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Necessary Heartbreak: A Novel of Faith and Forgiveness (When Time Forgets #1)

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  195 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
Do you believe that time heals all wounds? Michael Stewart doesn't. Thirteen years later, he's still struggling with the demands of being a single father. His life revolves around his daughter Elizabeth, a precocious girl who's growing up much too fast. Michael is all too aware of time lost, and time still slipping away. But fate, or perhaps something more divine, has othe ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Gallery Books (first published September 1st 2008)
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Jul 09, 2013 Laurie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone Who Enjoys Uniquely Inspiring, Adventurous Thrillers With A Touch Of Romance
Uniquely Inspiring, Adventurous Thriller

I had given up on Christian fiction, but Necessary Heartbreak changed my mind by speaking to my heart. I'm a die-hard romantic and had deducted from the few Christian fiction books I have read that most of them seemed to cut the passion off in a human aspect and become a great bore while over-emphasizing religion. Not this book!

Necessary Heartbreak is transcendent because the story is primarily an adventure, discovery, and heart-wrenching tale emphasizing
Nov 20, 2008 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys adventure, romance, time travel and history.
Recommended to Michael by: I wrote it!
On a warm May night in 2007, 15 years of frustration ended. I arose with purpose, filled with ideas on how to finally complete my novel which had gathered dusty bytes on my computer for way too long. I had never been so excited about the concept of writing. I shook my normally hard-to-wake wife Debbie out of her sleep and shared my thoughts. When she got excited about the plot, I knew then I had something special.

Based upon some emotional childhood experiences, I had been pondering two questions
B.J. Robinson
Jul 30, 2011 B.J. Robinson rated it it was amazing
Necessary Heartbreak by Michael J. Sullivan published by Gallery Books, copyright 2010 is a novel you can't miss. I couldn't put it down once I started reading, since I was hooked from the first chapter. The main characters are a single dad and his daughter, Michael and Elizabeth. Journey with them through life's obstacle course in the world, as we know it today, as well as through first-century Jerusalem. Michael losses two important women in his life, loves of his life, his mother and his wife ...more
Wendy Hines
Jun 01, 2013 Wendy Hines rated it really liked it
Necessary Heartbreak will take you on a journey of faith and of the heart.

Michael Stewart has had his share of struggles. He had a troubled childhood, and then he lost his mother. Then, his father and he got into an argument and Michael found himself on the street. No place to go, no place to sleep.

Over time, Michael met and fell in love with Vicki. Finally, things were going right for Michael. They got married, and planned a family until tragedy took Vicki away. Now, Michael struggles to finan
Jan 10, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
From my blog...[return]I quite honestly did not know what to expect when I began reading Necessary Heartbreak by Michael J. Sullivan, although the novel pleasantly surprised me. Michael Stewart is a loving and struggling single father to 14-year-old Elizabeth, a rather typical teen, yet with so many questions about the mother she never got to know. Michael and Elizabeth are helping with the church's volunteer food drive and come across a mysterious trap door in the church's basement. Being curio ...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
What would you do if you found yourself transported completely by accident into the Biblical past, back to the time of Jesus' ministry just before the crucifixion? Well that is exactly what happens to Michael Stewart and his daughter, Elizabeth.

Having many struggles early on in his life, Michael now finds himself raising his daughter, Elizabeth on his own, having lost his wife, Vicki. Now Michael has turned his back on his faith in God and in a surprising turn of events, while helping out a food
Kathy Fellure
Jul 19, 2012 Kathy Fellure rated it it was amazing
Author Michael John Sullivan weaves an adventurous tale of intrigue and time travel back to Jerusalem during the volatile week before Jesus Christ's crucifixtion.

The first in a trilogy, Necessary Heartbreak, introduces the reader to father and daughter, Michael and Elizabeth Stewart. The story deals with their stressed relationship which is put to the test when they encounter immediate danger upon their unintended and untimely arrival in the brutally Roman ruled Holy Land.

A Jewish woman named Le
May 27, 2012 Lakisha rated it it was amazing
When I first picked up this novel I didn't know what to expect. I just knew the man behind the book was special :) As I began to read through the pages I was no longer in my current city Jerusalem had swept me away I was walking with the Lord and discovering the history of this land! There is humor, tears, and joy in this first installment honestly I would hate to put it down. I dreamed about it and when I woke up i couldn't wait to pick it back up! Michael is a amazing writer and it shows in th ...more
May 23, 2009 Stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This book has great potential with an interesting plot, but there is a definite lack of character development. The author came to our book club and gave us a full synopsis of his trilogy and explained that since he was self published, he had to cut out a lot of the character development. His agent is currently shopping his book, so we are hoping he is able to get it published with a publisher so that he can release the full version. The synopses are very intriguing. Our club is also looking forw ...more
Fritz Franke
Sep 10, 2012 Fritz Franke rated it it was amazing
Michael John Sullivan has a hit with Necessary Heartbreak. After being comfortably grounded in today's reality, we are led on a dangerous journey outside of our time. This writer weaves every detail and every feeling into every scene leaving the reader totally captivated by the story being played out. I'm glad I've already downloaded the second book of the series. I've got a lot invested in these characters now. Bravo Michael. I'm so hooked.
Apr 20, 2010 Cinnamon rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
I started and restarted this sentence about four times, trying to figure out how to share my thoughts about NECESSARY HEARTBREAK by M.J. Sullivan with you. I’m not one to be short on words, as we all know (and hopefully love) and yet I’m having a hard time coming up with many for this book. Why? That’s a good question.

