Read A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell Online


On the eve of World War I, three Italian immigrants dream of love, but each harbors a secret that could destroy any hope of happily ever after.The elegance of Madame Forza's gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston. Yet each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The threeOn the eve of World War I, three Italian immigrants dream of love, but each harbors a secret that could destroy any hope of happily ever after.The elegance of Madame Forza's gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston. Yet each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The three beauties each long to break free of their obligations and embrace the American dream—and their chance for love. But the ways of the heart are difficult to discern at times. Julietta is drawn to the swarthy, mysterious Angelo. Annamaria has a star-crossed encounter with the grocer's son, a man from the entirely wrong family. And through no intent of her own, Luciana catches the eye of Billy Quinn, the son of Madame Forza's most important client. Their destinies intertwined, each harboring a secret from their families and each other, will they be found worthy of the love they seek?...

Title : A Heart Most Worthy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780764207952
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Heart Most Worthy Reviews

  • Kellyn Roth
    2019-02-13 14:10

    Original Review, January 14th:Okay, WOW. Siri Mitchell has been an author I haven't really loved until now because of the content + her books tend to be unresolved or dad at the end in my limited experience. (I like a happy ending short of GWTW.)But ... that was great. There was a bit of content, but it never made me too uncomfortable since the narrative voice made me feel safe, if that makes sense. I'll go into more detail in my full review.Sooooo ... just really cool! I knew about the Spanish Influenza - it came up when researching for TLOTV, actually - but not about this specific Italian Immigration. (I knew there were waves of immigrants but just paid attention to the German and Irish ones for reasons. xD)Sooo ... yep! Great book!Full Review, February 13th:Originally posted on Reveries Reviews.Title: A Heart Most WorthyAuthor: Siri MitchellSeries: Against All Expectations, #4 (is meant to be a standalone)Genre: Historical Romance with Christian undertonesEra: 1918 (WW1)Setting: Boston, United StatesPublisher: Bethany HouseSource: bought myself a copy at the local libraryTime Taken to Read: about three daysOverall Rating: 5/5 starsLet’s take a moment to appreciate the cover. (Just so you know, the full cover and the formatting are both amazing! If you can, buy yourself a paperback copy. It’s a decoration as well as a good book.)Now. Onto the story behind the beautiful cover/formatting.WOW. Siri Mitchell has been an author I haven’t really loved until now because of the content + her books tend to be unresolved or sad at the end in my limited experience. (I like a happy ending short of GWTW.)Now, I’ve only read two of her books – but they were the first two in this series (it’s a series you can read in any order, just so you know; not sure why it’s a series at all). And both ended … unsatisfactorily. At least, in my opinion. So … I wasn’t sure what to think of this fourth book in the series.Well, “against all expectations,” it was the most amazing book I’ve read in a long time!(I’ve decided to remove the section for this review because I love it so much that I need room to ramble.)The plot was very interesting! There were three major plotlines – that of each of the girls, Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana – as well as Madame Forza and Mrs. Quinn.You’d think that many plotlines would be overwhelming! Well … they weren’t. The author masterfully crafted a beautiful story that fitted perfectly together. It’s been a long time since I’ve read such a tight plot.I think my favorite plot at the beginning was Annamaria’s. Her struggles with being the eldest daughter – who in Sicilian tradition doesn’t marry, but cares for her parents and siblings – and desiring a home and children more than anything broke my heart.However, as her story progressed, I found myself getting wrapped up in Luciana’s story. Billy Quinn was a stellar character – and even just he made the story that much better. And then, of course, the whole thing with the assassinator was quite suspenseful.Julietta, I had very little pity for at first. She was kinda being an idiot … which was the point of the lesson, of course, but it was no-less annoying. I did eventually get to like her, but it wasn’t the same as with Luciana and Annamaria.At about 50%, I totally called the twist with Madame Forza and Mrs. Quinn. And … I just loved it! It was quite sweet. (view spoiler)[It was just so sweet, y’know? She was trying to make his marriage better! If I lost my sweetheart to another woman, I’d hope I could do that. (hide spoiler)]Anyway, just beautiful.The writing style was omniscient, and it’s very rarely you see that done well, without head-hopping or confusion. But this was absolutely beautiful! It was like someone was telling me a true story, sitting right in front of me, and I was completely charmed and swept away by it.The writing had the simplicity of Eleanor H. Porter, the grittiness of Gene Stratton Porter, and the relatable sweetness of Maud Hart Lovelace with a dash of L.M. Montgomery … along with the author’s own style, of course!The historical details were amazing! Everything seemed 100% accurate to the best of my knowledge, and I felt sucked into the era and setting. The Boston slums, the upper class, World War I, the Spanish flu … everything was quite amazing.Overall, it was the kind of novel that I’d read again and again. And I fully intend to!CONTENT: 3/5Language: n/aViolence: talk about the war, people dying, etc. One of the main character’s father was blown up by a terrorist. The terrorist is in the USA and tries to kill the main character and others and talks about it. Never anything gruesome or violent.Sexual: one of the characters put herself in compromising situations with a man who wants to sleep with her, leading to fairly detailed kisses and her having to tell him she’s not that kind of girl, essentially. There are a couple (fairly vague) references to sexual relations. Can’t remember anything else. A married woman accuses her husband of having an affair.Other: the slums are very slummy, thousands of people die from the Spanish flu later on in the book, and it might be a little frightening for younger reader.Probably 14 or 15+ for sexual content. Definitely a more mature book, but none-the-less awesome for it.OVERALL: 5/5I don’t know how to sum up this amazing book! From the plot to the characters to the setting to the writing, it swept me away. I can’t even begin to say how highly I recommend it to any lover of historical fiction. It was different … but that’s what made it so special!~Kellyn Roth, Reveries Reviews

  • Sarah
    2019-02-01 14:27

    This book was very different and got off to a slow start, but I really liked it in the end.

