Book Review: 'A Hunger in the Heart' by Kaye Park Hinckley

Updated on November 4, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.

The cover of the book "A Hunger in the Heart"
The cover of the book "A Hunger in the Heart" | Source

“A Hunger in the Heart” is a historical dramatic novel by Kaye Park Hinkley. This is the second book by her that I’ve reviewed. In this book, a man comes home from war, but the war hasn’t left him. You see the personal drama that the family and community deal with a decade later.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in return for a review.

The Strengths of "A Hunger in the Heart"

The characterization is deftly completed in the first three pages. You learn the relationships, statuses and personalities of everyone involved immediately. There are a few later revelations, but nothing out of character for the characters already introduced.

This book provides a realistic portrayal of mental illness. It is especially accurate when it comes to the various coping mechanisms family members use – denial, addiction, enabling, substitute relationships. Of course the son will play war, when it is something his father wants to do and one of the fun things they can do. A father seeking short term solutions again and again enables the delusions instead of dealing with them. A mother blaming the outside cause she can name instead of her husband or biology, and the reliance on drugs and alcohol to get by that mirrors the reliance on drugs to manage the mentally ill.

While the book is set in the 1950s, the language is accurate barring use of racial epithets you would have heard in real life conversations in that time and place. The book overall is PG-13 for violence and implied sexuality.

The Weaknesses of "A Hunger in the Heart"

Some directors like to have long, lovely visuals to add to the ambiance of the movie. They think of it as showcasing their cinematography skills and adding to the mood. Unless someone is coming to the film to enjoy the visual effects, it actually takes away from the movie if done beyond the initial introduction. The book could have been ten percent shorter if these written scenic descriptions of places and people’s actions were cut out. They are rich and emotionally evocative on their own but do not add to the author’s decent descriptions of the rest of the scene and/or events.

Revealing a secret genetic blood relationship undermines the time, dedication and devotion of someone who otherwise a kind, supportive soul. The revelation detracts from the person’s years of involvement, though likely done to explain it.


This book is strong Catholic fiction but you don’t have to be Catholic to appreciate it. I’d give it a PG-13 rating based on the violence. The language and implied sex are PG.

This book shows the slow erosion of the soul as we make excuses, assign blame to others, and do what we think gets us by instead of what is right.

While there is discussion of spiritual warfare, that issue is only lightly addressed in the book.

Despite the tragedies in the book, there is a short, tightly knotted happy ending.


As a work of Christian fiction, it is a decent historical novel, though about entirely fictional characters. The story doesn’t end quite as one would expect, but it is within reason. Four stars for “A Hunger in the Heart”.

© 2017 Tamara Wilhite


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)