NECESSARY HEARTBREAK follows a father and daughter as they end up travelling back in time to the last days of Christ before the resurrection. When I originally read the synopsis,
Aug 09, 2011 Chi-TownReadingCircle rated it it was amazing

From biblical times to present day northeastern United States, Necessary Heartbreak portrays a historical picture of how easy it is to say what you belief and how difficult in the face of death it is to live up to that belief. We can all be courageous to the point of stupidity and as big a coward as the Lion from the Wizard of Oz. Knowing when to be quiet and when to speak or react becomes the most important tool for Michael and his teenage daughter Elizabeth as they butt heads in their ever e
Aug 29, 2010 Monica rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I am not a hundred percent sure if I should be reviewing this book, I didn't realize it had such spiritual, more specifically Christian, undertones. I will give it a try though and not let me own religious beliefs cloud my review.

The characters are dynamic, I can feel each and every single one of them and the writing of this author flows so well. I know the basics of Christianity and the Crucifixion and along those lines the research seemed well done. I really enjoy time travel fiction and this
From my blog...

I quite honestly did not know what to expect when I began reading Necessary Heartbreak by Michael J. Sullivan, although the novel pleasantly surprised me. Michael Stewart is a loving and struggling single father to 14-year-old Elizabeth, a rather typical teen, yet with so many questions about the mother she never got to know. Michael and Elizabeth are helping with the church's volunteer food drive and come across a mysterious trap door in the church's basement. Being curious Eliza
Dec 03, 2011 Kate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
I was searching recently for a different kind of book, one that is faithfilled, kind of science fiction, yet original and brings Jesus into the picture. After reading this books synopsis and digging into the book's first chapters I knew I had chosen a good one to spend the day with.

Michael, a single parent is trying to raise his daughter Elizabeth, now a teenager alone, his wife Vicky had passed away during the baby's birth. Assisting the priest one night Michael and Elizabeth happen upon a tun
Apr 01, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it
A single parent, who had suffered hardships throughout his childhood, Michael Stewart is now raising his daughter, Elizabeth, to the best of his ability. To shun potential relationships, he digs out his wedding band.

To fulfill her honor society credits, Elizabeth has to attain a certain number of community-related service points, so Michael is taking her to help out with the food pantry at Our Lady of the Bay Church.

It’s here that Michael and Elizabeth find a sub-basement door while stacking exc
Nikki Bywater
Aug 03, 2011 Nikki Bywater rated it it was amazing
Necessary Heartbreak is the first of a trilogy of books by Michael J. Sullivan.

The story is about Michael Stewart who after his own troubled childhood after losing his own mother and a spell of been homeless and now after losing his wife he is a single father bringing up his teenage daughter Elizabeth. He is a good father and trying to do the best he can for his daughter. But due to past events he has completely lost his faith.

Michael and Elizabeth are helping out volunteering at their local chu
Apr 12, 2010 drey rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010-reads
Necessary Heartbreak tells the story of Michael Stewart and his daughter Elizabeth, who fall through time to land in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. They get into trouble with Roman soldiers just about immediately, and spend the following week either in hiding, or running. What makes their adventure interesting is that Michael witnesses Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, betrayal in the garden, and actually helps bear the cross up the hill.

Interspersed with the scenes from Jerusalem are snippets from Michae
Jennifer (JC-S)
Mar 07, 2011 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it liked it
‘Heartbreak is necessary for one to understand what God’s gift of time truly is.’

Michael Stewart is no stranger to hardship: a troubled childhood; the death of his mother; living on the streets; and the loss of his wife Vicki have each contributed to his turning his back on his Christian faith. Michael is doing the best he can to raise his teenage daughter Elizabeth, but he’s finding life lonely and tough.

One Saturday, while helping at a church food drive, first Elizabeth and then Michael enter
Apr 19, 2010 Theresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teens through adult
Necessary Heartbreak has a fascinating storyline that held my interest throughout the book. To take the reader back to the time of Christ and to present the possibility of being able to change history - how could one go wrong?

