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Water from My Heart

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New York Times bestselling author Charles Martin's breathtaking novel of love and redemption. Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it New York Times bestselling author Charles Martin's breathtaking novel of love and redemption. Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami. Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter. Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible -- and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?


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New York Times bestselling author Charles Martin's breathtaking novel of love and redemption. Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it New York Times bestselling author Charles Martin's breathtaking novel of love and redemption. Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami. Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter. Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible -- and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?

30 review for Water from My Heart

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carmen Blankenship

    Charles Martin has quickly risen to my "read all" list of authors. He is a very talented at putting you inside the head of the people he has created and making it impossible to put this book down. I was hooked from the first paragraph of Water from My Heart. It is a fascinating look inside the life of Charlie, a drug runner. Told with a First Person narrative that allows you to really understand the internal struggles and conflict Charlie faces due to the life he chose. Charlie has always been v Charles Martin has quickly risen to my "read all" list of authors. He is a very talented at putting you inside the head of the people he has created and making it impossible to put this book down. I was hooked from the first paragraph of Water from My Heart. It is a fascinating look inside the life of Charlie, a drug runner. Told with a First Person narrative that allows you to really understand the internal struggles and conflict Charlie faces due to the life he chose. Charlie has always been very selective on who allows in his inner circle and even more so into his heart. He and the people he worked for and with also made sure that their business and personal lives never collided. Until it does. Like it almost always does. At times heart wrenching and others redeeming it is impossible to not be moved by this story. I highly recommend this be the next book you read. Don’t take it from me though. Why don’t read the other hundreds of five star reviews and then make a decision. Thank you Netgalley and FaithWords/Center Street for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for this review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Judy Collins

