Henry Holt and Company
In a Heartbeat is a nonfiction narrative written by Leigh Anne Tuohy, Sean Tuohy, and Sally Jenkins. For those of you who might not recognize the name, the Tuohys are the family featured in the blockbuster hit movie The Blind Side. Their story explores the true spirit of what many people shudder at: giving.
This trio of authors addresses our society’s obscured vision of what it means to give and change someone else’s life. Many people look to make a difference, but they do so with an agenda. They want to feel good about what they do and only want to be involved with large projects. It’s not that eliminating world hunger isn’t a worthy cause, but being so wrapped up in large scale operations can cause people to miss the hungry folks standing right in front of them. “We…shared a theory: we were born to make a difference,” Sean states, “It was up to us to put down some footprints in our community, to live for something more than just ourselves. If we could do that in any shape, form, or fashion, then it would be a blessing not just in someone else's life but in our own.” The Tuohys also provide countless examples of when people in their community provided for their needs, therefore, impacting the way they viewed giving.
The story is told in narrative format by the Tuohy family itself. Both Sean and Leigh Anne take turns discussing their childhoods and early years of marriage. Stories from the Tuohy children, as well as Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw, are also included. They explain both their personal thoughts on the movie and what the family’s reactions were on taking in Michael. Michael is the homeless young man whom they adopted, which inspired the bestseller The Blind Side.
This family’s story will captivate readers’ attention “in a heartbeat.” It moves at a steady pace. Whether or not the reader agrees with the Tuohys’ philosophy on giving, Christians specifically should feel convicted to examine their own attitudes toward giving as well as tithing. A good verse to keep in mind is 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Those who enjoyed The Blind Side will certainly enjoy In a Heartbeat. This story of faith is so distinctive, readers cannot help but be inspired by the legacy this family has shared with the rest of the world. – Amanda Push, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
The Tuohys’ goal is not so much to tell their own story but to show others how they can make a difference, one person at a time. “There are a million Michaels,” Leigh Anne says. “Not every kid has the potential to become a star player in the NFL, but that kid may be the person who grows up to cure cancer, or who becomes a great husband or wife to someone.” Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohys’ compelling, funny, and profoundly inspiring voices encourage readers to move past the “no” in their heads and follow the “yes” in their hearts to see how—in a heartbeat—anyone can harness the power of giving to change the world.
The Tuohys believe The Blindside was so successful because people see themselves in the story, and that they too could make a difference. They wrote In a Heartbeat to show others how they can do something—big or small—to change someone’s life for the better. The Tuohys feel that it was their family that received the blessing in helping Michael, and they want others to receive the blessings that come with cheerful giving as well. “He had a much greater impact on our lives than we did on his life,” says Leigh Anne.
The Tuohys taught Michael what this book teaches all of us: Everyone has a blind side, but a loving heart always sees a path toward true charity.