" A GEM OF A PAGE TURNER." 5 STARS
The story and these characters held my interest from the very beginning. Crisp dialogue, great settings, and wonderful cast of characters! Especially love Gamma and Celeste (who wouldn't?) I love the message that Matson Hahn weaves through the narrative; one that touches each of us. Looking forward to the subsequent novel(s) with great anticipation. A. MCQuarrie
"OUR OWN LIFE CHOICES REFLECTED IN MANY CHARACTERS" 5 STARS
An enchanting story for all ages about making life choices that bring happiness and contentment.
The main character, a Bohemian grandmother, Gamma, gives guidance to family and friends to find their untapped passions and talents to discover what beckons them to follow their Heart’s Code. Ms. Hahn’s characters are artfully developed by the flow of their individual life choices. We can see the outcome of our own life choices reflected in many of the characters and can’t help but become vicariously involved in in their lives. Great read.
"REFRESHING COMING OF AGE" 5 STARS
I have read a number of coming of age novels in which interaction with the outside world develops and tempers the protagonist. What is refreshing about Laura Hahn’s novel is that the focus is not on the protagonist, Celeste, growing up and reviewing life’s buffet of options to advance her way in the world , but coming to recognize that the best choices come from finding or recognizing in yourself the thing that you really want. Learning to trust her heart’s feeling, her code, is something that Celeste learned from Gamma, her grandmother, in this case. Where did that heart’s code come from? Well Laura skillfully and entertainingly shows us where it came from in Celeste. Where does it come from in us? Well, that may require us to do some real digging into our backgrounds, but as this novel demonstrates, it really pays off. JARALD.
"COMPELLING SEARCH FOR SIX SECRETS OF THE BOHEMIAN WAY."
4 STARS In her first novel, author Laura Matson Hahn carries readers on a timeless journey of personal
growth and self-discovery. During the Great Depression, a young woman embarks on a personal quest to discover her own life path. Strong character development across a cast of players drawn from diverse social and cultural backgrounds provide a provocative window for exploring beliefs, attitudes and values roiling in the potent brew of the American Melting Pot. This is a compelling read and, once immersed, you too will find yourself eager to solve the mysterious secret of the Six Bracelets of the Bohemian way. Join Celeste as she searches for personal truth through embracing her roots, aspirations, and true heart's desire. Set in a more innocent age, her story weaves a tapestry of characters, images, values and events imparting lessons that still resonate for contemporary readers facing similar choices in modern life. What she learns provides a viable roadmap for anyone seeking timeless wisdom transcending generations and current events. Moreover, grandmother Gamma's high school commencement address should be required reading for all high school students anywhere. Greg Andriate
"A GREAT READ" 4 STARS
Loved the book! A wonderful read! If we all took the time to listen to our hearts and not do what everyone else thinks we should do, we all would live with a lot more joy in our lives! The author really taps into a very important issue. Thank You. Gulf Gal
"GREAT FOR A WOMEN'S BOOK CLUB" 4 STARS
I enjoyed The Heart Code book and read it with my women's book club. I think many woman can relate to the issues in the book about growing up and discovering yourself. In life we have many influences who help guide us. In our book club, The Heart Code brought up a great discussion on who has mentored our lives or who we have helped mentor as well. I highly recommend this to a women's book club. AMAZON CUSTOMER
"THE HEART CODE MYSTIQUE - A BOOK FOR ALL AGES AND SEASONS." 5 STARS
This is a delightful story filled with interesting characters of different ethnic backgrounds and ages who interact with each other in appealing ways. I loved reading about Gamma's Bohemian background with her large family and their different customs. The book is multi-faceted dealing with romance, intrigue, family personality conflicts, surprise, suspense representing various lifestyles and left me wondering what adventures and challenges Celeste will meet as she continues to follow her Heart Code! Ellen Emerson.
"LOVE IT!" 5 STARS
I love this novel. I've read it twice! Growing up in rural Iowa in the 50's I loved reading Nancy Drew novels, they taught me that women could be independent, inquisitive and resourceful. And The Heart Code introduces us to another great example of a strong independent young woman. Plus, it's a wonderful story of romance, a hint of mystery and the enchantment of Celeste & Gamma traveling in Europe. Can't wait for the sequel! Joleen Fitz
"THE HEART CODE TELLS US THE CODE TO FIND THE COURAGE TO BE TRUE TO OURSELVES AT ANY AGE." 5 STARS
While The Heart Code is mostly based in the 1930's, the issues that the characters are confronted with are very contemporary with- in all socio-economic levels and including multiple generations, sexism, ageism, class, sexual abuse to name a few. I can easily see this book being read and studied in high schools, women's studies, corrections and counseling settings. To me, this story is steeped in following one's heart to find your path in life, but most importantly it encourages us to take those necessary risks within stifling traditions to break free! E Melchiando.