    A special thank you to FaithWords/Center Street and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. #1 Best Fiction Book of 2015 JDC Top 50 Books of 2015 Words cannot adequately convey the power and depth of this amazing multi-generational suspenseful story of determination, love, and redemption. If you only read one book this year, WATER FROM MY HEART, would be my "top recommendation." Hands down, "The Best Book of 2015!" Movie-worthy and deserving of 10 stars. Martin's A Life Inte A special thank you to FaithWords/Center Street and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. #1 Best Fiction Book of 2015 JDC Top 50 Books of 2015 Words cannot adequately convey the power and depth of this amazing multi-generational suspenseful story of determination, love, and redemption. If you only read one book this year, WATER FROM MY HEART, would be my "top recommendation." Hands down, "The Best Book of 2015!" Movie-worthy and deserving of 10 stars. Martin's A Life Intercepted landed on my "Top 30 Books of 2014", as well. There is SO much, to this story, I cannot even imagine the time and effort into the writing, and do not want to give away the “journey.” It is an experience. A voyage. This could almost be 2-3 books, a series. Well-paced, once you begin reading, you cannot put it down; a page-turner. Set aside the time, as you will be here for the long haul, one to savor. First and foremost, Charles Martin, is a master storyteller. A truly gifted writer --my favorite author, since reading his first book years, ago— to the present, having had the pleasure of reading them all (highly recommend each one). He once again delivers an emotional and captivating multi-layered complex story of life, love, tragedy, and best of all, redemption- like "no other." It will change you. Martin grabs you by the heart, from page one to the end, and long after. Flashing back and forth in time and place, from fast boats, glitz, money, yachts, cars, drugs, danger, risk, and wealth from the Jetsetters of Miami, Caribbean, Panama Canal, Pacific, the islands, to Central America— from the poor, downtrodden, chicken coops, bottom of a well, sickness, and coffee fields of Nicaragua, to the past. From a poor childhood in northeast Florida, college at Harvard, studies abroad in London to an MBA, a dazzling investment career, and back to where the stories connect, taking Charlie down a long and dangerous path. Never burn a bridge as you may have to cross it again in the future. With many wrong turns, some good and some evil people along the way, when Charlie least expects-- his wayward ways, his life in the rear view mirror, will catch up- when it matters the most. Karma has no expiration. Charlie sets out on a course to right the wrong; for redemption and a love he never knew existed—a strong special caring woman, a protector, a family, a teenage boy, a young innocent girl, a friend, a community he will grow to admire, an older mentor father figure, and an extreme feeling of unworthiness next to the courage and sacrifice of one dynamic woman, and all she stands for – crossing his path and changing his life forever. Charles Finn (Charlie) is an outdoor enthusiast, similar to the author’s affinity for the great outdoors. Charlie grew up combing the beach in Jacksonville, FL; barefoot, blonde-haired beach bum without a curfew and a bit of a Hunk Finn childhood. He has no memory of his dad, a cab driver who died when he was three and lived with his mom. They were poor; however, with the life insurance money, their modest home was paid for, even though they often lacked for food, clothes and the essentials. His mom worked all the time and left Charlie to fend for himself at an early age. He hated school and his mom did not push him—she allowed him to be a free spirit, similar to her own life. She died when he was sixteen and he was left alone in the world, with no other family. When looking at his limited choices, he knew he did not want to answer to anyone. He finished high school, working odd jobs and sometimes selling marijuana through his pizza job. His boss Sam used his pizza parlor as a front for the drug dealing and made him an independent contractor. He was only providing a service. In between his drug dealing, Sam taught him how to play poker, and eventually he found himself pretty good, later in life while at college. His teachers at school always said he lacked work ethic but possessed great potential. His graduating high school class even voted him “Most Likely to be Elected the First President with a Felony Record.” So when deciding about college, he knew he would not be able to make it in the Marines, so Harvard was the next best thing, and he was able to get in with a full scholarship ride—he was smart, good with numbers, hence a major in finance. While in college, he was a runner until he got tired of his track coach on his case. One thing about Charlie, he did not drink or do drugs and he liked outdoor sports and running. He wanted no responsibility and wanted no one to depend on him for anything. While his scholarship at Harvard paid for his tuition, room, and board, his stipend did not go far. He then turns to playing poker with the trust fund kids who had a lot of money and crazy enough to bet it all. Given their reckless behavior, he seized the opportunity and provided a service. By the end of his sophomore year, he had money in the bank and was making a name for himself. Risk did not bother him, similar to his mother’s thoughts. He valued nothing, including money, so losing it did not bother him like others, plus he could read body language well, so the higher stakes games were invited only and he soon began racking up. He even won a car (twice). It was not so much the money as it was about, being told what he couldn’t do. Soon he was tired of Boston and decides on London, studying abroad. His scholarship sent him to London where he studied derivatives, leverage, and the emerald-green eyes of a goddess named Amanda Pickering. She was beautiful, self-confident, and loved to run, like himself. He found out quickly, she came from money, lots of it—like one of the richest girls twenty-five and under in the US. What he also discovers is he was her dad’s scholarship pick. Charlie learns, even with the private planes, the helicopters, yachts, the estates in the Hamptons, he would not be able to live up in the eyes of her dad. Even though he aced the SAT and had a 4.0 GPA, and would graduate a semester early--However, he was truthful when her father asked how he supported himself back then. He did not come from money nor possess the background. He would not be a choice for his daughter. Mr. Pickering (Marshall) brings him into the fold, but Charlie knows he is using him, as he is smart and knows how to make Marshall money. Marshall owned companies around the world and had a net worth of over $3 billion plus. Someone to take over his cutthroat business one day. Charlie graduates with his MBA and the real work began. Even though he owned a condo in Boston, worked for Marshall, making a six figure income; he was on a Gulfstream most of the time. During this time we hear about the Cinco Padres Café Compania fiasco. He and Marshall shared good coffee and they were snobs about it. With many trips to Central American, Charlie finds they could make some money with a great investment. Nicaraguan coffee. During this time, Marshall made sure he was away from Amanda and the office. After spending six weeks on the back of a motorcycle on the dusty roads of Central American he found out everything about the coffee and presented a plan to buy the business as an investment. Alejandro Mango Café served the best coffee he had ever had in his life (mangoes and coffee) and Marshall agreed. Marshall sends him back with an offer of ten cents on the dollar and the offer was delivered by their attorney and of course the owner was insulted, while he watched from across the street. Marshall would teach them a lesson. He wanted to make sure they broke this company and then they would take over. Marshall even bought the bank that the men used to finance their operations during the lean years. These men, their families, their life, past generations, their history meant nothing to Marshall. They broke this family. Then if not bad enough, Hurricane Carlos came and killed whatever crop was growing and filled up the lake atop a dormant volcano called Las Casitas. The mudslide killed over three thousand people. No more Cinco Padres Café Compania. Back in Boston, Brendan Rockwell, the pedigree kid from Stanford wanted Marshall’s money and status more than Amanda. Soon Marshall tries to buy Charlie to leave to keep him away from his daughter. Charlie walked away from it all, including Amanda who of course did not stand up to her father. Now comes the good part, how all this is connected. This part I will leave to the reader with a few highlights. After Charlie leaves, he moves to the islands, traveling light; nothing to hold him back and he has some money saved. First, he goes back to Jacksonville and runs into a guy talking about the Bahamian island of Bimini, only forty-four miles off the Florida coast. He moves to Bimini. He catches a ride with the guy and helps him out on the deck. Ah, the simple island life with no deadlines and no stress. Fishing, boating, sleeping in a hammock. There he meets Jake, and Legal Grounds, a coffee shop. With only his shades, flip flops, and shorts, he buys a small shack on the water. He is happy to be away from the rat race and in the process of fixing up his shack, he meets Hack. Hack is an older Bahamian man, with weathered skin, white hair, a wide straw hat, deep wrinkles and smile that would not quit. Around eighty years old, he was full of wisdom and life. Hack was the unofficial grandfather of Bimini. He was born on the island and everyone loved him. Their friendship grows and Hack invites Charlie to his shop where he builds wooden skiffs. He had built skiffs for the wealthy, elite, and famous over the years. What better type boat than a skiff and no one made a better bonefish skiff than Hack. Hack teaches him about life and what is important. Hack has no family, no wife, and no children which meant that the skill and artistry involved with building his skiffs would die with him, but slowly he takes Charlie under his wing and teaches him the craft. He could make one skiff a year and bring in $60,000 plus he is a fishing guide. Could life be any better, all in the great outdoors what he loves to do without all the headaches? Soon the simple uncomplicated life changes the day a guy by the name of Colin walks in and offers $250,000 for one Charlie has built. When Hack and Charlie go to this guy’s home to deliver, they are blown away! It is a mansion, pools, parties, with all toys, cars, boats, money could offer with a life like Gatsby. This man, Colin has money, power, a wife, a son, and a daughter—he has to be doing something illegal. Soon thereafter, each of these players and family becomes an integral part of Charlie’s life. Colin hires him to work for him. From a drug runner, fast boats, yachts, and wealth from the elite in Miami to Costa Rica, which will lead him to danger, destruction, and leads him back to Nicaragua, left sick and on the side of the street in the same place years ago he wanted to buy the coffee fields. Now, he sees things quite differently. Through his journey, two strong women, one a doctor, and one a strong fearless and giving woman, two tragedies, a desperate search for those he loves most, and a past which comes back to haunt him. Wow, this is some story! In all of Martin’s riveting, yet breathtaking novels, he often uses an older wise character to mentor a younger flawed character, whether from the swamps, shacks, or fields of South Georgia, the rivers, the mountain tops, the coast, to the poor islands and the fast and rich waters of Miami. There is always an inspiring take away-- a lesson, a love, and a "box of Kleenex needed" for tears of sorrow and joy. From vivid descriptions, beautiful settings, and scenic views, to flawed and troubled characters, with a message you will remember long after the book ends. Martin is in a class all his own; however, he strongly reminds me of Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans, with his uncanny ability to reach inside the minds of his characters, with a strong sense of family, love, and redemption. His usage of multi-generational and wise characters, with empowering stories, often paralleling with an explosive impact when connected. Due to this, Martin and Sparks’ stories attract a wide audience crossing many genres and ages, with the suspense, and great outdoors for men, and the romance, love, and family for women, delivering a powerful message to all audiences, young and old. In addition, Martin and Sparks are both dedicated Christian family men, with strong community ties, and their passion shines through their talented storytelling – with powerful stories from the heart. My favorite character is, of course, the beautiful and courageous protector, Leena, and her daughter Isabella in Nicaragua and Paulo. She definitely outshines the two other women in Charlie’s life, and thanks to Charles for saving the best till last. A huge contrast between the spoiled and indifferent American lives we live, with our modern conveniences, yet unhappy and unsatisfied, compared to those poor, no material possessions; yet rich in love, and life sweet as mangoes. “Where tears are clean and rinse the soul.” To get there, sometimes we need to dig through a lot of rock, junk, and muck to find the way. A powerful well-researched and well-written story, with some nice personal connections with the author. Some strong metaphors of water throughout, from the drink, the well, bubbles, water sports, oceans, islands, thirst; representing a part of life with profound meanings with the flow of time, peace, endless, disaster, death, birth, the past, ever changing, rebirth, coming of age, a spiritual awakening or cleansing. “Everytime he drinks here, he will remember that his water comes from your heart.” I continue to predict, Martin will be next on the movie scene, following Sparks, with the same intensity and unforgettable stories worthy of Oscars. You can envision the characters, and the setting on the big screen; I want a front row seat for each of his books. Each time I read one of Martin’s books, I say, the “best ever”. However, how do you choose? They each have their own unique message making them all 5 Stars ++. Five stars seem inadequate, along with my review. You have to read WATER FROM MY HEART. You will be speechless. An ideal choice for book discussions and book clubs with many perspectives. What a great father’s day gift. Charles, you make me proud to be a South Floridian, taking me back to days living and working on the water in the Keys (selling waterfront condo hotels, real estate and condos for boats), and my love of hammocks, sunsets, mangoes, and good organic dark roast espresso coffee. Well done! Judith D. Collins Must Read Books Charles Martin Newsletter "Review Mention". Look for Long Way Gone Coming Oct 4, 2016. Pre-Order Now!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thyago | MrsMargotBlog

