These Healing Hills

These Healing Hills

by Ann H. Gabhart
4.7 21


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These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart

Francine Howard has her life all mapped out until the soldier she planned to marry at WWII's end writes to tell her he's in love with a woman in England. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800723637
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 146,904
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

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

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These Healing Hills 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
KrisAnderson_TAR 17 hours ago
These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart takes readers back to 1945 in Hyden, Kentucky. Francine Howard needs to get away from Cincinatti, Ohio before her former fiancé, Seth Miller returns home from the war with his English bride. Fran has a nursing degree, can ride a horse, and looking for an adventure so she signed up for the Frontier Nursing Service Midwifery School in the Appalachian Mountains. It will be a life style change for Fran, but she feels she will be something worthwhile. Ben Locke is returning home from the war. He cannot wait to return home to the mountains, but he has not thought of what he will do with his future. Ben is on his way home when he encounters a very lost Fran. They are immediately comfortable around each other, but they come from very different backgrounds. But Fran feels at home in the mountains and has fallen in love with the people. Is there a chance for a future between Ben and Fran? These Healing Hills is well crafted novel that has a unique plot. It was interesting reading about the Frontier Nursing Service Midwifery School in Hyden, Kentucky (it still exists) and the services their nurse midwives offer. I liked the characters and the beautiful setting. Woody Locke was my favorite character. He was refreshing and entertaining. Ann H. Gabhart is a descriptive writer which brings scenes to life (especially the mountains and the people who live there), but it also makes for a slower pace novel. I sometimes felt the author was a too verbose. The Christian element is prominent throughout the story and I liked the Christian attitude of the mountain people. I appreciated the spiritual wisdom that Fran’s grandmother (Grandma Howard) imparted on Fran. I am giving These Healing Hills 4 out of 5 stars. My favorite phrase was “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart”. The romance was sweet, but it was predictable. Some of the themes in the story are prayer, friendship, trust, listening to God, believing in God, and a person finding their path or place in life. I did feel that the ending was abrupt and felt incomplete. It would have been nice if the author had included an epilogue. Readers who enjoy rich, historical novels will appreciate These Healing Hills.
Laundry_Whispers 5 days ago
Do you remember that song ‘Froggie went a’courtin’ from childhood. You know the annoyingly repetitive song with a catchy tune that sears itself into your brain. It’s coming to you know isn’t it, un-huh. I’d forgotten about that song. Until this book. Sometimes it’s the little things that take a story from good to great or even from great to amazing. Uh-huh. OK, sorry I’ll stop that, u-huh. When this book came available from Revell, despite other books that stood at attention as well, I knew I needed to read it. Somehow I’ve scheduled a lot of 1940-something books this week. There’s something about WW2 era strong women that you lend itself to a good story. Fran is a strong woman, the man she thought she’d marry and grow old together while raising a family finds a new love in Brittan during the war so she takes off on an adventure with the Frontier Nursing Services in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. She realizes that what she lost she didn’t need while finding herself and a life she never envisioned but one she can’t live without. Before picking up this book I’d never even heard of the Frontier Nursing Services. It was interesting to read about the woman who founded this organization to bring medical care to areas that are mostly not open to outsiders but also not in positions to be knowledgeable about issues such as hygiene or have access to things like prenatal care. The FNS is still active in the United Sates as well. Another new tidbit to file away to sound smart if given the opportunity to use it! Besides learning new things there was so much to love about this book. The characters drew you into their lives and their moments and felt like someone you really know, like in real life. While hanging out with people wished were neighbors I also wanted to live near their neighborhood. Not necessarily in it, I mean thermostatically controlled heat and running water are luxuries that I’m too lazy to live without. But. The beauty of the mountains and bubbling creeks and friends and neighbors who will stop you walking by and offer you pie or tea or coffee. How’s that for a run on sentence? I try Gabhart builds a story that literally wraps you into it’s embrace that, despite even the difficult things of life, you feel comforted. I’ve never read this author before but now I’ve got the library list pulled up because I need to read them all. I need to read stories full of faith so seamlessly woven into a story of struggle and triumph and comfort through it all. I need to know that faith conquers all, even when love doesn’t win. Even when it does win. I read because I get to live all the lives of all the people in all the places. But when all that is wrapped into something so real and so true I win. Every single time. With this book. I win. Uh-huh. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley, Revell. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
