May 19, 2010

Heading Home by Renee Riva

“Eight years is a long time—from saying good-bye as kids to saying hello as adults.” This is the first thought to cross A.J. Digulio’s mind after leaving Italy and returning to the home of her heart, Indian Island, Idaho. When she gets her first glimpse of her childhood friend Danny, A.J. knows immediately that much has changed in her absence. Renee Riva’s latest release, Heading Home, draws her readers into the heart of the Digulio family as A.J. discovers that one of the key elements of a lifelong relationship is a love that will anchor your heart and draw you toward home.

Angelina Digulio’s heart has been tenderly tied to Indian Island through a series of letters that Danny has written on behalf of her dog, Sailor, throughout her eight years in Italy. Although the initial reunion with Danny is sweet, at the ages of eighteen and twenty-two, it isn’t long before Danny and A.J. realize that the future of their hearts and the reality of their plans could very possibly take them in very different directions. While Danny explores the possibility of creating a series of summer camps for church groups and introducing a new Indian princess to the island, A.J. begins spending time with the nuns at Our Lady of the Lake in an attempt to fulfill a promise she made to God several years ago. What neither of them realize is that their dreams for the future are more entwined than they could ever believe possible.

Fans of Renee Riva’s Indian Island trilogy will be delighted to be reunited with the colorful cast of characters from the two previous books, Saving Sailor and Taking Tuscany. As Heading Home progresses, all three branches of the extended families collide—Southern, Italian and Greek!—to create a story that will linger tenderly in your heart for a very long time! There are many tense moments as Danny and A.J. sort through their feelings, and there are many holy moments as each of them come before God with their burdens and trust Him with their future. Hilarity also abounds in this story, especially when the Italian and Greek grandmothers come together!

Heading Home is a story about the very best of what it means to be family. This is a story about beautiful beginnings and happy endings! Fans of Renee Riva will add special memories to their reading collection with the final volume of the Indian Island Trilogy.


Renee Riva has enjoyed a lifelong love affair with words. She is particularly passionate about writing for young adults and children. Heading Home is the third novel in the Indian Island Trilogy and reflects Renee's love for animals as well as her desire to provide stories that families can enjoy together for years to come. In addition to the Indian Island Trilogy (Saving Sailor, Taking Tuscany, and Heading Home) Renee has written two titles for young children; Guido's Gondola and Izzy the Lizzy. Her love for writing has ignited efforts to share her talents with others. Renee speaks at Young Author events, attends numerous writing conferences, and teaches writing workshops in the Northwest. She lives in Richland, Washington, with her husband and three daughters.

Heading Home, by Renee Riva from David C. Cook on Vimeo.


Even though I missed the first two books in this trilogy, I absolutely loved "Heading Home". I loved the sense of humor of so many of the characters. The quirky but fake Southern accent that A.J. adopted, and some of her other goofy ideas made me laugh out loud many times.

A.J.'s heart was full of love for all of God's creatures, and she felt her destiny was to become a veterinarian. She took a slight detour when she felt God was calling her to become a nun as well. Her weekend retreat with the nuns had many hilarious happenings, including her dreaming of hamburgers and fries under MacDonald's golden arches.

The relationship between Danny and A.J. is delightful, and A.J.'s Italian family kept me in stitches. I don't often get so much enjoyment out of a fiction book, but this one was a refreshing escape from normalcy.

Read this book, but be prepared to laugh out loud, over and over again. And even more importantly, this is a great story of faith and strong family connections.

MY RATING - 5 out of 5

Thank you to The B&B Media Group and David C. Cook for providing a complimentary copy of Heading Home for the purpose of review.

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook Publishing; 1 edition (March 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434767760
ISBN-13: 978-1434767769

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this book too. I didn't get to read book 1 yet, but book 2 was great too!