    In portuguese: http://mrs-margot.blogspot.pt/ The reading didn't have an easy start, I even wondered if people hadn't exaggerated in saying that it was a beautiful story, because of the too technical descriptions of the boats (which I don't care about at all) I started to find it boring, but the story has been growing and gaining form. One of my favorite genres for reading is undoubtedly novels with travels, this is a fine example of this, between Miami, Bahamas and especially Nicaragua, that I In portuguese: http://mrs-margot.blogspot.pt/ The reading didn't have an easy start, I even wondered if people hadn't exaggerated in saying that it was a beautiful story, because of the too technical descriptions of the boats (which I don't care about at all) I started to find it boring, but the story has been growing and gaining form. One of my favorite genres for reading is undoubtedly novels with travels, this is a fine example of this, between Miami, Bahamas and especially Nicaragua, that I wanted to visit only by the descriptions of the climate and the landscapes. "Water from My Heart" began to conquer me with Charlie's trip to Nicaragua, a man with a past and present lived in criminality and who unknowingly went on a trip that came to exorcise his demons and when his life intersects with Paulina's, we have a relationship that leaves us a sweet taste in our mouths and we watch Charlie rise from the ashes as a man with a beautiful heart, passionate, captivating and grateful for everything that life has given him, but with the weight of a past that comes back to haunt him, because the lives of Charlie and Paulina may have already crossed and not in the best way. And after this couple meet in Leon, I had difficulties in dropping the book, I just wanted to consume the story more and more, to know what was going on. The characters are very passionate, very well built, rich ... But Paulina and her daughter Isabela are sublime, two generous beings with a heart the size of the world. And it's impossible not to fall in love with Charlie, even with all his faults, his heart is in the right place. This is a story that brings us a reflection on the importance of money, love, affectivity, what is comfort and what is to live, about being at peace with our conscience, especially about forgiveness and being the best version of ourselves. We find in these pages various metaphors and analogies that fill our hearts. A curious fact, which I had never seen in another reading, the author tells us his first-person experience about his visit to Nicaragua and all the facts and real people he was inspired to write this story about. I really enjoyed this book and was curious to read other works by this author that until then did not know about him. Highly recommend!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Angel Royal