  • Angelc
    2019-02-15 16:35

    It's difficult to write a review when you just want to write "This book is so awesome!" But it's so much more than that, so I'll try to explain why.I loved that the book is about everyday life and situations in 1918, it's not about politics, exact dates, and other thing we've already learned in history books. It's about women's lives at home, at work, in love, and with friends. This is what I love to read about!There are a lot of characters in this book, the three women who work in Madame Fortier's dress shop, and two older women, Madame herself and her customer, Mrs. Quinn. All of the women are very different and lead very different lives, but they all come together at the dress shop.The romances in this story are absolutely swoon-worthy! The little moments are just so romantic. And all three of the the ladies' love stories are completely different from each others'.This tale doesn't read like Christian fiction. These ladies make all kinds of mistakes and are able to learn from them instead of being preached at. The message is still there, but it's much more realistic.It's an eye opening look at city life at the time and glimpse at a piece of history we don't often see. Lovely characters with engrossing stories make this book a keeper!book sent by publisher in exchange for honest reviewreviewed for

  • Margaret Metz
    2019-01-25 18:16

    Wow! This book is like a sweet Vidalia onion that's been caramelized - lots of layers and all full of yummy goodness. I could analyze this for pages and pages but I'll try and restrain myself. ;o) It starts with the cover. Isn't it drool-worthy? I'm in total envy over that dress.The author tackles surface issues like the the problems the Italian immigrants faced both from outsiders and from their own prejudices against other Italians. Tradition and family was all many of them had. Sometimes the same stubborn pride that helped them survive in this new country insulated them and even caused them to refuse help they needed. What makes a healthy relationship? What is most important in love? All the main characters struggle with these questions on some level or another. Whether it's 1918 or 2011, people still mistake lust for love, they still think they're unworthy for whatever reason, they still fear what will happen if they trust... and sometimes they think it's too late once they've made mistakes. Sometimes people try to manipulate people and call it love. Then you have the political undertones. People who think violence is the way to bring about change and that the government should do whatever they want. People who don't mind stealing, killing or dying in order to make their plans come to fruition. It sounds eerily like what is going on here and around the world. Yet you meet them, sympathize and want to be able to help them see what they're doing is hurting themselves and others. The three main characters couldn't be more different. Add in Madame Fortier and you have four women who will stay with me for some time. They loved deeply, made mistakes, kept secrets, and showed a tenacity of spirit that made me love them all. From the beginning to end you can see each of them grow and change in individual ways that reflected the personal journey each had to take. There were also some yummy heroes that you won't want to miss. Each had his own strengths (and weaknesses) that perfectly matched the girl he was destined to be with. Some had unflappable faith and determination, some patience that would try a saint, some were self-sacrificing... and some were forgiving and generous. All were romantic because true romance is loving in a way that brings out the best in them and is concentrated on their needs instead of your own. This is going on my list of best books of 2011. I want to thank Bethany House for providing me my copy in exchange for my honest review.

  • Shari Larsen
    2019-01-24 13:20

    This story is set in 1918; three young Italian immigrant women are working in a Boston dress shop. Julietta enjoys flirting with the boys, and wishes she were American instead of Italian. She begins a romance with a handsome and mysterious stranger and soon finds herself in over her head.Annamaria is the eldest girl in her family, and is expected to remain unmarried so that she can help take care of the family, and her parents when they reach old age. She has always been a dutiful daughter, but she can't help but wonder why she can't have a life for herself, especially when she finds herself falling for the son of the Sicilian grocer across the street, and her parents are also very prejudiced against Sicilians.Luciana escaped Italy with her grandmother after the assassination of her father, the Count of Roma, and they had to leave everything behind. Money is running out, and Luciana gets a job at the dress shop doing bead work to put food on the table, but who will look after her grandmother while she is working? She also know the anarchist who killed her father is also in Boston, looking for her.I really enjoyed this story, it was the perfect blend of history and romance. The romances were believable in the way they unfolded, and sweetly done, but not saccharine. The history of that time and place was well done, incorporating the effects of World War I on society, and the Spanish Flu epidemic. I enjoyed reading about Italian culture in America; it was interesting to learn that many of the Italians kept within their own groups depending upon which region of Italy they were from, and there was prejudice among the different groups, with Sicilians being the most scorned.I liked how the girls all came from very different families, but they way they formed friendships happened very naturally and was believable.