lolly-pops 5 days ago
i am a huge fan of Gabhart's cozy mysteries, but haven't read very many of her historicals. When I was offered a chance to review THESE HEALING HILLS I thought I'd give it a try. Recently my son graduated from A school for the Coast Guard and we drove through "these hills" and saw how massively huge they are. It gives new appreciation to these "pioneer" nurse midwives who traveled them on foot and on horseback to "catch babies" or see to sick women and children. The story is rather slow, easy to put down, but it was a nice peaceful read, a good escape. I identified completely with Fran, out of her element with the setting (she was a city girl) and getting used to hillbilly lingo, and traversing steep mountain trails on foot. And so many other dangers out where people are likely to shoot first and ask questions later. Ben is a sweet hero, battle worn, glad to be home, but mourning so much. he has a lot of hurts to work through and a lot on his plate with the death of his dad and his mom and siblings needing so much from him. I rooted for these characters. Granny Em was a lovely secondary character and some of the others added humor and drama as well. A great historical fiction read. Historical fiction loves will devour this book. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
Virginiaw 9 days ago
This had to be one of my favorite books this year. I loved reading about the Appalachian Mountains and the people that live there. I had never heard about the Frontier Nursing Services and enjoyed learning about them. I loved the story of Francine and Ben and how they met. The romance was great. I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
KatrinaEpperson 10 days ago
This story touched me both heart and soul. The author weaves words together that bring to life the mountains of eastern Kentucky and brings a wonderful tribute to Mary Breckinridge. The author does an excellent job of bringing her characters to life on the pages. I immediately liked Francine Howard. She was not one who focused on broken promises. No, she choose to start an adventure that would bring her new dreams and purpose. Her arrival in Hyden was not as she anticipated in the least. With no one there to meet her she was challenged with climbing the mountain to Wendover, the school for Frontier Nursing. This showed her determination and drive to accomplish her dream. Ben Locke is a young man who had his dream of becoming a doctor cut short by World War ll and service to his country. With the end of the war Ben heads back home to eastern Kentucky. While serving his much loved father passed away so his homecoming was filled with many memories of days gone by. He felt a great responsibility to care for his mother and siblings so again he puts his dreams on hold. For me, this was a one setting book. I was immediately pulled into the story and didn't put it down until the last page was turned. It has elements of humor, adventure, faith, second chances, trust, and love. I loved everything about this book and would recommend it to anyone. **I received this book from the publisher as part of their book bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
BH 11 days ago
These Healing Hills, written by Ann H. Gabhart, is the first book I've read by this author and hopefully not the last. What an interesting book on the Frontier Nursing Service in the hills of Kentucky. The nurses were sent to the Appalachian Mountain trails to help the sick and "catch" babies. Loved the way that the author was able to help the readers hear how the "hillbillies" spoke. I could hear them clearly, see the land in which she traveled, and feel the air in my face at times as I read. Lovely style! My favorite character...Francine, of course. She was such a sweet young city girl who had a heart for the less fortunate without treating them like they were below her. Although it was expected of the nurses that they were not to talk to the people about religion, politics, or was evident by Francine's life that she had a relationship with the Lord and was taught from a young age to depend on Him through her grandmother's teachings. I found a lot of golden nuggets throughout the story that will stick with me. I'm hoping this is the start of a series as I'd love to know what happens with Francine, Ben and his family and even Granny Em! Lovely read! I was given a copy of this book by the publishing house. All thoughts and comments in this review are my own.