    I was planning to give this book a 4. I really liked it but felt the author tied everything up a bit too neatly in a bow at the end. Then I read the epilogue--his true experiences and this jumped of the page at me: "Indifference is the curse of this age. Indifference is evil and could not be further from the heart of God." It made me think about what I had just read through different lenses. I had already downloaded more of his books, but knowing now that he believes in Jesus makes me want to gobb I was planning to give this book a 4. I really liked it but felt the author tied everything up a bit too neatly in a bow at the end. Then I read the epilogue--his true experiences and this jumped of the page at me: "Indifference is the curse of this age. Indifference is evil and could not be further from the heart of God." It made me think about what I had just read through different lenses. I had already downloaded more of his books, but knowing now that he believes in Jesus makes me want to gobble them all up!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Williams

    Another really good book. Charles Martin is a wonderful writer who always writes inspirational stories. And this was a really good one. I've read him before, always enjoy his beautiful stories. This man about a man who had done a lot of bad things and his life and was looking for redemption on a small island in Central America. After going through a lot, he finally gets there. Like I said a beautiful and well written story. Another really good book. Charles Martin is a wonderful writer who always writes inspirational stories. And this was a really good one. I've read him before, always enjoy his beautiful stories. This man about a man who had done a lot of bad things and his life and was looking for redemption on a small island in Central America. After going through a lot, he finally gets there. Like I said a beautiful and well written story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mike French

    MY FAVORITE BOOK THAT I HAVE READ IN 2015! As of 7/6 I have read 87 books and WATER FROM MY HEART is the best. I would like to thank Judy Collins and Pamela Embree-Kyle for the recommendation. If you are reader, this book is a MUST! See Judy Collins review for more info.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Skip

    Amazing to me is how many readers of this book finish with the need to reflect -- probably due to the powerful afterword by author Charles Martin, who describes the true story behind his novel. At the core is a deeply conflicted character, Charlie Finn, orphaned early in life, who grows up lacking a moral compass and doing whatever he wants without regard for others. Eventually, he lands in Bimini, befriends an island legend and becomes a wealthy drug runner for his best friend, Colin, and a de Amazing to me is how many readers of this book finish with the need to reflect -- probably due to the powerful afterword by author Charles Martin, who describes the true story behind his novel. At the core is a deeply conflicted character, Charlie Finn, orphaned early in life, who grows up lacking a moral compass and doing whatever he wants without regard for others. Eventually, he lands in Bimini, befriends an island legend and becomes a wealthy drug runner for his best friend, Colin, and a de facto member of Colin's family. Then, of course, disaster strikes his adoptive niece (Maria), and Charlie heads to Nicaragua to find Colin's spoiled son, Zaul. Violently ill from food poisoning, Charlie is rescued and nursed back to health by Paulina. She makes him want to be a better man and deserving of her. A story, filled elements of love and joy, hardship and heartache, missteps in life, survival, and redemption. 4.5 stars, but not for sissies.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    "The type of bath I needed-that my heart craved, that could wash off the stain of me-was not of water acquired from an external source, that came from a bucket or tub or even the kind that you dove into, but water that rose up from a source on the inside." 3 stars I'm kind of in the middle on this one. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. I was really hoping I was going to love it like I did The Mountain Between Us, but sadly I didn't. There were a lot of things I did enjoy, the setting, the charac "The type of bath I needed-that my heart craved, that could wash off the stain of me-was not of water acquired from an external source, that came from a bucket or tub or even the kind that you dove into, but water that rose up from a source on the inside." 3 stars I'm kind of in the middle on this one. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. I was really hoping I was going to love it like I did The Mountain Between Us, but sadly I didn't. There were a lot of things I did enjoy, the setting, the characters, and the overall theme of redemption. The problem I had was with the pacing and the constant repetition.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Missy