  • Laura
    2019-01-30 18:35

    Title: A HEART MOST WORTHYAuthor: Siri MitchellPublisher: Bethany HouseMarch 2011ISBN: 978-0-7642-0795-2Genre: Inspiration/Women’s fiction/historicalI’ve read and enjoyed most of Siri Mitchell’s books, so when this one came available for review I jumped at the chance to review it. This book is set up very differently from her other books, and to be honest I didn’t even have a clue how to begin to review it! The story is about three different seamstresses who work in the same dress shop, but they are all very different. Juliette is rather reckless, Annamarie is very shy and keeps falling for the wrong men, and Luciana has a secret past which could prove to be dangerous. The story is told by a narrator, which I found rather difficult to read, resulting in the fact that I couldn’t get drawn into the story at all. However, the romance parts of the book are well done, not overly done fairy tale type romances, but more realistic. Not all of the romances end with a happily ever after. The story takes place in an immigrant section of Boston, and Ms. Mitchell has included a lot of descriptions about the type of housing, the quality of life. It is obvious Ms. Mitchell did her research, and the facts she includes are fascinating. This was probably the least favorite of all the books by Siri Mitchell that I’ve read. Like I said, I think that it was told by a narrator kind of ruined it for me since I was unable to get into the story the way I would have liked. I was kept very distant the whole time. However, if you enjoy Ms. Mitchell’s books, please do give A HEART MOST WORTHY a try. You might like it better than I did. I did really enjoy the note from the author included at the end, and there are also discussion questions. $14.99. 380 pages.

  • Carly
    2019-02-05 19:32

    For a while now, I have had mixed emotions about Siri Mitchell’s books. On the one hand, her writing is flawless, her stories have depth and historical details and her characters are unique and realistic. On the other hand, I have yet to find a Siri Mitchell book that has been difficult to put down. In fact, I have found it difficult to get into these books. A Heart Most Worthy was a similar experience to my experiences in the past. Now, I am not saying that I did not like this book or that it wasn’t good, because it was, once I got into it. Among the things I did like about this book are the characters and the setting. I liked the very different personalities that came together and I appreciate the author including the List of Characters at the front of the book. It was very helpful. Madame Fortier’s dress shop made for an interesting setting for this story and I loved the fact that Siri chose to have another story set in Boston. There is such an interesting history in that city and Siri’s flawless research and historical accuracy really put me right in the heart of the North End in 1918. That really went a long way with me to increase my enjoyment of this book.I really hope this review does not sound overly critical because Siri is a beautiful writer and she has an amazing talent for creating beautiful stories. I just have a tendency to struggle through her books at times, but that is just me. I think A Heart Most Worthy will appeal to historical fiction fans who enjoy a book that can be savored and not rushed.

  • Casey
    2019-02-17 15:37

    I am unsure about “A Heart Most Worthy”, not in a negative way, just… unsure…Let me preface this review by saying I have not met a Siri Mitchell book I have not liked, she has an amazing writing “voice”. While I enjoyed “A Heart Most Worthy”, I am still kicking around the idea if I liked it enough to read more books in this nature. Allow me to explain. The author employed a writing technique called “omniscient” point of view. Unhindered by space breaks, you jump from one character’s head to the next with little warning.If I had to read such a book, I would want Siri to do it. There were few stumbling blocks, the reader was almost always warned by a new paragraph and the “head hopping” within characters was done when they shared the same scene.That said I couldn’t really get “into” the book. I liked the story, the multiply plots all came together- even a few character surprises. You have to be patient at the beginning and become familiar with the multiply players. But the reason for my uncertainty is I am unsure about the omniscient point of view. On one hand I liked it, on the other hand it’s not my favorite way to read. It’s still a great Siri Mitchell story, I think other readers are going to have to decide for themselves if they like the style of this particular book. I would say the story overall was very good.This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.

  • Kelli
    2019-02-14 18:25

    This author always writes intense stories and I love her for that, mostly. The writing is unique and at times very witty. Which is very refreshing, especially in the Christian fiction world, were lots of stories get published and all they contain are mush and weak story lines. The biggest thing I have to say about this book is it has too many stories. I liked all three girls, and all three stories were engrossing. However, I felt it was overloaded and each story lost something because it was stuck within all the other story lines. I didn't like Julietta at first, and funny enough, she ended up being the character I had the most empathy for. I loved how everything fell into place for her and Mauro. He was also the best guy over all the others. Except for Raphaello's taking care of Annamaria and her family during the Spanish influenza sickness. I actually liked Luciana's story the best, in the first of the book, but thought due to all the other storylines, her's got sucked into a writing trap and never quite came into focus. And the second half of the book seemed to favor Julietta and Annamaria.The history on the North End and on the Italian immmigrant way of life is excellently researched. Its not my favorite of this authors but I did appreciate the research and it made me want to read more about the North End.

  • Kristina
    2019-01-24 11:31

    Oh my goodness. I have only read one of Siri's books prior to this, but with this title I am solidified as one of her followers. Wow. This book has so many different layers and story lines running through it that I could only turn the page again and again to get to the bottom of the many mysteries. The main characters are three Italian immigrants named Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana. Did you not just swoon when I said those names. Every great novel needs some great names and this one is chock full of them. All three girls work at the Madame's gown shop; each has their own specialty. In a city where Italians are scrutinized and almost abhorred, this story once again shows the depth of Siri Mitchell's impeccable research. I not only read a memorable story, but I learned something as well. I had no idea that as immigrants came from Italy, they were not referred to Italians, but rather Romans, Sicilians, etc. I am quite thankful to have found out that interesting fact.I would read this story again without even blinking an eye. Full of detail and suspense this is a must-read!I was given a copy of this title for review by Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own.

