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A Crowded Heart (Turnstiles #2, a prequel)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Willis Hancocks is a bright, ambitious young man who wants to break out of his small-town existence and make a difference in the world. When WWII breaks out, he rushes to enlist, despite his parents' disapproval. As the world falls apart, Willis finds a way to forge through and finds solace in an incomparable friendship and a surprising, brief encounter with a love that ...more
Paperback, 174 pages
Published November 4th 2015 by Inkwater Press
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Andrea The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind... :( Here is an important organization I belonged to as a child:

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Linda Wells
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A CROWDED HEART is a beautifully crafted novel about how the war experience affects not just those on the battlefield, but their family and loves ones, as well. The story is about Willis Hancocks, Jr., a young Canadian Regiment soldier in World II, his struggles as a husband and father following his post-war military service. The characters are well defined, the writing perfect. For example, the time that Willis spends with his father after his mothers death is written with great clarity and ...more
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Short Listed by Chanticleer Reviews

Kirkus Review (May 26, 2016) -- A soldier struggles to come to terms with the psychological impact of war in this historical novel.

5 stars -- Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Willis Hancocks is not the type of person who can serenely embrace a mediocre lifestyle and his town seems too small for him. With big dreams and strung
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Having deliberated left the final third of the book to finish in one sitting, I am pleased to have read the final page and review this novel.
At times, I was frustrated by the superficial approach this story took about a couple who married during the war and whom we re-visit in difficult times as they try to keep their marriage going.
It was a different time and marriage was viewed as a life's commitment but this piece throws up some insights about how couples made the best of things.
Perhaps also
Rosemary Rigsby
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's all about character, and it must be good because I wanted to get my hands on the protagonist and give him a swift kick. But things are not always what they seem, as is so in real life. Now I need to read the next book.
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
This book kind of touched home for me. My husband being a veteran and serving time in Iraq. I get where and how Ellie felt. I get how Willis didn't want to share his service time with Ellie. It's not a pretty picture to share.
This was PTSD at it's finest. Willis did put Ellie through the ringer though, right along with his family as well.
I to left for the service and never looked back. However I did try to keep in touch with them. Willis never tried, he was fighting his own demons. What did
San Diego Book Review
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The weight of war lasts long after the fighting has stopped and for men like Willis, a Canadian soldier who willfully volunteered, the grisly scenes endured during World War II would forever be a burden for not only him, but to those close to him as well. Drowning his post traumatic stress disorder behind a bottle, Willis cant come to terms with talking about his experiences, even with the ones closest to him, spiraling him into a vicious cycle of financial dependency and condemning behaviors, ...more
Author Susan
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As soon as I read the first page, I was hooked. The story starts out in a hospital where we are introduced to a soldier in WW II. The novel follows his life in and out of the military and the depth of writing gives the events that happen to him real substance. I rooted for him and cried with him especially when he read a certain letter. Andrea takes you on such an intense emotion ride you will find yourself wanting more.
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thank You, Andrea McKenzie Raine for sharing this book with me. I won it on Goodreads and also thank you for the bookmarks. I so enjoyed this book, in fact I read it in two days wishing it was a bit longer. I simply loved the ending. Things were so much different back then but I loved the fact you let your imagination work on this story. No cursing, no violence or descriptive sex. A book everyone can read. Thank you for contributing to the wonderful world of reading!
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Divya Mahajan
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Crowded Heart by Andrea McKenzie Raine is a a story that neither entertains not thrills but makes one to pause reading and think; and doesn't leave your thoughts even when it is finished . It is the story of survivors of those who actively participated in the great war; who wonder if they are the lucky ones or those dies fighting were lucky.
Willis , the soldier here comes out only injured in the war, marries . has a career and a life but has the war been left behind actually or is he still
Erin Williams
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I just finished this book and I was extremely impressed with Raine's ability to capture the despair of depression and how it affects a marriage. I have not served nor been romantically involved with anyone who has but as a sufferer of major depression I empathize with both Willis and Ellie. I felt like each of them was representative of me at one point or another. Sometimes, however, I felt like there was something missing from both of the character's exposition. Something just out of reach ...more
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Set in post WWII London, this is the story of one man's struggle to return to a normal life after the atrocities of war.
While the main character seems to be a deeply flawed person, he's written in a way that a still found myself rooting for him, hoping he'd make better choices and finally find happiness.
I found the ending a tad abrupt, but I understand this book is a prequel to another book thay I have, as of yet, not read. I will say if the goal of this book was to make you want to read the
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh,a really great book! I didn't want it to end,but all books must come to a close at some point.Luckily,this is a prequel and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. This is a love story of sorts,but an unconventional one. It is closer to what happens in real life ,not a fantastical unrelatable story. I felt so drawn to the characters and the twists and turns in their lives.Andrea McKenzie Raine is my new favorite author!
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novella hooked me - the lives and actions of the characters felt very realistic with a very well written story. I got a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Wendy West
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was hesitant to read this. I'm not much for historical romance. But this was very well written. I enjoyed it. It was also very sad. Needed tissues by the end. This author is phenomenal.
Maria Elizabeth
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'A Crowded heart' is such an inspirational. I felt every pain, sorrow & joy. It is not how many times we fail that we should be concerned of, but it is how we accept our failures & do our best to overcome them, that is more important. I have become more thankful for where I am & what I have right now. Thankful to GOD most especially. Follow your dreams & be ready to pay the price.
Glen Hepker
rated it it was amazing
Nov 03, 2016
Paula Hess
rated it liked it
Aug 15, 2018
Maria Elizabeth
rated it it was amazing
Jun 07, 2016
Linda Perkins
rated it it was amazing
Mar 31, 2016
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: published
rated it really liked it
May 15, 2018
marked it as to-read
Nov 02, 2017
Cyril Patrick Feerick
rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Aug 19, 2017
Jamie De
rated it did not like it
Nov 19, 2016
Jennifer Wallace
rated it it was ok
Aug 15, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jan 10, 2018
Stephen Karr
rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2016
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Andrea McKenzie Raine was born in Smithers, BC and grew up in Victoria, BC where she still resides. She was enrolled in the Creative Writing program and earned a B.A. in English Literature at the University of Victoria in 2000, and completed a post-degree Public Relations certificate program. She has attended the successful Planet Earth Poetry reading series (formerly known as Mocambopo) in ...more

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