    Another Charles Martin book that made me cry . . . while I was eating my lunch. Do you realize how hard it is to cry, eat, get a lump in your throat and not be able to swallow, and at the same time add massive amounts of tears to your already soggy salad? Note to self, do not read sappy, sad books while eating lunch. This is my second Charles Martin read, and it did not disappoint. As I keep reading his books, I am feeling he is a combination between Frederik Backman and Nicholas Sparks. He has Another Charles Martin book that made me cry . . . while I was eating my lunch. Do you realize how hard it is to cry, eat, get a lump in your throat and not be able to swallow, and at the same time add massive amounts of tears to your already soggy salad? Note to self, do not read sappy, sad books while eating lunch. This is my second Charles Martin read, and it did not disappoint. As I keep reading his books, I am feeling he is a combination between Frederik Backman and Nicholas Sparks. He has the depth and description of Backman, but the romance and connection of characters like Sparks. Which is a win, win for me. This is the story of Charlie Finn, a kid who learned early on he was all he had, no support from his parents, friends, or anyone. He became a stone-face poker player that could take the whole thing and not feel sorry about it in the end. He did not do well in school, but was smart, earning a full-ride to Harvard, and then into finance. He worked in the business world and wrecked many companies, and when that didn't satisfy him, he left and went to Miami for something more thrilling -- drug smuggling. When his partner's son, Zaul, leaves because of a tragedy, it is Charlie who follows him to Nicaragua, to bring him home. But what Charlie finds in Nicaragua isn't what he expected. He is found by Paulina and her daughter Isabelle, sick on the streets. They take him home, to the coffee fields of one of the companies he helped take down. As time goes he falls in love with Paulina, he finds Zaul, but it is the one finding he didn't expect to make that starts to break his heart. That one finding could completely destroy his future. But through trust, love, and someone with a better poker reading than he has, he learns that being completely by himself and not letting anyone close, is probably the worst thing he could have done. This is a great book about the ways of the heart - hurt, hate, compassion, happiness, and most of all love. That holding people at arms length so they won't hurt you, sometimes hurts you more than them. But sometimes other people's love is more than the security of your heart. Great book and would highly recommend it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Charlene Intriago

    Book was really 3.5 stars for me but the epilogue caused me to bump it up to 4 stars. Charlie Finn didn't have a very easy childhood but got a scholarship to Harvard which opened up a whole new world to him. He met a whole different class of people from what he grew up with! He's a pretty good poker player and his ability to read the other player's face - no matter whether he's playing cards or negotiating a business deal - is a real plus. After Harvard, he jetsets all over the world putting tog Book was really 3.5 stars for me but the epilogue caused me to bump it up to 4 stars. Charlie Finn didn't have a very easy childhood but got a scholarship to Harvard which opened up a whole new world to him. He met a whole different class of people from what he grew up with! He's a pretty good poker player and his ability to read the other player's face - no matter whether he's playing cards or negotiating a business deal - is a real plus. After Harvard, he jetsets all over the world putting together some pretty snarky deals for a man with absolutely no scruples. But, one of those deals at a coffee plantation in Nicaragua comes back to haunt Charlie and he's not sure what he can do to redeem himself once he realizes what he's done.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Can't do it. Sympathetic drug runner mixed with romantic smaltz to a degree that is as believable as his getting a scholarship to Harvard would be in real life. During this era or any era. Fiction to the nth degree. Not for me. Can't do it. Sympathetic drug runner mixed with romantic smaltz to a degree that is as believable as his getting a scholarship to Harvard would be in real life. During this era or any era. Fiction to the nth degree. Not for me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Linda Rae