  • Norain
    2019-02-15 15:29

    The story of three Italian girls, set during the Great Emigration and the approaching of the end of World War I, Luciana, Julietta, Annamaria, who work at Madame Fortier's gown-making shop. Luciana was the daughter of the recently assassinated Count of Roma who has now fallen on hard times and is on the run in America. Both Julietta and Annamaria are normal Italian migrant girls, but they are as different to each other as day is to night. Where Julietta is daring and boy-crazy, Annamaria is a nice girl who suffers from the expectation of being the firstborn daughter - destined to remain unmarried to look after her parents and is always there to do what her family demands her to do.An easygoing read, I finished it in one day. But maybe too easygoing? Especially for a story with something as serious as the issue of xenophobic, the Spanish Influenza, and the war as its setting.The matches made are too perfect. It is Luciana whom Billy meets and falls for, Luciana the once-rich once-noble matched with the son of the Congressman and not just some common Italian girls. And Julietta to Mauro because girls, you should settle down with a nice man with a job and not go off with some bad boys your mother does not even know. Kinda preachy in that respect.In fact he whole novel is rather preachy, but what can you expect from a Christian fiction? But I have read some other Christian fictions that do not go as long as this one talking about God and so on. It matters less to me, I still prefer a Christian Romance to one of those Romances with almost-naked guys on the covers and sex scenes every ten pages or so.Still, if it can be a bit more complicated, it could have been better. I expected a happy ending, but I also expected the heroines to struggle to reach what they want. Rather than having the obstacles removed conveniently for them by some Divine mean or outside influence, whatever you want to call them. It was like seeing a child struggling to climb a tree for the most delicious, the reddest, the glossiest apple, only to see it fell to the ground because a gale had taken upon itself to shake the branch where the said apple hung. It just kills the tension, the climax, if you get what I mean. And with A Heart Most Worthy, it rather made the three girls a bit two-dimensional.I did not hate the girls but nor did I particularly liked them. I sympathised the most with Annamaria, but as a whole, while it was fun reading about them, I did not miss them now that our time together was over and there would be no second time.All in all, it was an enjoyable read. I had hoped for more luxurious descriptions about gowns, which was why I picked up this particular book from Siri Mitchell's works, but this is not The Time in Between. Nice cover by the way, though I could do without the ruffles on the sleeve.

  • Christy
    2019-02-13 18:18

    This was one of the those books that just would not let me go until I reached the very last page. While the characters and the setting were quite ordinary, the intricacies of high fashion and historical detail were so well-crafted that I felt transported to the time and place. Through Siri's skillful storytelling, it was easy to imagine living in a squalid tenement, cramped with other immigrant families, and hoping that I would have enough money to feed my family that day. Now, imagine that daily lifestyle with the backdrop of the Spanish influenza epidemic and World War I, and it's not difficult to see why this book was so captivating.The story follows three unique girls, each with their own stories, and they all happened to work together at Madame Forza's gown shop. Julietta was a little on the reckless side--fascinated by Angelo's mystique, yet not crazy about the danger he seemed to attract. Luciana wanted nothing more than to blend in with the crowd, lest she be found by the men who murdered her family and followed her to America. And finally, personal favorite. She longed for a life of lesser responsibility, where no one immediately assumed that it was her job to take care of her parents into their old age, but instead, to create a new beginning with the man of her heart. This man just happened to be from the grocer's shop across the street, only he's the last person she ought to be attracted to.While A Heart Most Worthy most likely would not be considered a historical romance, the romance elements of the book were some of the best I've read in ages. Few authors can weave it into their tales in such a beautiful way that it makes one think back to the early days of their own individual love story. Siri is one of those authors. For example, Annamaria was literally forbidden from speaking to the grocer's son across the street, yet after each visit there, the attraction between them escalated after a quick glimpse here or a subtle smile there. When they spoke to one another for the first time, my stomach was so full of butterflies, you'd think I was going on my first date! Even though I've only read two books now by Siri, it's going to be extremely difficult for any of her others to match up to this one. I could go on for another two or three paragraphs about everything that I loved, but I've tried to leave a little bit to entice a new reader. The story was unique, the setting realistic, and the romance...well, I think you know my feelings on that. *wink* A Heart Most Worthy was one of the most satisfying books I've read in a very long time, and has easily carved out a line on my Top Ten Books of 2011.

  • Angie
    2019-02-16 19:10

    Before I read A Heart Most Worthy I had read a few reviews and in a lot of them they complained about the omniscient point of view that the author writes in. To be honest, the reviews had me worried I wasn't going to enjoy it. Well, I think this was a good reminder to myself that sometimes you just have to make up your own mind about a book because I absolutely loved it! I actually enjoyed the omniscient point of view and never found it confusing. This is a story about love and also about hate and how it can destroy the people harboring it. It reminded me of a line in one of my favorite shows (Lark Rise to Candleford), "Hatred is like swallowing the poison and waiting for the other person to die." I might not have gotten it 100% correct but you get the point.The romance in this book was so touching and had me a little teary eyed at times. We meet three very different girls in this book and see them grow, learn and fall in love. As the back of the book says there is fiery Julietta--there were times I wanted to yell at her, shy Annamaria--I felt for her and was rooting her on, and then there is secretive Luciana--and what a secret she has!Siri Mithcell has wrote another great book (one of my favorites this year) and I can not wait to read her next book. Please don't let the omniscient point of view scare you off because this is a great read.**Thanks to Bethany House for sending me my free review copy**

  • Laura
    2019-01-29 15:10

    The year is 1918. The place is Boston. World War I is raging, and three immigrant girls are struggling to find themselves. Julietta, strong and bold, must choose between true love and exciting love. Annamaria, quiet and obedient, falls for a boy from the other side of the street and must choose between love and her parents’ prejudice. Luciana, alone and carrying a secret, must choose between love and safety. Working together at a dress shop, the three girls’ lives are woven together in a historical tale of prejudices, loyalties, and both the love of a man and of God.This is the first historical fiction book I’ve read by Siri Mitchell, and I enjoyed it. Boston is my favorite city in America, and I was happy to see it as the setting for this tale. I loved the Italian culture that filled the pages. Although there are myriad characters in the book, they are all well-developed and accurately portray the women of that generation. Each girl’s story was unique but shared the common theme of finding love despite all obstacles. The side storylines of Madame Fortier’s lost love and the political and social issues of the time deepened the overall theme. Although the ending was predictable, the journey there was enjoyable. I will definitely check out the other historical books by Siri Mitchell. I received this book from Bethany House for the purpose of reviewing.

