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The Door of the Heart

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Tammy and Ed Sloan have been married for over two decades when they suddenly discover themselves on opposite sides of a current social issue - gay rights. Soon, they are horrified to discover that their differences run much deeper. The Door of the Heart is a story of being true to oneself, of marriage and commitment, and of individual responses to change; but in a broader sense, it is a story about how polarization limits the emotional and spiritual growth of individuals and destroys every aspect of community.

422 pages, Hardcover

First published March 26, 2014

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Diana Finfrock Farrar

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Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews
1 review1 follower
October 28, 2014
This is an excellent book that I highly recommend to straight and LGBT readers alike as it tells stories of people trying to live their lives as they feel God intends them to and how hard that can be to all concerned. The stories in this book were interesting and taught me about issues I had not fully understood before. But, even more importantly they showed me how our action or inaction affects so many and thus, they helped me to be a more empathetic person.
Profile Image for Lorilei Gonzales.
163 reviews3 followers
August 16, 2016
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I had to read this with my mind set 6 months ago, when gay marriage was not yet legal in Texas. But I had to remind myself that the views of some people now are still what they were back then. I grew up in a home where gay jokes (and racist ones, too) weren’t a big deal. I think it might be a culture thing; Filipino films and media are notorious for casting a token gay man and making fun of dark skinned people. I don’t think my family has changed even though the world has. And while many of my beliefs are directly opposite of what I was brought up with, it didn’t stop me from marrying someone who disagrees with me on the issue of gay marriage. We didn’t talk about it before we were married, but knowing he was a devout Christian with traditional values, I had an inkling.

Farrar’s characters resonated with me because of this. The circumstances were different, Tammy wasn’t particularly a supporter of gay rights and Ed goes as far as trying to bully her into submission, but I could relate all the same. I know what it is to question the practices of traditional Christians who act cruelly or think callously about the oppressed in the name of Jesus. The dialogue in this book is very real to me and I will probably research more about the idea that “homosexual” is used in the Bible but it was a word that did not exist at the time of writing. Some may cry, “Semantics!” but my curiosity has been awakened.

I love that this book brings up PFLAG (formerly known as Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and gives a behind the scenes look of how they help the community. The chat sessions with 15 year old Seth are particularly heart wrenching.

My only criticism is that I think the author overreaches on how many scenarios Ed faces at one time: his son bullies a gay boy in school, he’s fighting against gay rights in his political position, his trustworthy assistant comes out that she’s in a gay marriage, someone close to him passes away and the organs go to a gay recipient, his other close friend recently finds out his son is gay… It was a little overkill for plot’s sake. It made it a little less believable. But otherwise, a wonderful and eye opening read.
Profile Image for Joan Fox.
2 reviews1 follower
November 25, 2015
I saw this book mentioned in a Facebook post and thought it looked interesting. I loved it. When I was nearing the end, I had to slow myself down because I didn't want to leave the characters. Ms. Farrar has a lovely way of weaving biblical truths and compassion into situations and characters that are realistic and quite possibly occur frequently in our own lives. i will recommend this book to anyone who loves to read, who loves people and desires to shine a light in a way that won't make someone feel shut-down if they are wrestling with where a gay person can fit into a world, or a church. Some people may feel if they " let their guard down" and accept all relationships as equal that they are diluting God's sovereign rule. This book gently but definitively opens a door into new understanding. I would certainly recommend it for a book club, and would gladly read it again when I gather some people together. It would be a great book to share conversation and thoughts with others, like-minded or not.
March 22, 2015
I first picked up this book when I realized that the author was someone I went to elementary school with many years ago. It was a fabulous book. There was several different story lines in the book that all intertwined. This is an excellent book for straight and LGBT readers. It blends everyday issues of gay rights in with those of Christianity. It brings to life the struggles that many people face. It deals with the injustice of the way people are treated and how a few small words can really affect a persons emotions. Farrar's writing in very easy to read and keeps the readier captivated! I did not want the book to end, I wanted to continue to follow the lives of the characters. The book also taught me so much about the LGBT community and their rights which I did not know. I enjoyed the book so much, we will be reading it this summer in my book club.
3 reviews
October 11, 2014
This was not a good book. The gay issues do not sit well with me. I wish I hadn't wasted my time with this book and in fact, didn't finish it once I realized what I had gotten myself into. If you are in to gay rights issues and are alright with the current direction they are going then maybe this book is for you but it wasn't for me.
April 9, 2015
What an amazing book that everyone filled with hate should read. I did shed some tears.
Tammy and Ed discover their differences after many years of marriage. One shows unconditional love.
The other doesn't. This leads to trouble in their marriage.