    Oh brother, I guess I am not in the target audience for this book. It actually started out pretty good with a plot that centered on a Harvard educated drug runner. But once we got to the second half of the book in Nicaragua, it quickly devolved into a schmaltzy mess. I found it very patronizing to hear about the noble poor people and the love story was just not believable. The writing is not particularly good and there is a lot of repetition. But there are obviously a lot of people who disagree Oh brother, I guess I am not in the target audience for this book. It actually started out pretty good with a plot that centered on a Harvard educated drug runner. But once we got to the second half of the book in Nicaragua, it quickly devolved into a schmaltzy mess. I found it very patronizing to hear about the noble poor people and the love story was just not believable. The writing is not particularly good and there is a lot of repetition. But there are obviously a lot of people who disagree with this, so read at your own risk!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Bylin

    Redemption stories always appeal to me, and this one is a new favorite. You know those books that weave characters seamlessly into the setting? Books where you finish the last page, and you know everything there is to know about the characters, and you love them both for it and in spite of it? Books that are both profoundly personal and socially relevant? This is one of those books. Highly recommended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joleen

    This is one Charles Martin book I will have to identify as not-really-Christian-fiction. Most of his books have a lovely faith message, but if there is one in this book it's hidden... except in the afterward called "On Digging a Well". There he let loose with the Charles Martin I've come to appreciate. His lessons from visiting Nicaragua were nothing short of lovely. The book... lovely in a different way, albeit focusing on the life of a drug dealer. What a person this Charlie Finn was! As an em This is one Charles Martin book I will have to identify as not-really-Christian-fiction. Most of his books have a lovely faith message, but if there is one in this book it's hidden... except in the afterward called "On Digging a Well". There he let loose with the Charles Martin I've come to appreciate. His lessons from visiting Nicaragua were nothing short of lovely. The book... lovely in a different way, albeit focusing on the life of a drug dealer. What a person this Charlie Finn was! As an employee of one Boston company he destroyed a family and brought utter poverty to once a thriving community. Then after a personal devastation he was hired by another company to deliver high quality drugs to the wealthy and affluent, making plenty of money doing so. On the flip side, he had a gentle heart for those he loved. He was not heartless, just saw dealing drugs as a service to people who sadly chose to ruin their noses and lungs for entertainment. Understandable, right? Yeesh! Well, it was for him. One horrible event in the lives of the family he loves turned his life upside down. He was tasked with finding one of the family members. Along the way he was rescued by someone he had dealings with years before... although he didn't realize it. Wow! What this did to him! If there was anything slightly "religious/Christian" in the book it was regarding the Catholic faith, as it's the primary church of Nicaragua, a place in which he spent weeks trying to find Zaul and living with the people of this small village. But very little stood out except some exclamations when people thought they were going to die. There were opportunities to bring about a spiritual message, but it just never came. More words of worldly wisdom than biblical or spiritual wisdom. Although this was a deviation from his norm, Mr. Martin still delivered some intense drama with perfection in dialog and character flow. Don't miss the afterward! Really good stuff!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    Charlie Finn had an unusual childhood and a very unique rest of his life. Charlie played poker, went to Harvard, had a job that ​paid well but ​was a job​ that cost him the woman he loved, and then had another job that gave him a family but also danger. WATER FROM MY HEART was a bit confusing at first because more than one story was going on. It started to come together around Page 100 or so. ​We follow Charlie as WATER FROM MY HEART goes back and forth from past to present. I liked Charlie despite Charlie Finn had an unusual childhood and a very unique rest of his life. Charlie played poker, went to Harvard, had a job that ​paid well but ​was a job​ that cost him the woman he loved, and then had another job that gave him a family but also danger. WATER FROM MY HEART was a bit confusing at first because more than one story was going on. It started to come together around Page 100 or so. ​We follow Charlie as WATER FROM MY HEART goes back and forth from past to present. I liked Charlie despite some of the things he did in his life and despite the decisions he made that ruined lives as well as saved and touched lives. WATER FROM MY HEART was a book about loss, life​​, decisions, and regrets. You will learn what the title means and see a redemption in Charlie. The ending was heartwarming. I have read another book by Charles Martin that I thoroughly enjoyed...UNWRITTEN. 4/5 This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fred Forbes