  • Beth
    2019-02-07 18:23

    Having read all of Siri Mitchell's other novels, I was a little worried about how much I would enjoy this one. The narration is different, and it follows the stories of three different Italian girls living in America in 1918. I had no reason to be worried though! I loved each individual story and how they intertwined with one another.Julietta got on my nerves a bit at first, but she really develops throughout the course of the story. I was rooting for her by the end of the book. Annamaria might have been the slowest moving story of all, but it was still very sweet, and I liked the way it ended. Luciana's was my favorite story (though perhaps the most unlikely, ha). All of their stories had a sweet romance and real struggles that I could relate to.It is definitely obvious that Mitchell did her research about how life would have been for a young Italian immigrant during that time. The customs of their families and cultures were very cool to read about, and it really made me think about how hard it must have been to pave a new life for yourself, while still trying to hold onto your roots and the pride of your former country.I like Mitchell's books because of the real stories and genuine characters. In the world of Christian fiction, all of her books stand out. I hope she is already at work on her next novel!

  • Michelle Griep
    2019-01-18 12:31

    Once again author Siri Mitchell brings the past to life in A Heart Most Worthy. Every time I read one of Siri ‘s books, I feel like I’ve sat in on a college level history class, with the added bonus that I didn’t have to pay the tuition and there’s no final. Win, win, win, I tell ya!This story puts the reader dead center in the heart a Bostonian Italian neighborhood during the early twentieth century. I already knew about the danger of the epic Spanish Flu, but I had no idea of the hazards of prejudice against Italians. The trials the three main characters endure evoke feelings of compassion, sympathy, and outright anger. And not just because of the way others disrespected them, but for the way Italians treated other Italians. Leaves me shaking my head.This is a unique novel in that it’s presented mostly in omniscient narrative, which is slightly jarring in my opinion. I got used to it after awhile but it’s not a personal favorite.A Heart Most Worthy is a stand alone story that makes some great points about confusing lust for love, the need for government vs. anarchism, and how easily the things we think we need can be turned into idols.

  • J.M. Hochstetler
    2019-01-25 16:08

    This is one of the most gripping stories I have ever read. It is written in an older, omniscient style that isn't often used today but is very effective for telling this particular story of three young Italian women and the enigmatic owner of the dress shop where they work. The story is set in Boston in 1918, at the end of WWI. Each character struggles with her individual circumstances amid the prejudice of the surrounding society, and each is surprised by true love when it seems most impossible to find it. Mitchell weaves the characters' stories together in a most affecting way and at intervals inserts gently knowing comments that engage the reader's empathy and understanding. Although the book starts slowly, the characters quickly capture the reader's heart, and by the end only the hardest of hearts could not be in tears. As Mama Giordano said to her Julietta, who felt unworthy of the one who loved her: "Who has ever deserved anything they've been given? Love is not about deserving, cara mia. It's about giving. And accepting. And sharing. The most worthy heart is also the most courageous. Coraggio! Don't give up. Not just yet." A very wise mother indeed.

  • Renee
    2019-02-05 18:27

    A Heart Most Worthy is excellent. Usually I'm not a fan of books that feature multiple main characters but for this book it worked. Each of the characters were all connected through the dress shop in early 20th c. Boston where they worked. Each had their own struggles with faith, love and family and there was even a little about politics. I absolutely loved that each of the heroines was Italian simply because I can't remember the last time I read a book with Italian immigrants AND an Italian neighborhood that was in Boston, not New York. The characters were Catholic too which was great because that's not something you see everyday in Christian fiction for some dumb reason. I honestly didn't think I could like a book more than her previous release, She Walks in Beauty but this was definitely just as good! How will Siri top this? I dunno, it's gonna be tough! :-)

  • joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
    2019-02-09 13:12

    this was hideously awful -- way too many characters, way too much love-at-first-sight, and excessively melodramatic happenings. and, may i point out, that a "destitute heiress" is an heiress no longer! could we please stop referring to her as an heiress? she's not going to inherit anything anymore. the only thing rescuing this novel from the 1 star rating is the setting -- 1918 Boston, complete with immigrant tenements, war-effort fervor, spanish influenza, and generally well-done milieupg for above mentioned setting, plus some stupid choices that almost lead to virtue-loss for one of our three (count them, three!) female leads; assassination; prejudice

  • Karen
    2019-02-04 18:14

    I had a hard time getting into this at the beginning. The books switches by chapter between the perspectives of three different girls who all work in the same shop but are quite different from each other. So, in the 1st 6 chapters you are introduced to a lot of characters and names and events. The author does realize this may be confusing and added a list of characters in the front. But, once I had it all sorted out and got into the story, I ended up liking the book. The characters weren't really deep, and the historical element wasn't very involved, and the romance wasn't anything new, but, overall it had heart.