"SEVERAL LIFE DEFINING MOMENTS" 5 STARS
A captivating and provocative novel that encourages you to listen to your heart in order to find your true path. It has a literary quality that delivers a definitive message: Be true to yourself. Laura Matson Hahn honors what beckons her by focusing on relationships between two families: The Howes and The Meadens. These characters come alive thru Laura Matson Hahn's command of language and sensibility to historical references. THE HEART CODE is an incredible journey that you will savor throughout the entire novel. SFK
"LOVE HISTORICAL" 5 STARS
This book contained many features I appreciated. The story followed varied relationships (familial, social) and studied how both present day and previous generations affected the characters' behaviors, reactions and thinking. I especially enjoyed the well-researched European background and how the Author respected the Grandmother and her "old-fashioned ways."
"PUT THIS ONE ON YOUR LIST!" 5 STARS
Laura has drawn me in with her rich characters and compelling story. She has held a mirror up to us all, and reminded us of a simple truth too often buried today in our busy society: listen to your heart, it won't let you down! She also brings to the forefront how important a grandparent can be in the nurturing of a child, especially on the threshold of adulthood, helping to instill values and self-esteem so many young people do not have the good fortune to receive. If I am missing this summer when my granddaughter Emma visits, I will be found down at the nearest water's edge making a birch-bark hat! Burt Williams
"A WONDERFUL FIRST NOVEL" 5 STARS
The Heart Code kept my interest from the first page to the last. I'm looking forward to the next book. Robert Costello
"A THOUGHTFUL PROVOCATIVE BOOK"
4 STARS Laura Matson Hahn quickly pulls the reader into this story. A poignantly told "coming of age" story that is appealing as well as insightful to people who have been or are currently on a quest to find out more about themselves. Joseph Campbell tells us to "follow your bliss." The Heart Code carries a similar message. A wonderful read for anyone at any age but especially for young women or men whose search to discover who they are is sometimes is squelched, intentionally or unintentionally. This book will make a fine gift for a special friend.
Ellen A. Solebury, PA
"THANKS FOR TAKING ME ALONG"
5 STARS The Heart Code is a book which I will cherish and share. The author skillfully interweaves the lives of these memorable characters as each discovers his or her unique life’s path. The carefully researched historical details flow effortlessly with the dialogue and plot line, and the reader feels more like a participant in the story rather than a mere observer. Once you’ve read this book, you’ll find yourself exploring your own path and asking the important question, “Are you being who you were meant to be?” I’ve enjoyed the journey of the Meaden and Howe families and look forward to more adventures. Thanks for taking me along!
"A Heart Warming Novel" 5 STARS
I loved reading this book, I found the story of Bertra, who leaves her country to come get married in America at age 16 fascinating! I could not put the book down. All the characters are equally engaging and I fell in love with most of them.. Bertra, "Gamma", is the principal character and she tries to teach Celeste, her granddaughter to find her real self by following the wisdom in her heart. It is a very well written book and Laura Matson Hahn has researched her history very well. I can't wait for the sequel! Betty, Dallas TX
"An Author of the Heart" 5 Stars First time reading a novel by the talented, Laura Matson Hahn, and it will not be the last. Laura has a natural ability for story telling from beginning to end. Flowing like a river, just enough rough water to excite and then bringing you to a pleasurable destination. Her true ability is not the story which keeps you turning pages, but rather her skill of creating characters so real, that you can almost smell and feel them! Bravo, Laura! I am an instant fan of your story telling! Jay Cannata
YOUR SCENERY IS WELL PAINTED WITH FINE BRUSH STROKES of a minute detail that touches the senses without over laboring it. I enjoyed the scenes of Celeste’s innocent joy in response to the Vogen Village where she awoke in the land of Gamma’s tales. Her adjustment to the purity of the farm embracing a new world of change was told simply through the taste of goat’s milk. The paragraph of Celeste putting on her ball gown is light, sensual, with just the right amount of color, periwinkle no less! I still want to know how Laura got into the men’s room at Radio City Music Hall. The details were photographically accurate it seems. It worked for me even though I haven’t been inside the men’s room either! In the same vein her description of James’ apartment in NY with the terrace scene with his Father, or Celeste’s arrival for her visit, told the story of James’ passion and love affair for the arts and the City. One of my favorite scenes is when Celeste is in her bedroom wanting to speak with Gamma to get advice, to help iron out the wrinkles of confusion in her heart. She looks down the hallway to see the light coming from Gamma’s room as the door is slightly ajar. Gamma is seated in her chair, music softly playing, her foot lightly tapping. To me that was an invitation so authentically painted in artistic simplicity.
Developing her characters, Laura was a spider to a web of intertwined stories, relationships and good old human nature with old souls and young ones. Her story grew up in an era of back screen doors gleefully slamming, summer ice tea, aprons, swings, and only nice four letter words. It is refreshing to give life again of another era that should not be forgotten. A time of sweet innocence, the scent of home, family, forever friends and elders’ wisdom being shared; those are the gifts and reminders of The Heart Code.
LAURA PEARSON WOOD. Sarasota FL, 01-01-2015