    When this book was recommended by a "Goodreads" friend, I looked over some of the reviews for the author's other works and it appeared that he specializes in "chick lit". No, my friend assured me, anything but! Well, I must admit the story moves along and despite the "macho" character (he really isn't, but his activities - drug runner, boat expert, boat builder, diver, business bully - are). Still despite the complexity of the plot, the story is fairly predictable and simplistic in many ways. Se When this book was recommended by a "Goodreads" friend, I looked over some of the reviews for the author's other works and it appeared that he specializes in "chick lit". No, my friend assured me, anything but! Well, I must admit the story moves along and despite the "macho" character (he really isn't, but his activities - drug runner, boat expert, boat builder, diver, business bully - are). Still despite the complexity of the plot, the story is fairly predictable and simplistic in many ways. Seems to be written for television with a large helping of extra schmaltz. A bit too pat for me but check the reviews, the ladies love it to the point of worship!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    I have mixed feelings about this novel. I loved that the novel is based upon facts. The afterward provides in depth information about the backstory and it was great to read about what inspired Water From My Heart. Along this same thought, I enjoyed learning more about Nicaragua: the land and the people. The title is meaningful and is explained in the pages of the story. I also liked the base meaning of this novel - hope and what is takes to receive it. The story itself held my interest, however, w I have mixed feelings about this novel. I loved that the novel is based upon facts. The afterward provides in depth information about the backstory and it was great to read about what inspired Water From My Heart. Along this same thought, I enjoyed learning more about Nicaragua: the land and the people. The title is meaningful and is explained in the pages of the story. I also liked the base meaning of this novel - hope and what is takes to receive it. The story itself held my interest, however, was overall just o.k. This is my first novel by Charles Martin and am interested in reading another of his novels.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Winter Sophia Rose

    Heartwarming, Funny, Deep & Life Changing! A Powerful Read! I Loved It!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Charles Martin is one of my favorite Christian Fiction writers. Some of his stories have only been 3 stars for me, but the ones that have been 5 stars have struck an unforgettable chord within me. His stories speak to my soul in such a way, I often silently say, "YES," while reading them. This wasn't "churchy", but it did have a strong theme of forgiveness, self-forgiveness and unconditional love. I think the world could benefit from a dose of that. This was also a satisfying warm fuzzy kind of Charles Martin is one of my favorite Christian Fiction writers. Some of his stories have only been 3 stars for me, but the ones that have been 5 stars have struck an unforgettable chord within me. His stories speak to my soul in such a way, I often silently say, "YES," while reading them. This wasn't "churchy", but it did have a strong theme of forgiveness, self-forgiveness and unconditional love. I think the world could benefit from a dose of that. This was also a satisfying warm fuzzy kind of book. I like that his characters are complete. There is plenty of detail and depth that pulls me in and keeps me focused on them and their journey...and there is always a journey. Now I will say that this one was a little slow to start. But it didn't take long to pick up. It was also overly sweet at the end, but I was already so in love with this one by then that I didn't even care. I would read this one again which is always the question I ask myself when rating a book. And the answer is YES, I WOULD, so 5 stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I wish I could give this more than 5 stars. What a beautiful story of redemption. The narration by Kevin Stillwell was just stellar, and the author's notes at the end were amazing. I wish I could give this more than 5 stars. What a beautiful story of redemption. The narration by Kevin Stillwell was just stellar, and the author's notes at the end were amazing.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    Charles Martin favors leading male characters who are effortlessly cool and Charlie Finn in this book borders on being blase. He oozes crazy abilities from poker player extraordinaire to college whiz who sails through Harvard to finance wunderkind who makes six figures right out of grad school while attracting the most eligible bachelorette in Boston. You get the idea, he has the Midas touch but acts like he doesn't care. He decides to shift his talents to the underworld of drug trafficking and Charles Martin favors leading male characters who are effortlessly cool and Charlie Finn in this book borders on being blase. He oozes crazy abilities from poker player extraordinaire to college whiz who sails through Harvard to finance wunderkind who makes six figures right out of grad school while attracting the most eligible bachelorette in Boston. You get the idea, he has the Midas touch but acts like he doesn't care. He decides to shift his talents to the underworld of drug trafficking and when tragedy strikes he completely reassess his life, values and motives. This is the basic formula for most of this author's books; and, for the most part, he succeeds at introducing the reader to characters who do things a normal person would never have the courage to do but makes it conceivable. For Christian readers, you will find all kinds of symbolic references to Christ and redemption in this book which illustrate powerful religious principles but presents them universally. That, in a nutshell, is the distinctive methodology of Charles Martin.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marlo

    Charles Martin has done it again. The story itself was authentic and touching, but it was the epilogue that sealed the deal. We live in a world where it's easy to build walls and feel sorry for people in difficult circumstances but never really do anything to ease their pain. Water from My Heart challenges us, especially through the character Pauline (who I see as the Christ-figure in this book), to be love with legs. Without preaching, this book convicts and gives hope. Well done, Mr. Martin. Charles Martin has done it again. The story itself was authentic and touching, but it was the epilogue that sealed the deal. We live in a world where it's easy to build walls and feel sorry for people in difficult circumstances but never really do anything to ease their pain. Water from My Heart challenges us, especially through the character Pauline (who I see as the Christ-figure in this book), to be love with legs. Without preaching, this book convicts and gives hope. Well done, Mr. Martin.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