  • Angela
    2019-01-28 14:10

    Wonderful story in a fascinating backdrop. I hadn't read many books from the omniscient POV so it took a while to adjust to bouncing between characters heads/narrator but it lended itself to the story so well. I love how Mitchell wove the different stories and personalities together. All the strings were tied up by the end with no questions left in my mind. Amazing details that throw you right into 1918. Great historical fiction!

  • Kate Breslin
    2019-01-29 19:38

    I enjoyed this story! Very well written. Siri does a great job interweaving the lives of her three heroines, and I found the history during that time fascinating.

  • Lady Jane Grey
    2019-02-16 18:17

    I was quite startled when I finished reading this book. What? It ENDS?!

  • Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
    2019-01-23 17:13

    This review first appeared on my blog: girls, all Italian immigrants, but with very different personal stories. They all work at Madame Fortier's Gown Shop. Madame Fortier isn't really French, but the prejudices against her people keep her close-mouthed about her Italian heritage.Julietta Giordano is 18 years old. Her specialty is embroidery. Her large Italian family is hard-working and all of their pay goes directly to their father. Julietta is looking for fun, and she has her eye on just the young man to make it happen. She's a bit selfish and very impetuous, and she doesn't realize that you shouldn't always get what you wish for.Annamaria Rossi is the oldest girl in her family, and as such, she is expected not to marry and to take care of her parents in their old age. Her specialty is smocking. She is an obedient girl, but she can't help herself; she wonders WHY she has to give up her whole life to take care of everyone else? Why can't ALL of the family help take care of her parents?Luciana Conti escaped Italy with her grandmother after the assassination of her father, the Count of Roma. The Contessa is immobilized by her grief, and the money is running out. Luciana's excellent beadwork will be the key to keeping food in the house; but who will look after her grandmother while she is working? When she sees the anarchist that killed her father on the streets of Boston, she knows that she can't let anyone know who she really is, or he will finish the job he started.The reader is taken into the early 20th century and experiences the prejudices, hardship, love, and loyalty of the Italian immigrant. There's a social worker that visits Julietta's house who rails against the fact that they eat so many vegetables and not enough meat (thank goodness Julietta's mother doesn't understand English, else she would beat the worker over the head with her soup ladle). Madame Fortier is the type of woman that most readers will love - strong-willed, hard-working, kind-at-heart, with a back story that unfolds slowly. She has made huge personal sacrifices for love.What a wonderful story. I found myself very interested in all of the girls, and crossing my fingers for love to find them and for things to work out well. I had a vague understanding of the prejudices that Italian immigrants encountered, but this book gave me a better understanding and at times made my heart ache.A very sweet (but not saccharine) tale lies within these pages. The touches of humor make it even better.Now for a little aside: it's classified as Christan fiction, and sometimes I have a difficult time with that label. Is it because all of the girls were Catholic and their journeys to confession play a part in the novel? Is it because it's a clean read? I would personally label this one as historical fiction. This is my first experience with Siri Mitchell's writing, but I would definitely go back for more.QUOTES:Mama was going to make her do it? She was going to make her own daughter cross the street and deal with Sicilians? Annamaria had always done everything and anything that her mother had ever asked, but buying tomatoes from Sicilians?You see, it's all very well and good to judge and moralize, but there are some whose morale has been broken. And for these, sometimes, we just have to let them survive, in hopes that one day they will decide to do more than survive.They weren't supposed to speak. No self-respecting Avellinesi should speak to a Sicilian. And they could not meet, except for Annamaria's trips to the frutta e verdura, but no one could stop them from staring out the window at each other, if they chose to, of a night. And so they did.Writing: 4 out of 5 starsPlot: 4.5 out of 5 starsCharacters: 4 out of 5 starsReading Immersion: 4 out 5 starsBOOK RATING: 4.1 out of 5 stars

  • Shelby
    2019-01-25 14:16

    The elegance of Madame Forza's gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston. Yet each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The three beauties each long to break free of their obligations and embrace the American dream--and their chance for love. But the ways of the heart are difficult to discern at times. Julietta is drawn to the swarthy, mysterious Angelo. Annamaria has a star-crossed encounter with the grocer's son, a man from the entirely wrong family. And through no intent of her own, Luciana catches the eye of Billy Quinn, the son of Madame Forza's most important client. Their destinies intertwined, each harboring a secret from their families and each other, will they be found worthy of the love they seek? [Amazon Product Description]Mrs. Mitchell has done it again.  I knew before I even started this book that it was going to be amazing. And oh my heart- it was. I love how she writes; I always come away with some pieces of new knowledge. All her books are about things in history I never would have known about otherwise. My mother (aka my teacher) would be so proud of her. This one didn’t take place in Queen Elizabeth’s court (see A Constant Heart) or tell the tale of a debutant who loses her place in society (see She Walks in Beauty). It didn’t even explore forbidden love (well, it did a little…see Love’s Pursuit)! No, this novel whisked us off to Boston, year 1918. It told us the stories of three very different Italian girls following the same dream, but in very different ways. But of course, I’ll leave it up to you to find out how it all turns out in the end. I loved all the girls, but Annamaria was the one I could relate to the most. Her story was definitely the best of the three…ah, who doesn’t like a little forbidden love thrown in every once in a while? “Where are you going?” “To get some tomatoes!” Her story reminded me of Romeo and Juliet. And…*sigh* Rafaello. He was way more romantic than the other two guys…by a long shot! Mentioning the other guys, I hated Angelo from the very first page. He sickened me. And Julietta was so blind to his true character, like so many girls are today. I actually know a girl that’s a “Julietta,” flirting with danger. And Mauro…he just seemed so…emotionless. I wish I had seen him express his love for Julietta more…he really didn’t convince me at all. He needed a lesson from Billy Quinn, I think.  But then again, the last thing Julietta needed was another guy pursuing her relentlessly. She needed a level-headed guy and a balanced relationship. She had to make up her mind between passionate love and practical love. She had to decide between want and need and choose what was best for her. That brings me to another point: Julietta’s story showed that love is not always passionate. It can be, but not always. Love is based on mutual respect and admiration, too; not only physical attraction. Mauro was perfect for Julietta- she was wild and he was practical. They say that opposites attract… To sum it all up, I loved A Heart Most Worthy. It was intriguing and entertaining as well as educating. I don’t think it quite measured up to one of Mrs. Mitchell’s other book, Love’s Pursuit (that one set me of fire!) but it was amazing just as well. And Madonna Mia! I almost forgot! The cover! I am so lusting after that gown… Happy Reading!Quick Content Review:Profanity: NoneViolence: NoneSexual: None (Julietta kisses Angelo a couple times, and it’s mentioned that he kisses her neck. He tries to persuade her to sleep with him in exchange for him returning Mrs. Quinn’s jewels, but he gets a better idea instead. Nothing is described.)