Becky5 13 days ago
Some books are merely written and enjoyed. Others flow with a rhythm that gets into your soul,threatening to stay for a long time to come. Granny Em, in These Healing Hills, by Ann H. Gabhart, certainly feels the mountains have a rhythm if only one can stop, hear, and feel it. This same World War II mountain life of Appalachian Kentucky slowly meanders through my imagination, wrapping its tendrils around me and drawing me quickly into Francine's new world. Francine is making her escape to the hills of Kentucky to practice midwifery. She is fleeing the return of an unfaithful boyfriend from the army. Although the side of the Appalachians and the protagonist's profession differ, this novel is like a refreshing mountain stream, bringing sweet memories of Catherine Marshall's Christy to mind. You will enjoy meeting talkative Woody, dour-faced Betty, Ben, who is unsure of his place on the mountain, and of course Francine, whose propensity for getting lost is well-known. Such great, complex primary and secondary characters. If you loved Christy the book or the tv show, you will not want to miss this haunting tale of simple mountain life! A couple of favorite quotes: "I've found you can overcome a great many imagined dangers in this world. Generally, while we're imagining one thing, a real difficulty we haven't even considered pops up." "...And the good Lord heard everything, whether you said it out loud or just let it sneak through your head." "When things are the most confused in our lives, that's when the Lord can work best." I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I am freely leaving this review, for which opinions I am solely responsible.
Jaquelyn 13 days ago
It was so interesting seeing how people in the mountains used to live. Not only did they rely on the land to feed them, but they had their own way of talking. I never thought about how difficult it would be to get medical help and how it would be to not have a car to take you to a hospital. Being a Frontier nurse would have been a very difficult and uncomfortable job. I loved seeing how Francine was determined to help those in need. The mountains sounded beautiful and dangerous at the same time. These Healing Hills follows Francine while she makes a big move from the life she used to know. War has a way of changing people. For Francine she thought her life was planned out. Once the war ended she would marry her soldier and have a family all her own. Before any of that could happen, she received a letter informing her that he had fallen for someone else. Deciding to make a difference along with a change of scenery, she joins the Frontier Nursing Service. One of the families Francine is in charge of helping are the Lockes. Ben Locke is ready to be home. War changes a man, and he looks forward to getting back to those he loves the most. With the beautiful mountains of home, also comes danger. Can Ben and Francine wait to find out what God has planned for their lives? I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical Fiction. It's always fun being taken to another place and time. Gabhart made me appreciate how far medicine has come, and also how there were those who lived to help the helpless. I received a copy of this book and was in no way forced to post a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
kp68 14 days ago
These Healing Hills is the latest from Ann H. Gabhart. You will meet Francine Howard on the opening pages of this tale. She suffers the loss of her fiance, Seth, when she learns he has found someone new, after serving in the war overseas. Now Francine must find a new purpose for her life. She decides to leave her job, as a nurse in Cincinnati, Ohio, and join the Frontier Nursing Service in the rugged hills of eastern Kentucky! You will walk the hills with Francine, as she attempts to learn the people and the area of her new home. She soon meets Woody Locke, the youngest son in the Locke family, and definitely the most talkative! Woody definitely helps Francine learn more about her new surroundings. The Locke family soon rejoices when their eldest son, Ben, returns safely from his time in the war. Now Ben must figure out what to do next. Will he stay with his family or find a new path outside his life in the mountains? It is interesting to see how God works in both Francine and Ben's lives to point them toward His plans for their lives. Seth shows up in the midst of Francine's new world and further complicates her decision!
