would recommend this book for anyone who loves reading historical fiction, as well as a touch of Christian romance.


Other Books by Anne that I will read next:

A Home for My Heart

At Every Turn

Wings of a Dream



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