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Posted December 30, 2013
It would seem that the Civil War is one of those moments in our history that has engendered a number of films, documentaries, and books--maybe more than any other event in our history. And Ms. Moore has now added a very touching look at this moment in our history, and it is certainly well worth the read. Her powers of description and viewing the Civil War in a little different light bring the sights and sounds of this horrendous battle right into our present-day consciousness.
I had never considered the fact that normal, everyday people were caught in the cross-fire of the Civil War. It was chilling to consider that one may look out of their window and see an actual battle being played out. People never knew if a Reb or a Yankee would drop by their house and demand money, food, or just take over their home. Makeshift hospitals were set up for the wounded and the dying in the basements and cellars of people's homes. I had no idea how dangerous it was.
The story was good, for sure, and the idea of the heroine being disabled made things quite intriguing. I did find myself somewhat bored by the romance, and I would have preferred more historical details. The sovereignty of God does come through, and the Christian message is there, but it is not overbearing. I did find myself sometimes bored, but at least I did not have to endure profanity nor sex scenes. If you are looking for a quick read with a simple love story and some historical elements, this just may be what you are looking for.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Posted August 24, 2013
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A Heartbeat Away by S. Dionne Moore
This book is set in the 1860 and the war. Joe is brought by slaves to Elizabeth and Gretas' house and the grandmother sews him up but he needs rest and they fear the troops will find him.
Loved learning about healing and the use of honey and cornstarch.
Found a bond right off the first few pages while she's drinking tea a splash of hot water and cinnamon heated up the tea-I drink tea all year round also.
Joe starts to recover and others are brought in for her to heal. She's always prayed God would cure her crushed ankle so she'd not limp. She loves nursing even if it's for the enemy.
The quilt her mother had sent means something to Joe, the wounded that she's caring for-it will show what's beyond that hard times.
So many more wounded, from both sides are brought to her grandmother's house and they must leave as it's being taken over. Jim secures a cabin for them to help heal a bit more before they move on...The women continue to go into the fields to help the men.
When she finally makes it back to her mothers home she learns many things and what will her future hold?
An excerpt from Pieces of the Heart, the next in the series, is included.
I received this book from Abingdon Press in exchange for my honest review.
Posted June 23, 2013
A Heartbeat Away is a fresh new look at the Civil War. Heart touching and beautiful. I loved the role the quilt played in the story, and how it had more than one message. The colors came alive and the messages unfolded.
S. Dionne Moore is a new author to me, and one that quickly found her way into my list of loved authors. She uses the Deep Point of View to bring the reader into the story and with vivid imagery you see not only the awful ravages of war on the country, but also on the people. Although, coming from my background, and from Canada, the war about slavery has always caused questions, and even today I find the animosity that some people carry about them unfathomable, I enjoy learning about history through fiction.
This novel explores the emotions, thoughts and motives of the people involved, and the characters are lovable, with just enough flaws to make them human, and redeemable.
Although Quilts of Love is a series of books, this is the first one I have read, and so I can not say just how they are all connected. I will be looking for the rest of the books, as this one is uplifting and gentle.
I received this free book from Litfuse Publications in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions stated are my own.
Posted June 13, 2013
A journey into the reality that came with the Civil War. We experience it with our own eyes and ears with the help of this Ms Moore.
Death and tragic loss of human life is everywhere. We see all of this though the eyes of Beth Bumgartner and her Grandmother Gerta. They have been called upon to nurse the wounded Confederate soldiers. We feel the shells shaking the house and breaking the windows. We smell the blood and unwashed bodies, and we see the pile of legs and arms the surgeon has cut off, along with the flies. Not a glamorous site here.
We also see the compassion of people who sympathies are not with the South, including some emancipated slaves. Where hate could have lived, there is a kindness to man and the love of the Lord.
We see God work in these poor people. There is a bit of romance in this story, and we loose people we have come to love.
This is a very different War story, and includes the working of a beautiful quilt throughout the shattering affects of battle. The book is a very fast past read, and will leave you wanting more, and there is a preview of the next book in this series included.
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
Posted June 11, 2013
Beth has always wanted to be a nurse. Unfortunately, the US Civil War has provided the perfect opportunity to hone her skills. A group of runaway slaves brings a man who is in desperate need of her care, but Beth is hesitant as she is a loyal Unionist. However, Beth works on Joe at her grandmother's urging, and she finds herself growing closer to Joe as she tends him. Beth and Joe are both hiding things though, and this could break the bond that they are forming. Surrounding all this is a quilt that Beth's mom left to Beth to finish. It becomes a symbol of hope in a dreary world for more than one person.
I was very interested in this story. The historical aspects are always fascinating to me, and this book did a great job with showing the conflict between the two sides. It was never as easy as just tending to one side and ignoring the other for Beth. Families were torn apart by this conflict, and the result was just a horrible war. I felt for Beth though, knowing how hard it must have been to help people who seemed so against everything she stood for. Just recognizing them as fellow humans was difficult at best for her. The back stories of both Joe and Beth develop slowly, but it's not so slow that you lose interest. I think the pacing of this book was really great.
I especially loved the running ideas surrounding the quilt. Sewing was something the Beth didn't particularly want to do, but this quilt was a gift from her mother. Through this quilt though, Beth and Joe were able to find some insight and peace in terrible times. The quilt became more than just a quilt. It became a symbol of things as they could be. It was inspiring to think of all the ways that we can find strength throughout our days. This book was very beautiful, and it was a wonderful read.