Fala19 15 days ago
These Healing Hills was the first book I've read by Ann H. Gabhart and I really enjoyed it! I'd never heard of the Frontier Nursing Service before, so it was really fascinating to learn about them. I loved that this was set in the Appalachian Mountains around the end of World War II. Those are some of my favorite settings and time periods. Ben and Fran were great leading characters. I instantly liked them both. But there were also so many vibrant and super likeable secondary characters, too. Granny Em, Sadie, Sarge, and especially Woody. (I think he's my favorite character in any book that I've read lately.) I really enjoyed the little nuggets of wisdom and advice from Grandma Howard that Fran would often remember. Even though Fran's grandma wasn't physically there on the mountain with her, Grandma Howard's presence was definitely felt throughout the whole novel. And one of my favorite aspects was how Fran leaned on God and trusted Him so fully. This was one of those wonderful slow building stories. It started off at a nice and easy pace, but gradually ratcheted up as the story moved along, keeping me fully engaged. There were moments where I found myself chuckling, but it was also full of heartwarming moments, and a few stressful ones, too. It was a very well-balanced story. I highly recommend 'These Healing Hills' for anyone who loves historical fiction. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and comments are my own honest opinion.
amybooksy 16 days ago
These Healing Hills is a wonderful new release by Ann H Gabhart. As an Appalachian Mountain girl, I absolutely loved the setting. The author described the area so vividly, I felt like I was right there. I found the historical details unique. I never heard of the Frontier Nursing Service before. How intriguing to learn about that part of Appalachian history. It was, also, a reminder of how devastating the war was here in the United States. Including, broken hearts of those who found out their loves have married another. As a granddaughter of a war bride, I found a connection to this aspect of the story. I loved Francine Howard and her determination and courage to help those who were in need. She was a strong woman of the times. These Healing Hills is a must read and one I recommend to other readers who love a good, clean story based on Appalachian history. 5+ stars. I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
StoreyBookReviews 16 days ago
What a lovely story!  It is "Call the Midwife" but in the Appalachian mountains. I learned so much from this book about the culture of the people that lived in the mountains in the mid 40's, what the nurses went through to learn and be certified as a midwife and of course was swept away in the love story between Francine (Fran) and Ben.  Since the author is from this general area I'm sure it was easy for her to research details.  I was able to picture the mountains, the homes, the people and what life was like during that time frame - when people did not have a lot but were happy.  Goes to show that money does not make you happy.  I also learned a lot of new words like baby catching, sass patch (garden) and killed - but not as in dead, just wounded.  As I was reading the author's notes at the end, I discovered that the Frontier Nurses and the Frontier Nursing University are indeed real and was started by Mary Breckenridge in 1925 as a way to help those get nursing care that might not otherwise receive the services. There is a little tension between Fran and her first boyfriend, Seth.  It takes a certain type of person to do what Fran is doing and Seth is definitely not that kind of they might have said back then, he is "city folk".  Plus Fran is becoming accustomed to living in the mountains and has grown attached to many of the residents, especially Ben.  She is learning quite a bit from her patients - to have patience, to not dismiss herbal remedies and to take joy in life. There is some joyful moments throughout the book and I think Woody, Ben's younger brother, steals the show at various times.  He is quite the talker and happy all the time that it is hard to not like him or root for him in various situations.  There are also some dogs featured in the book.  I loved the descriptions of the dogs and their antics. This was a very enjoyable story and I did not want it to end.  I want to know more about what happens to many of the characters like Woody, Jeralene and Becca & Carl.  Perhaps the author will grace us with a follow up book. We give it 5 paws up and suggest you pick this up soon
AngelN1 17 days ago
These Healing Hills, by Ann H. Gabhart, is an intriguing look at the Frontier Nursing Service in Appalachian Kentucky just after World War II. I really enjoyed this book. The details of living in the mountains at that time, including the different expressions of speech, are evident throughout the book. The main character, Francine Howard, is not only likable, but also open-minded towards the people she is being trained to help. I had never heard of the Frontier Nursing Service, and this book was a delightful introduction to it. The author did a great job of researching the time frame and area, and the story feels very authentic. Francine's faith is also woven into the story without feeling forced but rather as an important part of her character. I highly recommend this book. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Revell, in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own.