  • Melmac MacDonald
    2019-02-07 13:31

    A Heart Most WorthySiri MitchellBethany House Publishers2011Genre: fiction, romance, historicalIt's 1918 in Boston. World War I is still raging and 3 Italian seamstresses from the North End are daring to dream a different dream. The elegance of Madame Forza's gown shop is a far cry from the North End of Boston. Each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana make their way to the shop and create beautiful gowns that will never see their part of town.Impulsive and lively Julietta longs for something more than what life offers in her family's boring flat. When the mysterious Angelo catches her eye she is instantly drawn to him. He lives on the edge and his passion about a revolution is much more dangerous than Julietta could ever imagine. While Angelo draws Julietta further and further into his confusing web Mauro the family friend and doctor stands waiting for Julietta to notice him. When the danger becomes more than anyone could imagine Julietta must choose between the two men.Quiet and shy Annamaria is the eldest daughter of her Italian family and thereby is destined to never marry and to take care of her parents until their deaths. Dutiful and accepting Annmaria resigns herself to her fate until the day her mama sends her across the street to the forbidden Sicilian produce stand for some tomatoes. When she meets Rafaello her entire world is turned upside down. A forbidden love in more ways than one Annamaria knows she must ignore what her heart longs for most. Secretive and cautious Luciana is such because she is the daughter of the Count of Roma who was recently killed in an assassination. Even in Boston the assassins are hunting for her. Forced to find work beading gowns to provide for herself and her grandmother Luciana is constantly looking over her shoulder. The North End is a culture shock but no more so than the Irish son of one of the gown maker's clients. He's drawn to Luciana and creates ways for them to meet. In her desire to see no more people she loves killed she must run again. I will be the first to admit that I typically approach a Mitchell novel with caution. I'm usually drawn to her books due to the story lines and creativity and I'm always dissapointed. Not so with a Heart Most Worthy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters flowed well and were very well developed. I was absolutely transported to Boston and I loved it. The amount of detail in regards to the Italian emigrants of that time completely fascinated me. While not the crux of the book I also appreciated Mitchell's handling of the Spanish Influenza which was completely devastating during that time and not often remembered. Seeing the transition Luciana made from being a Countess of Roma to just a regular emigrant living in the dirty North End of Boston was truly engaging. This was a great read and I'm a little sad it's over...which you know means it's a good one! rated: pg for adult contentThank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest and real review.

  • Kathleen E.
    2019-01-23 16:18

    Saturday, April 23, 2011A Heart Most Worthy--Siri MitchellHistorical Fiction Available for ReviewI received this notice from Bethany House Publishers and I eagerly sent off for a new 2011 release from an author I have not read before, Siri Mitchell's "A Heart Most Worthy." I would like to pass the word on to others who would like to review copies: to get your name in to choose a book to review. I chose "A Heart Most Worthy" as it is about Italian settlements in the U.S. in the early 1900s. I have always loved historical fiction incorporating the immigrants as I am from Irish, German and Norwegian descent.In the beginning of the book there is a list of characters which I like to be able to sort out who's who. The story starts out with the three main characters beginning their day. Siri is very descriptive and you can get inside her story with all your senses; sights, sounds and smells! Nationalities coming to America were sometimes sent for by previous arriving relatives and it was common for each dialect to live in the same area of their customs, traditions, and speech. This is 1918 Boston, and Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana live in the North End where the day workers and laborers live. They go to work each day in the wealthy section, so it is quite a contrast from where they spend their nights and evenings. Actually, these three girls are hand-selected for their individual crafts. They spend their days on the third floor of Madame Fortier's elite gown shop, where society's upper class choose from drawings for their fine apparel for seasonal social outings. Their lives interweave but they are unaware of it, as each story is told separately, paralleled by a third-person narrator drawing them together. This was a little disconcerting to me as a reader, for the narrator to pop up inside the story. The further in I got, I was glad I continued to read bypassing this thought interruption, being griped by the story itself. The gown sewers are on the second floor and the three floors do not mingle with each other. I kept waiting for Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana to share aspects of their lives together but they do not. A heart most worthy is very fitting, as they each explore who they are in their New World and where they fit. I especially liked the outcome for Madame Fortier, as she is very gracious and caring for these young ladies in her employ. Enjoy their individual lives as their stories unveil. Surprising how lives intertwine without our knowing it! They all have strong characters and a zest for life. I will be searching for Siri Mitchell's previous works!