I highly recommend this book.

Glenda Collins
650 reviews
April 20, 2015
A universal story set in Texas. It presents the difficulties encountered by GLTB persons of all ages. It also shows various reactions by family, friends, church, workplace, school, social media and more. It is well presented in story form. The characters are believable. Recommended for all who want to understand more about the controversies and problems.
Profile Image for Marcia.
323 reviews3 followers
April 2, 2020
Started the wrong book for book club. Didn’t appreciate this one & quit.
Profile Image for Kristine Hall.
827 reviews43 followers
December 9, 2015
In The Door of the Heart, Diana Finfrock Farrar presents a story that on the surface seems as if it will be contemporary fiction. There are indeed several story lines and multiple characters and perspectives that connect; however, none of the characters' stories are fully resolved at the end, which will be problematic for readers expecting a novel with a typical plot line and clear resolutions. Essentially, The Door of the Heart really is a very informative vehicle to shine light on the political and social injustices suffered by the LGBTQ community. Much of the book focuses on the incredible emotional struggle it is for people to change their belief systems to be inclusive and loving instead of exclusive and judgmental. The author gives a lot of good information for readers to consider. Unfortunately the delivery often seems contrived and especially in the first half of the book, it mires down the story so that the plot struggles to get a holding. Many of the chapters seem more like reflective essays than connected parts to the whole. Again, the information is excellent and thoughtfully presented, but the plot suffers -- which may or may not be a problem for readers.

The dialogue is natural and the characters are certainly authentic and will feel familiar to Texans and Bible Belt residents. Texas author Farrar obviously has seen the narrow-mindedness that is sadly still prevalent among her fellow citizens, and she must have experienced people who use their religion to justify their hate. The personalities are recognizable though perhaps a bit exaggerated -- I'm a native Texan and have lived here over forty years and haven't heard the terms "darlin'" and "hon" in nearly the quantity as they are used in the book (thank goodness). The book does need another editing pass as there were consistent punctuation and agreement errors and a few typos.

Farrar wrote the book before the Supreme Court ruling on allowing same sex marriage, so readers may feel a little more hopeful in the knowledge that things are changing for the better. The numerous LGBTQ resources and end-notes in the book also show that anyone called to make a difference has plenty of ways to do so; it is likely that anyone reading this book WILL feel called, and that's a good thing.

Thank you to Lone Star Book Blog Tours for providing me an eBook in exchange for my honest opinion -- the only kind I give.

Full review on Hall Ways blog, http://kristinehallways.blogspot.com/...
Profile Image for Deana Dick.
2,504 reviews62 followers
December 3, 2015
I am glad that I was able to read such an informative and touching book about a subject that has long been at the heart of many people in this country. Whatever your belief is about the LGBTQ community, this book will give you reason to search your heart and perhaps open your mind to thinking differently.

This story could be in any city USA as many teens struggle to fit in because they are considered different. After a teen is bullied at school because he is gay, the issue comes to the forefront when a politicians family from Texas is involved. Ed and Tammy's son has been accused of bullying and is sent to an alternative school as punishment. He is also not allowed to be on the football team anymore. His father is furious and thinks it is unfair that his son should be punished . What I found ironic is once their child also started getting bullied, did it really hit home how bullying can cause distress and ultimately discourage a child.

I am impressed with the details the author gives readers about the two sides on this heated issue. She writes with compassion and shows us that there is another way to look at things instead of being so religious you get lost in what matters most. We all have our opinions about what is right and wrong, but the author delivers a book that gives both sides without prejudice. Everyday we make choices and decisions based on what we belief. I've always believed that everyone has the right to be accepted and loved without judgment because of their lifestyle. This book will be heartbreaking at times and uplifting at other times. The characters will touch you and open your heart to true compassion for everyone. Does everyone agree that all people should be treated equally? The answer is up to each of us. We must decide if we can love one another no matter what race, religion or sexual preference we are. Thank you for writing a powerful book that makes people look at theirselves and remind each of us that we are not to judge, but to love and accept each other without prejudice.

I received a copy of this book from the LoneStar Literary Life Blog Tours for an honest review
Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews

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