GrandaddyA 19 days ago
I was drawn to this book for several reasons. The setting is the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky in 1945, an untamed but beautiful part of the country. The hero is a World War II veteran who has returned home from Europe at the end of the war to his beloved Kentucky. The heroine is a young lady from Cincinnati who joined the Frontier Nursing Service in the Appalachians to learn to become a nurse-midwife. So why would that make me want to read this particular book? I went to college in Kentucky and traveled through the mountains on several occasions. Although it was twenty-five years after the date of the story, I could picture the setting in my mind as I read and dream of days long ago. My father was a World War II veteran. Since he died years ago, reading stories of others who fought in that war gives me brief snapshots of what it must have been like for him. Finally, I have read several books by Ann Gabhart and enjoyed them. When reading her stories, I feel like I am there. I appreciate that her books are clean. The hero and heroine had grown up with a special person in each of their lives who provided strong guidance and they were both grounded in their faith. Although the women in the Frontier Nursing Service were not supposed to talk about religion, politics, or moonshine among the mountain people, Francine seemed to let her faith come out wherever she was. As I finished the book, I found myself hoping this might be the beginning of a new series. I can imagine there is still much to tell about Francine, Ben and his family, Granny Em, and the others living in the hills and hollows of the Appalachians. I received a copy of the book from the author. This is my honest review. All opinions are strictly my own.
poodlelover 20 days ago
Author Ann H. Gabhart has a unique ability to tell a story that grabs your attention at the beginning and holds it to the end. She also creates lovable and believable characters including four-legged ones like Sarge, the dog! She always manages to include one character that I’m not so fond of. In this book, it was Seth! Nurse Francine Howard, a city girl, learns Seth, the man she loves, has plans to replace her with an English bride he found during the war. She is ready for a fresh start. So, she signs up to train to become a nurse midwife with the Frontier Nursing Service in the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky. Will she be able to adjust to mountain life and the different lifestyle of the people? Mountain man, Ben Locke comes home to his beloved mountains after the war and is unsure what to do with his life. Francine and Ben’s first meeting reveals they are from different worlds. Will they find they really aren’t that diverse as they discover similar faith and family values? I wasn’t familiar with the Frontier Nursing Service but with Author Gabhart’s research and attention to detail, I was ready to sign up! I am hoping for more in this series. I loved it! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a positive review.
ONorman0 21 days ago
These Healing Hills is a great book about nurses and midwives in the Appalachian mountains. The characters have become like friends to me. Ben has just returned from serving in World War 2 and Francine is training to become a certified midwife. The description of a sorghum stir-off is exactly as I remember making molasses in my childhood. A most memorable quote from the book is "You don't have to know the last step. Just the first one. You and the good Lord can figure out the rest of it on the way."
HelenM0 21 days ago
The year is 1945 and the war has ended. The soldiers are now coming home and for Francine Howard that should mean having the man she loves coming home to her. But he is bringing home a girl from England. Francine is a nurse and signs up to go to the Appalachian Mountains to train to be a midwife with the Frontier Nursing Service. Her mother continues to pressure her to come home, but she now feels the Appalachian Mountains is her home. Ben Locke is a medic returning home from the war and meets Francine. Francine visits the Locke home frequently to check up on Ben's two sisters and his brother. Even though the Locke's like Francine, the mother still feels she is an outsider. Despite their differences Ben and Francine develop a friendship. These Healing Hills, by Ann H. Gabhart, is a really good book that blends history, friendship and a touch of romance. The story contains a good blend of characters and beliefs. I really enjoyed reading the beliefs that some of the mountain people had about how to cure their health issues. I enjoyed reading how Francine left the city and moved to an area where she had to learn how to grow and process the food she ate. The strength Francine displays and the love and caring ways she treats others is encouraging. This is such a good book that I hope the author writes a sequel. I think anyone who enjoys reading books based after World War II would really enjoy this book. I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing. This is my honest review.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm 21 days ago
Francine Howard has her life all mapped out until the soldier she planned to marry at WWII's end writes to tell her he's in love with a woman in England. 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. Reading an Ann Gabhart book is like sitting down with a friend to pass the time in the best possible way. Her descriptions, her characters, her setting (this setting!) are all so wonderful. Everything in her books just goes down deep in your soul, reminding you of a happy place and when life was easy. But it's not all easy in her books. Don't get me wrong. Her characters have hard times, but her telling is amazing. I loved this book and the people that populated it very much. *I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via Net Galley. My review is my own honest opinion.
