Turning Hearts

Short Stories on Family Life

Book Notice

Turning Hearts: Short Stories on Family Life, edited by Orson Scott Card and David Dollahite (Bookcraft, 1994)

This collection of stories written by LDS authors provides readers with ideas about how healthy families function and how parents and children can resolve problems in positive ways to strengthen individuals, heal schisms, and bind families together. It is also a collection of stories about adults acting in adult roles.

These are in many ways faith-promoting stories. The protagonists come away with new insights about their lives: parents and children face intergenerational misunderstandings; widowed adults find a second opportunity to love; fathers and sons as well as mothers and daughters are forced to examine their relationships; a young African American convert struggles to find her place both at church and within her family.

Instead of ending in divorce court, sexual infidelity, family dissolution, or abandonment, these stories end with healing, repaired misunderstandings, and new ways to interpret difficult family situations. They offer patterns for living: fulfilling obligations to aging parents, repairing wounds from childhood, teaching teenagers to keep the Sabbath, and dealing with the struggles of being overworked young mothers and fathers.

Still, these heroes are not larger than life: a bishop begins with arrogance in his new calling; a father is, at least initially, full of self-pity and quick to anger; a girl is a self-absorbed teenager. These are authentic stories. The events, the situations, the people—while sometimes a little contrived or one-dimensional—for the most part ring true. By turning the hearts of readers, these stories give hope for family life.

Share This Article With Someone