High School Book report
by Lori Wick
Sophie’s Heart, by Lori Wick, is the story of Sophie, an educated young woman who moves from her homeland, Czechoslovakia, to America where she becomes a housekeeper for a lonely young widower and his three children. This book takes place mainly in Wisconsin in the 1990’s. Sophie moved from Czechoslovakia to America and became employed as a housekeeper for Alec Riley. She grew to love his three children and gradually her love extended to Alec himself, who returned her love with his own. Near the end of this novel, Sophie and Alec get married.
Sophia Velikonja, a twenty-year-old young woman, moved to America when her name was called on the request list to leave Czechoslovakia. She had not wanted to leave her beloved grandmother, but her grandmother had insisted upon staying behind. Sophie moved to Chicago where she acquired a job as a waitress in a city restaurant. A devout Christian, Sophie began attending church as soon as she could and met a friendly woman named Janet Ring. Janet’s brother, Alec Riley had recently become a widower when his young wife, Vanessa, died in a tragic car accident. She suggested to him that he employ a housekeeper. After having met Sophie, Janet recommended the quiet, hard-working young woman to Alec. Alec, after some hesitation and thought, interviewed Sophie and hired her. Sophie lived in a small apartment over the Riley’s garage and cooked and cleaned for Alec and his three children, Rita (age seventeen), Craig (age thirteen), and Tory (age ten). Sophie and the children ended up becoming very close. At first, the children looked down on her with her accent, but when they eventually learned that Sophie had mastered five other languages and had worked as a translator in her native land, they changed their opinion. Life was not without hardship for Sophie. She desperately missed her beloved grandmother and she also faced problems with Vanessa’s mother, who seemed to resent the fact that someone had come to do the same duties her daughter had done.
As she and the Riley children grew closer, Sophie began to notice their handsome father, Alec. At first, she didn’t admit to herself that she was interested in him, but when Alec began to show an interest in her, Sophie began to seriously look at him. At first, she was concerned that she would be merely a replacement for Vanessa, but as she and Alec grew closer, he made it very clear to her that he loved her for who she was. Their blossoming relationship was not always a smooth path. Tory, who by this time was twelve, suddenly seemed to resent Sophie and was very much against her dad and Sophie dating. However, when Sophie went away for a few days, Tory realized how much she dearly loved the beloved housekeeper and she changed her attitude. After much prayer and consideration, Alec and Sophie approached the three children to ask their opinion of their getting married. The three children were thrilled and a few months later, Sophie and Alec were married. About a year later, Sophie gave birth to twin boys, whom they named Jordan and Payton. The entire Riley family was thrilled, including Rita, who was away at college. This story concludes when Alec finally convinces Sophie’s grandmother to come to America to live with them. Sophie was so thankful to the Lord for her beloved husband, her three wonderful stepchildren whom she thought of as her own, her twins, and finally her grandmother who moved into the apartment over the Riley’s garage.
I highly recommend this book. One of the major points of this book is to completely rely on God and let Him have complete control over our lives. Sophie did this and her gentle, sweet spirit and loving attitude through all circumstances gave testimony to her peace. Sophie said to Alec after they were married, “I was so lonely in Chicago that I had to seek out fellowship, so I went to this church and a woman named Janet was kind to me. And then she said there is a man who has children and his wife is dead and he is lost, would I go? I went. I came to take care of you and the children, but you end up taking care of me. When will I stop being amazed at how much God loves me?” This book really emphasizes God’s wonderful love. I would definitely recommend Sophie’s Heart.