I enjoyed the total story, but found the characters weren't always believable. I found that somewhat frustrating as it hindered the story for me. The teenage daughter was what I would call a stereotypical teen - mouthy to her father and everyone else. When she goes back in
Paula Howard
Mar 16, 2013 Paula Howard rated it it was amazing
Necessary Heartbreak is a beautifully written book about faith/loss of faith, love, and forgiveness. Michael has been raising his daughter, Elizabeth, as a single parent. His wife, Victoria, died at childbirth. Though he had been raised Roman Catholic, he lost his faith after this loss of his wife. Not only did he lose his faith but himself and in a real sense the loss of enjoying his daughter.

Helping Liz with a service project at the local Catholic Church they stumble on a hidden trap door in t
Aug 26, 2010 Brenda rated it it was amazing
I guarantee you won't be able to put this book down once you start it! Michael, a man who loses his wife with the birth of his daughter, has lost his faith. He stumbles with his daughter into a time warp that puts them both back in Jerusalem during the last week of Jesus Christs's life.
The Roman soldiers are violent during that time and he must keep himself and his daughter alive. He also sees Jesus Christ which shakes up his views on everything. He must find a way back to the present....
The boo
Mar 28, 2013 Martha rated it liked it
Well, hum. I liked this book a lot but found it in places to be a bit disjointed. If you're not a Christian, probably not the book for you. It is a fascinating story set in Jerusalem during the week between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Michael, the still grieving father in the story, and his daughter, Elizabeth go through a time warp and come out in Jerusalem. I can only imagine what that would have been like. It was fascinating reading about what that part of the world must have been like at th ...more
Jeanie Pryor
Dec 28, 2010 Jeanie Pryor rated it it was amazing
What a amazing great book!!! It was a very fast read for me. I got it on Monday and finished it in 2 days. I just could not stop reading it. Every page made you want to read more and more. One of the things I always think would be cool is if you could just step back into a time period that you have never lived. There are many time periods I would like to visit. This book is about doing just that. Walking through a tunnel and stepping out into the days of Jesus!!! That would be soooo awesome. Of ...more
Rhea Alexis Banks
Apr 23, 2010 Rhea Alexis Banks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody
Shelves: favorites
Necessary Heartbreak by Micheal J. Sullivan is exactly one of the types of stories that I love to read. I love stories that evoke emotions and is full of triumph. This engagingly fast paced page turner, takes you on a very moving and emotional ride from the very beginning. It start off with a husband losing his wife after giving birth to their daughter. The results of this makes one notice their blessings as they read his story of pain, loss, hurt, renewal, growth and triumph.

I truly enjoyed th
Mar 03, 2015 Chantal rated it it was ok
When I read the concept of the book, I thought it would be great. Unfortunately, the execution was less than great. A lot of plot holes and some things that made no sense. He seemed to assume that the reader would assume lot of things...and never explained the main question in the book. Disappointing.
Apr 27, 2012 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Necessary Heartbreak by Michael J. Sullivan is a wonderful story that takes us back in time with Michael, a widower and his teenage daughter Elizabeth. Michael and Elizabeth volunteer at the food pantry at their local church. While working in the basement of the church they stumble upon a hidden doorway that leads under the church. Unknowningly they end up in Jerusalem during the Passover Festivities. Things immediately start going wrong. This story is full of action and danger.

I won an autogra
Eric Kounce
Apr 12, 2013 Eric Kounce rated it liked it
I was intrigued about a novel depicting travel back to Jerusalem during the original Holy Week. While I enjoyed the overall book, I found the constant flashbacks extremely annoying. Just as I was starting to get into a scene in the book, he would flash back to a seemingly unrelated time. The story left me with a lot of unanswered questions, and I felt the writing should have been much more descriptive. I would have put the book down about half-way through, but felt like I should finish it to see ...more
Jun 03, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing
What a story. I started to read Everybody's daughter and realized that there was another book I had to read to get to know the characters. and Necessary Heartbreak was the introduction. This story about a father and his daughter who travel through time to Jerusalem during the Passover and the crucifixion of Jesus. the story at times got a bit confusing when it went back and forth in time but at the end it was clear what was going on. I now understand that it was the fathers thoughts to his life ...more
May 30, 2012 Marianne rated it it was amazing
Necessary Heartbreak is one of my all time favorite books! Michael and his daughter take a journey back in time and take you along for the awesome trip to Jerusalem! I have bought 6 copies including the new Kindle edition! I have also given away at least 100 copies of this fabulous book! Be certain to get it to go along with Michael John Sullivan's newest book: "Everybody's Daughter!" "Necessary Heartbreak" is the first book of the trilogy and "Everybody's Daughter" is the second book in the tri ...more
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Michael John Sullivan Michael John Sullivan graduated with a communications degree and a promising future in the field of journalism after working for the official school paper the previous two years. Six months later, he found himself washing his hair in a toilet at the same university as he prepared for a job interview.

Sullivan was homeless at the age of 23 after first watching his mother -- hi
More about Michael John Sullivan...

Other Books in the Series

When Time Forgets (2 books)
  • Everybody's Daughter

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