  • Erin
    2019-02-06 12:20

    I remember when Siri Mitchell's historical fiction books were first hitting the market a few years ago. They sounded intriguing and I was interested. Fast forward a few years and I hadn't been able to get my hands on any of her books, until Bethany House offered to let me review "A Heart Most Worthy". I jumped at the opportunity and I was not disappointed!The cover of this book is absolutely beautiful, front and back. The story revolves around three young ladies who work at Madame Fortier's dress shop in 1918 Boston. Each of these Italian girls are looked upon as undesirable members of society by the elite socialites they serve. Each one has her own story. One is headstrong, one is reserved, and one is not what she seems.I could relate most to Annamaria, who as the oldest daughter in her family was expected to be there to solve problems and pick up the slack for others. She struggles with knowing how to have a life apart from what is expected of her, or if it is even right to have dreams of her own. My favorite of the threesome was Luciana, whose past is shrouded in mystery and haunted by danger. Rounding out the group is Julietta, who is determined to catch the eye of some well-off young man and raise herself from the tenement housing she's been raised in.One of my first impressions of the book was how much I loved Siri Mitchell's "voice" in the narrative. It was very unique and engaging. I wasn't too pleased when the narrator turned out to be omniscient but the plot was strong enough to withstand such a weakness. ;-) I understand from the author's note that this was at the suggestion of her editors and not something she normally employs.The plot is very thick and interwoven. There are many characters to juggle and I thought she did a superb job making each thread draw you in until there was no way you could put the book down because you had to know what happened next! I read the final 150 pages in one sitting, unable to rest until I knew how our girls survived the Spanish Influenza, the effects of WWI and anarchists in Boston, and their adventures into love and romance. I really enjoyed this story and definitely plan on reading more by Siri. A good historical is hard to beat and I'm happy to find another author to keep my eye on!Thank you to Bethany House for my copy of the book.This review originally appeared at http://wwww.reviewsbyerin.livejournal...

  • Rachel
    2019-02-17 16:17

    Siri Mitchell's books always seem to have the most beautiful covers, and, like the last one I read, She Walks in Beauty,I was originally attracted to this book for the cover alone. Before I read the book, I skipped to the back and read the "Note to the Reader," which detailed the historical background of the book, referencing the Great Italian Emigration and the Spanish Influenza. This perked my interest in the book even more so, since I did not know anything about these references before this book. The Italian aspect also interested me since I have some Italian blood in me.One of the first thoughts that occurred to me when I began the book was how little the three girls and their separate subplots had in common. The characters do not seem to intersect at all, and all three girls are very different from one another, with the exception of the dress shop. It felt almost like three different stories that the author took turns telling. As the book progresses, that proves to be incorrect, as the different characters intersect in the most unusual ways, such as one of girl's love interest driving the delivery truck for the shop where another girl's love interest works. This aspect of the book became the most interesting for me, since Mitchell does not make a big deal of pointing out where the connections are, and I enjoyed tracking them.The owner of the dress shop, Madame Fortier, had her own subplot as well, but I was a bit dissatisfied with how hers played out, since very little about her circumstances changed - even though it was this that made her unhappy in the first place.All three girls were very likable for her own reasons, though each one's subplot ended somewhat differently. Luciana seemed to get the best deal of the three girls, though all were very happy by the end. Annamaria's ending was bittersweet, but it gave the reality of the Spanish Influenza more impact. I did not like Julietta overly much in the beginning, but the lessons she learned made me like her that much more by the end.Overall, the book was at times intriguing, romantic, suspenseful, and even frustrating, but it was definitely worth the read.

  • Christy Lockstein
    2019-01-17 19:29

    A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell is a historical romance with both depth and heart. Three very different Italian young woman work for famed dressmaker Madame Fortier in Boston at the end of World War I. Juliana Giordano revels in her beauty and wants romance in her life, and Angelo Moretti's smoldering brown eyes are filled with both romance and a hint of danger, making him much more attractive than Mauro Vitali, a doctor she's known most of her life. Annamaria Rossi is beginning to strain against the limited existence in which her position as eldest daughter has placed her. Expected to serve the entire family and never marry, she is open to the invitation she sees in the eyes of Rafaello Zanfini, the Sicilian vegetable stand owner's son, but he is forbidden, first because she must never leave the family, and second because he is Sicilian. Luciana Conti fled her estate and wealth in Rome after the assassination of her father, the Count of Rome, bringing only her grandmother, the contessa, whose mind has drifted away since the tragic night that left them homeless, poor, and hunted by the anarchist who has promised to kill them both. Luciana thought to find safety in America, but she has seen the man here again, on her very street, making every day filled with fear. Mitchell has turned from writing humorous chick lit to intelligent historical romances, but she brings the same light dexterous touch to these novels, filling them with fascinating heroines, strong heroes, and interesting conflicts. She truly brings to life each of these women and makes the reader empathize with each, even Juliana's flirtation with danger. Mitchell reminds readers of the terrible prejudice against Italians at the beginning of the twentieth century, as well as the danger of the anarchists who were creating terror through bombs and assassinations around the world. Somehow Mitchell manages to throw together the prejudice, anarchy, romance, faith, gown-making, and the Spanish Influenza together to make a compelling story readers will be hard-pressed to put down.