Uplifting: "These Healing Hills" by Ann H. Gabhart

Cover Art

about the book....

Francine Howard has her life all mapped out--until the man she loves announces his plans to bring home an English bride from war-torn Europe in 1945. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he's at a loss when it comes to envisioning what's next for his life.

When Francine's and Ben's paths intersect, it's immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.

my review....

I am never happier than when I crack the cover of a historical fiction novel and encounter a piece of history I've never heard of before. Such was the case with "These Healing Hills", and learning about the Frontier Nursing Service that operated in the Appalachian Mountains, offering midwifery nursing care (or digging out bullet wounds for that matter!) The author has done a great job at bringing the Mountains to life, capturing their beauty along with the strength of the people who lived there. Gabhart has crafted some wonderful and endearing characters in the plucky Francine as she seeks to heal from her past, and the likeable Ben Locke, who seems torn between his home in the mountains and all that the rest of the world has to offer. The romance that simmers between them is sweet to behold, and readers will enjoy watching them grow over the course of the novel, as they live life alongside the community around them. Although some parts of the novel move faster than others, there is plenty of drama woven into the plot to keep you absorbed in the story. And the way that Gabhart depicts the stereotypes against the mountain people by outsiders is so remnant of the way that people continue to be judged by their differences to this day. The story offers a needed reminder that we all need to take the time to get to know people where they are at, discovering that we aren't so different after all!

Ann H. Gabhart continues to give life to endearing and uplifting stories that satisfy the heart, and "These Healing Hills" will not only please her wide fan base but appeal to those looking for good historical fiction. I award this novel a solid rating and give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

about the author....

Ann H. Gabhart
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

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