    This is the first book I've read written by Charles Martin. It won't be the only one I've read by Charles Martin for long. It was chosen for our book club and I'm so glad it was. Without giving any spoilers of the in-depth storyline, I will say it's one of the most powerful stories I've read. Riveting. Thought-provoking. Powerful. It caused me to stop and reflect on my own views and values. I almost felt forced not to just read, but seriously ponder questions about want, possessions, riches, my This is the first book I've read written by Charles Martin. It won't be the only one I've read by Charles Martin for long. It was chosen for our book club and I'm so glad it was. Without giving any spoilers of the in-depth storyline, I will say it's one of the most powerful stories I've read. Riveting. Thought-provoking. Powerful. It caused me to stop and reflect on my own views and values. I almost felt forced not to just read, but seriously ponder questions about want, possessions, riches, my own culture, true peace, happiness & contentment. The story sunk deep and will stay with me.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    Water from my Heart is an extraordinary story. The characters pulled me in from the first page. The plot is fascinating, the characters are real, and the love story just pulls it all together. Those things alone make it a great story, but the way the story made me think about how human interactions and relationships impact the whole world for the better or for the worse took this story up to another level. I am a fan of all of Charles Martin's books, but this one is his best yet! Water from my Heart is an extraordinary story. The characters pulled me in from the first page. The plot is fascinating, the characters are real, and the love story just pulls it all together. Those things alone make it a great story, but the way the story made me think about how human interactions and relationships impact the whole world for the better or for the worse took this story up to another level. I am a fan of all of Charles Martin's books, but this one is his best yet!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lori Benton

    Sometimes a novel comes along that reaches so deep it reminds me, as a writer of novels, why I do what I do. "Hope [is] the currency of love." Letting that sink into my soul today in a nourishing way. Charles Martin's WATER FROM MY HEART is a powerful story of redemption that I'm sure is going to stay with me for a long while. Sometimes a novel comes along that reaches so deep it reminds me, as a writer of novels, why I do what I do. "Hope [is] the currency of love." Letting that sink into my soul today in a nourishing way. Charles Martin's WATER FROM MY HEART is a powerful story of redemption that I'm sure is going to stay with me for a long while.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jaime

    I’ve read so many Charles Martin books this years and loved them all, this one though, takes the cake. The setting of a mountain in Nicaragua and the story of healing and redemption was so powerful. I couldn’t put it down and will be recommending it all around. Left me with a book hangover for sure.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I type this with tear-filled eyes. Once again, a beautiful, heart-wrenching, soul-touching story. Martin just never disappoints.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Freda Malone

    Charlie Finn begins his journey with indifference and hard heartedness that will tear your soul apart. He is a borderline genius who can’t seem to hold any relationship together, much less speak of his feelings. From the Southern Coast of Florida and a wealth of mansions, to a shack on the island of Bimini and the mudslide mountain of San Cristobal, Nicaragua, Charlie’s journey takes him to the heart of something not located on a map. Many life lessons present themselves along the way, and a dec Charlie Finn begins his journey with indifference and hard heartedness that will tear your soul apart. He is a borderline genius who can’t seem to hold any relationship together, much less speak of his feelings. From the Southern Coast of Florida and a wealth of mansions, to a shack on the island of Bimini and the mudslide mountain of San Cristobal, Nicaragua, Charlie’s journey takes him to the heart of something not located on a map. Many life lessons present themselves along the way, and a decade later, it is up to Charlie to figure out how to right some wrongs and let go of his past. I envy such talented writers like Charles Martin, when such a story can bring heart wrenching sobs from me, even out in public. Much like watching a movie and crying in front of and with 25 other people (The Titanic did that to me). The geological territory of this story is what captured me most. Traveling by boat to get anywhere is not something I’ve been exposed to - so reading about it made me feel quite inept. I was rapt with emotion and awe as the story evolved, with a few little surprises along the way to keep with me as I finished this novel with a huge sigh in my heart. Water from my heart and love with legs will be remembered as will the factual tragedies the author used and researched to capture our attention as well as our soul. Just an awesome novel.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Deidra

    Fast paced story with more meaning than I ever anticipated. I was reminded about many things both personal and historical. I enjoyed this book very much.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bev

    I turned the last page of “Water from my Heart” and instead of reaching for the next book on my TBR shelf, I sit quietly letting the words and depth of the story reach the inner being of my soul. This is the most powerful, riveting, poignant and thought-provoking book that I’ve read in a while. It is a story of love, loss, hardship, survival and redemption; a story so influential I am compelled to question my own values, thoughts and indifferences. "If so, the water that would cleanse me was not I turned the last page of “Water from my Heart” and instead of reaching for the next book on my TBR shelf, I sit quietly letting the words and depth of the story reach the inner being of my soul. This is the most powerful, riveting, poignant and thought-provoking book that I’ve read in a while. It is a story of love, loss, hardship, survival and redemption; a story so influential I am compelled to question my own values, thoughts and indifferences. "If so, the water that would cleanse me was not the water from my head-where I’d learned to rationalize my indifference. But the water from my heart." 5 stars and more!

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