Book provided for review.
Posted June 8, 2013
A Heartbeat away...
The terror of war....
The carnage left on the battlefield...
The loss that tore hearts...
The pain that those who lived endured...
The fact that those who lived were changed...
The fear that "changed" meant unlovely and broken....
The truth that Love sees through all loss...
These themes are vividly depicted
in S. Dionne Moore's book.
A love story set in the Civil War, between two vulnerable people, A Heartbeat Away tells the story of Joseph Madison and Beth Bumgartner.
He is a Rebel soldier, she is a nurse from a Union loyal family. They are left in the wake of the war that has etched its bloody horror on their minds and wounded their bodies with its weapons.
They are wounded souls, flesh and blood people in need of God's strength, peace and grace.
As Beth pieces together the quilt blocks her mother gave her, and Joe heals from his wound, will they find that God's hope is a heartbeat away?
Filled with memorable writing and characters you want to see healed and following the Lord together, S. Dinonne Moore's A Heartbeat Away tells a very good story.
Thank you S. Dionne Moore and Litfuse for my copy of this book!
Posted May 31, 2013
Beth Bumgartner desires to be a nurse, so she moves in with her grandmother and assists in caring for wounded soldiers in the height of battle almost at their front door. Nursing means caring for not only the Union soldiers but also the Confederates. This is difficult for Beth and can't help but feel bitterness toward her enemy of the south. But there is their first patient an injured soldier which happens to be a Confederate yet she feels some tenderness towards this man even though she despises what he stands for. Joe has been unconscious since he was brought to them. It was said he was injured while protecting a group of blacks. Why would a confederate do such a thing? Beth and her grandmother work themselves beyond physical and emotional needs to care for these injured and dying soldiers.
The author writes about this woman sitting and working on a quilt her mother has sent her, even though she hated to sew anything. The quilt becomes a source of healing for her soul and she is drawn to the quilt for Hope and comfort. This author must have a beautiful tender heart to write such an endearing story set in the middle of trials and tribulations of the Civil War. She paints a very realistic picture of the aftermath of the battles and the bloody fields. She writes that with God there is always Hope.
I highly recommend this book.
I rated this book a 5 out of 5.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group/Abingdon Press for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. This review is my honest opinion.
Posted May 27, 2013
What I like about this book was that the heroine had an actual physical flaw. You don't see that much, usually they are perfect. I am guilty of writing perfect heroines in my stories, so it was nice to read about a heroine that has a physical flaw.
On the flip side, I really struggled to get into this book. I felt there were too many story questions and I couldn't keep track of what was going on and who Beth (the main character) was referring to when she was thinking about people in her past.
The writing itself was good, the author has a good handle on craft, I just couldn't connect with the characters very well. I think there were so many questions presented it kept me from really getting into the story because I kept wondering what was going on.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Posted May 27, 2013
In the heat of the Civil War, Beth Bumgartner is called into action in a way she never dreamed. Her grandmother has asked her to join her as a nurse helping the wounded even though their very lives may be at risk as well as grandmother's home. Now that the Rebel soldiers have made their way into Harper's Ferry, many in the town have taken what little personal affects they possess and have attempted to make their way to safe places to hide until the war is over and they hope they still have a home standing. Only while her brother Jedediah has left to fight in the war against the North, she has been called to help care for the soldiers who have invaded their town.
It is through her grandmother's persistence that Beth finds the strength and will to at least offer what comfort she can provide, through reading Scriptures, writing last letters or simply praying for them before most slip into their everlasting sleep. She wonders just what effects her efforts will have on men that are doomed to die anyway, and despite defying her parents and at least trying to help, she knows she must stay. She can't leave her grandmother Greta alone.
When a Confederate soldier is brought to the home, she is asked to care for him despite that the odds are against this man. He has saved the lives of three slaves and it is through their pleads that Beth and her grandmother offer to help. Through faithful prayers and continued care, Joe fights his way back to the land of the living and offers a small peak into the war that many don't see. He fights night terrors where he faces losing his brother Ben to a mysterious man who seems bent on killing Ben and leaving Joe in the care of the slaves. He feels there is more to the puzzle that what bits and pieces his mind offers if he can only find those slaves that he helped. They might just provide him the answers he so desperately seeks.
Along the way Beth pieces together a quilt that her mother had sent along as a reminder and a message from home. What that message is will be revealed as Beth pieces it together and finds hope in not only coming to terms with her own disability but being able to see this war through the eyes of God and let the hate she holds inside finally heal. In the end that is the message that truly matters and will resound with readers of A Heartbeat Away by S. Dionne Moore, one of the many novels in the Quilts of Love Series.
I received A Heartbeat Away by S. Dionne Moore compliments of Abingdon Press and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Book Tours for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. This novel is part of the Quilts of Love Series written by a variety of authors and this is the first for S. Dionne Moore. This gives the readers an inside look at what life in the South really looked like in the midst of the Battle of Antietam and just how brutal it was from both sides of the war. It is hard to imagine men in our own country turning against each other but that is just one of the effects of a Civil War. The message in this novel is one about hope and finding it in one of the darkest times in our life. It's always there one just has to keep pursuing it in order to find it. I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars and you can find this at your local retailer. Even though they are part of a series, since each novel deals with something different you can pick up any of them as they are stand alones in a greater series.