Lifelines by Eleanor Bertin – Book Review

Posted January 26, 2021 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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Lifelines by Eleanor Bertin – Book Review


by Eleanor Bertin

Series: The Ties That Bind #1
Published by Leaf & Blade
Publication Date January 1, 2021
Genres: Christian Fiction
Setting: Canada Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 35-60, 60+
Written for: Adults
Pages: 320


Life has been going as planned for biologist Dr. Robert Fielding until he's hit by a squall that threatens to shipwreck him.

Tormented by the losses in his life, he resists the friendship of his new neighbour, Anna Fawcett. After all, a senior and her son with Down syndrome aren't exactly in his league. But Anna's fresh cinnamon buns come with a side of innocent questions that erode his faith in naturalism and collide with his assumptions about life, love and truth. Have his foundational beliefs been the cause of his personal losses? As he searches for answers, Anna's example of loving integrity keeps him coming back. Or maybe it's her homemade pies. Yet to risk re-thinking his core convictions for a chance at personal peace would expose his soul and tear open an old wound.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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Lifelines is a republishing of Eleanor Bertin’s first novel. It is the first full-length story I have read by her, though I have read several of her novellas in various Mosaic Collection anthologies. I remember them as quite thought-provoking.

I loved Anna! This dear widow seemed unable to not spread love to everyone she came into contact with! We first saw this as she invited her new neighbor, Robert, over for dinner. She had a way of living her faith infectiously, yet without coming across as judgemental. And I found her love for learning to be great! She had an interest in so many different subjects and was quite intelligent and still humble.

Robert, a biology professor, thought that he had an open mind. Yet his interactions with Anna and her son, Jesse, had him rethinking things he was convinced he knew. Through her gentle questions, he began to consider the things he had accepted as “truth” were not as true as he believed. I loved watching his attitude towards Jesse morph from revulsion to acceptance and love. (And how could he not love that sweet, gentle, young man!!)

Anna was also touched by Amelia’s life. I rejoiced when she learned that Jesus paid the price for her sin and took away all her guilt and shame. And related so well to her needing to be reminded again and again of that glorious truth. Anna’s ministry to her included teaching the life skills that she had not learned from her parents.

This servant of God touched so many lives. Many of the conflicts remained unresolved and yet Lifelines felt complete. The story’s satisfying conclusion left me pondering the future outcomes and wanting to know more about what happens next!

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About Eleanor Bertin

In a fit of optimism at age eleven, Eleanor Bertin began her first novel by numbering a stack of 100 pages. Two of them got filled with words. Lifelines, her first completed novel, was published in 2016, followed by Pall of Silence in 2017, a memoir about her late son Paul.

She holds a college diploma in Communications and worked in agriculture journalism until the birth of her first child. The family eventually grew to include one daughter and six sons (the youngest with Down syndrome) whom she home-educated for 25 years.

Eleanor grew up on a Manitoba farm, spent 20 years in cities and towns, and in the past 16 years has come full circle to embrace country life again. She lives with her husband and youngest son, Timothy, amidst the ongoing renovation of a century home in central Alberta where she reads, writes, sweeps up construction rubble and blogs about a sometimes elusive contentment at

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