Holly Sisson reviews Patty Lesser’s novel A Discerning Heart

Becoming Human: A story of enchantment and love

Holly Sisson, MA


A Book Review of A Discerning Heart by Patty Lesser

Fiction writer Patty Lesser has broken from tradition in this modern day mythological tale brought to life through an empassioned display of a man lost and blind by his own self-pity and desire for power and respect. The author brings forth from the depths a gentler compassionate love that transcends both societal norms and his own aggressive wounded heart. This tale of two lovers uniting is not without its fair share of turns and twists. Sex, lies, exploits and magic enchant and keep the reader turning the pages as the plot thickens like grandma’s stew with a secret ingredient.

A love story as old as the ages, this Romeo and Juliet-esque story is filled with bits of modern day social issues from gender roles and culturally accepted marriage to sexism and the objectification of women, the invisibility of disability, and the simplicity of natural living being overcome by ambition and progress.

The imagery of land and sea is breathtaking and will immerse the imaginative reader in a world of beauty, nature, fantasy and magic. From solid ground to open sea we journey through transcendental archetypes of love, power, paradise, illusion, paradox and the balance of feminine and masculine, mystery and personal reality. The principal protagonist, Dim Jim, develops a character both shaped by a loneliness amplified by social marginalization and a victim mentality that leads his eventual surrender to love and beauty through the alchemical power of falling in love.

This story has a bittersweet happy ending reminiscent of a fairy tale, yet without the perfect due justice falsely implied in contemporary fairy tales. The real life consequences of decisions made by Dim Jim and his counterparts are certainly not swept under the rug, and the difficulty of a life filled with choices and a veiled sense of what happiness is weaves both tragedy and liberation along the way.

A Discerning Heart is somewhere between real-life and fantasy, a novel filled with the depths of love and the shallows of self-pity. It will pull the heartstrings of anyone young or old who has a taste for the enchantment of magic found in real life situations. Patty Lesser is becoming more of an accomplished writer with each novel she writes.

This novel may be ordered here.