Full Chisel Blog

March 7, 2009

Book Review: Clear Heart by Joe Cottonwood

Filed under: Of Interest,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 8:20 am

Clear Heart by Joe Cottonwood

I haven’t read much modern fiction besides some science fiction I read in earlier years, most of my reading is in the area of history and woodworking.  I am not sure I would have picked it up at a bookstore because I probably wouldn’t have been in that section, and that would have been a mistake.

I was sent a copy of Joe Cottonwood’s new novel ‘Clear Heart’, with no obligation to write anything about the book.  I liked the way is was laid out with small easy to read chapters.  Short chapters in a book are great for being able to put the book down at the end of a chapter, then pick it up again with continuity.

Well that didn’t happen, once I started the book, I just couldn’t put it down.  I ended up ‘wasting’ a weekend to finish the book, but the weekend wasn’t wasted, it was well worth the time.  It was a great read.

The author built up his believable characters and it was done in the rubric of the house construction trade.  Now I have met many of the people in Joe’s novel, well not the real people but his characters represent the types of people I have met; quirky sub contractors, stupid clients and the like.

As I would read through the pages, I began to associate people I know with characters in this work, so I could visualize them in my head, the characters came to life.  At one point in the book, I found myself (I believe for the first time) actually rooting for fictional characters.  The book is gripping.

It is a love story and so much more.  I should also tell you that it is a book for adults.  I wouldn’t have my (prude) sister read the book, but I did recommend it to my niece, who is an avid reader, I haven’t heard back from her yet.

The book is available from Amazon.  I highly recommend you read this book.



  1. I heartily second this review. Fantastic book for all readers, but woodworkers will love
    the references to our craft in it’s pages. For those who are challenged for time to read,
    Clearheart is also available as a free Podiobook at Podiobooks.com or on iTunes.

    Comment by Shannon — March 7, 2009 @ 10:09 am

  2. Thank you Stephen!

    And Shannon – interesting blog you have, glad to know about it.

    Comment by Joe Cottonwood — March 7, 2009 @ 8:55 pm

  3. This is a great read and a great podcast. I got my book from amazon, but I plan on ordering a signed copy from Joe Cottonwood, at his blog site http://clearheartblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/brag.html, and donating my first book to our local library. I really enjoy Joe’s writing and he has some short stories and kids books that are just as enjoyable to read as Clear Heart. I really think any one who has work in construction can find a little of there self’s in clear heart, I know it was like listen to stories about old friend that I worked with most my life.


    Comment by Joey — March 8, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

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