Ellen-oceanside 21 days ago
THESE HEALING HILLS by Ann Gabhart Francine needed an adventure for her bruised heart. An opportunity to be a midwife, riding a horse in Kentucky. To get off a bus and to find out the hospital was on the side of the mountain, and a path to get to. Called to help, and a swinging bridge, about did it for her. Your heart goes out to Francine, this would be more of a nightmare. You have to admire the courage she had. Ben across the ocean, fighting a war, wanting the open spaces of home. A fractured arm sends him home, to a farm. Without his father to help. The courage these two had, was a great story. They struggled, but it strengthen them. Readers will enjoy this in depth look at life in the hills , following the war. Given ARC for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
RobinWillson 22 days ago
Christian Historical fiction based on the Frontier Nursing Service in the hills of Kentucky. Fran wanted to be a nurse and go overseas to serve, but her mother wouldn’t let her go. Then the boy she was going to marry when he got back from the war became engaged to a girl he met in England. After all, she was there and Fran was back home. Fran heard about the training in Kentucky and went to learn to be a nurse midwife and is taken with the beauty of the hills right away. She had heard about the “hillbillies” where she grew up in Cincinnati but quickly learned the truth about these people who were fiercely loyal to their mountains and families, and had great common sense and knowledge. The new school provided additional knowledge and the death rate went down but the “Grannies” had been the midwives and healers for years and had skills and talents of their own. Ben had been away as a medic in the war. Just after Germany surrendered he was injured by a patient and sent home early. He had missed home greatly and was glad to get back, but things had changed and so had he. His father had passed while he was away and his little brother and sisters had grown – one even married and carrying a child. It will take a bit to learn what had gone on while he was away. And to decide what he would do now that he had returned, whether to stay and take care of his family or take advantage of the GI Bill and return to school. I always love stories of people who “live off the land”. I appreciate having grocery stores and restaurants but miss the old times. When we were growing up we planted food crops and put them up, and had lots of berries to pick within a short walk of our small farm. I used to go to the library and get books about the weeds and plants growing everywhere, their medicinal properties and how they had been used. We are finding that getting back to basics is healthier for us. There is a lot to be admired about the “hillbilly ways”. This is a great story of old ways meeting the new, and the advantages to be found in both. And new relationships and the value in helping and learning from one another. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Author and Revell/Baker Publishing Group - Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Teresa 24 days ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading These Healing Hills! Ann H. Gabhart has such a beautiful gift of creating characters that are fun to know! I love how she weaves God's wisdom throughout her stories. I would love to read a sequel to this book.
WildflowerMom 28 days ago
A wonderful story full of colorful characters and fun dialogue, an instant add to my favorites list! Set in 1945 Kentucky, in the Appalachian Mountains, featuring the brave women of the Frontier Nursing Service. I loved the people in this story, especially the locals whom Fran met in her visits, and the aspect of midwifery in 1945. The history of the FNS was fascinating, and had such a positive impact on the health of the people. The difficulty of travelling all over on horseback over rough terrain in all weather, making home visits with little back up, using everything they knew, made them some of the strongest women I've ever read about. Every day was an adventure! The fun dialogue, especially between Fran and the Locke family, with their local vernacular was very entertaining, along with Granny Em's insights and how the locals perceived any outsiders. Plenty of inspiration is tucked in also, with Scripture references, including past conversations between Ben and his father, and Fran and her grandmother adding their wise counsel. I enjoyed the relationship between Fran and Ben, watching their little back and forth dance of friendship developing. Wished the story could have gone on just a bit longer, but the ending was satisfying. I hope it may continue with another book and it will be a series. Highly recommend to readers who enjoy Christian historical fiction set near WW2, with a clean romance. (An e-book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.)