These Healing Hills

These Healing Hills

by Ann H. Gabhart
4.7 31

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These Healing Hills 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
beloved569 5 months ago
The further I got in this book the harder it was to put down. I'd never heard of Frontier Nurses and learning about them provided an interesting backdrop to the story. Sometimes books like these would appeal more to someone in a similar profession but not so with this book. I felt like I could truly enjoy the story line as well as the uniqueness of the characters with no prior background knowledge. A few times I thought I knew what to expect in the plot but was pleasantly surprised when it took a different twist.
janesquires 5 months ago
A story of God's direction for both Francine and Ben. Francine had dreams of marrying Seth when he returned from war. But he found someone else. So Francine takes training to become a midwife and goes to Appalachian Mountains. Ben comes home from the war and finds Francine lost on her rounds to see patients. The mountains, creeks, moonshiners in hill, animals and more set during World War 5 years before I was born. I'd be like Francine getting lost. No map of use to me. I don't know East from West. An adventure for sure. You can pick up any Ann Gabhart book and find an adventure.
Sydney 5 months ago
Sometimes authors can take the “quaint” and the “back hills” of life in the Appalachian Mountains to a degree that becomes more of a parody or a stereotype, ruining the chance at a wonderful realness and grit to their stories. Ann Gabhart never lets this happen, and that is so nice to see. We discover the Appalachian way of life alongside Francine Howard, a nurse who has signed up for the Frontier Nursing Service Midwifery School. (Yes, this is based on things that really happened – very interesting bits of history here!) It’s 1945, and young men are returning from the war. Her own fiance, Seth Miller, is returning to Cincinnati, Ohio – but with his English war bride-to-be. The pressure mounts from Francine’s mother to get Seth back, even as her mother has drilled it into her for years that Francine is too tall, gangly, awkward, and just really not pretty at all. Instead of remaining in Cincinnati to feel the humiliation every day, she decides to turn her life towards something she is good at and an occupation that will benefit others. Ben Locke is one of the young men returning from war, to his home and family in the Appalachian Mountains. His father died while he was in Europe, so not only does Ben need to face this at home, but the fact his younger siblings aren’t so young anymore. And Ben himself has changed, of course. I like how this book isn’t focused on the romance aspect, but on the people we are getting to know and their lives and adventures. Romance happens naturally. Mrs. Gabhart allows for this growth in her book and that makes the story even more enjoyable and absorbing. **I was sent this copy from Revell Books in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**
Heart2Heart 6 months ago
Here's another wonderful novel that takes readers back for some historical fiction that is based around facts about Frontier Nursing. In These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart, Francine Howard defies her parents wishes and moves to the Appalachian Mountains of Hyden to learn about being a midwife to the people who have chosen to live away from the bigger towns. They have a different way to speaking, moonshine is still being processed and of course, people love their lifestyle but getting medical care can be time consuming especially with the terrain and often times weather. Francine is a compassionate woman who loves learning about their way of life, even though those she works under remind her to keep her level of professionalism and not get to friendly with the people she treats. But how can you not be drawn into their simple ways of life, where money isn't the thing that motivates them and they take joy in raising their families away from the big city! She would have never dreamed this was the life for her, hoping instead to remain at home waiting for the man she believed would return home to her from the war and they would marry and begin their own family. Instead, Seth Miller, found himself another woman from England and was bringing her home to meet his family and how could she begin to compete with that? So she took her broken heart and instead looked for ways to bring healing to others and catching babies, the Appalachian term for delivering newborns. She can't help but love each of the families she works with including Granny Em, an elderly woman who keeps to her way of life, handing out wisdom to Francine that flies in the face of the medical procedures she is being taught, including some weird medicinal home remedies using the plants she finds growing around the mountain. She just didn't expect to become part of the Locke family, treating their ailing young daughter, Sadie, as well as looking after their oldest daughter, Becca who is getting ready for her first child. Now that Ben Locke has returned home from the war, he can't help but fall for the one woman who would do more than heal the brokenness in their family but in his heart as well. I received These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart compliments of Baker Publishing Group and NetGalley. I love this story revolving around the historical facts about was started Frontier Nursing in 1925, that readers can enjoy at the conclusion of this novel in the Reader's Note section. You would wonder how people who lived far from town would have their medical needs addressed and so a nursing program was conceived that trained women to ride horses into the heart of the mountains, bringing with them healing and midwife skills to the people of the Appalachian communities. This eliminated the worry of how to pay for medical care since no one was ever turned away and the maternal and infant mortality rates decreased dramatically when this program was introduced. Well worthy of 5 out of 5 stars in this reader's opinion.
wileysmSM 6 months ago
Once again, I really enjoy reading Ann Gabhart's novels because of her characters and story lines. This historical fiction novel is about Appalachian mountain life, talk, clothing, food, homes and expectations. I enjoyed meeting and admiring Fran's courage and sense of adventure. She's a visiting nurse riding a horse through remote trails. I'm a nurse, but this job Fran has is more than challenging to me! She needs total flexibility and tolerance for all personalities, learns mountain culture and food, and is so kind to each one. Fran's family and friends from home have misconceptions about mountain folk and she experiences the usual pressures and disapprovals. You'll enjoy meeting Ben, a former soldier and defender of is mountain family, and learn how kind and helpful he is to everyone. A lesson Fran taught me is that when you're heartbroken, go find something challenging. It doesn't have to be a mountain nurse, but whatever you choose, it will change your purpose and lift your spirit. She exemplifies the saying, "Home is where the heart is" as she adjusts and learns to love the mountain folks. I learned acceptance of new cultures and people from Ben and his family. You'll like this story and the history of visiting nurses and midwives.
Lane_Hill_House 6 months ago
Saturday, September 30, 2017 These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart, © 2017 My Review: Absolutely a T*E*N. Loved this story. Not a bedtime story because it will beckon to keep you awake reading! Reading real slow so you don't run out of pages and then... there you are to the last sentence. I loved this story and its star, Nurse Howard, or is it Woody's older brother returned from the war? They both are necessary to learn about themselves. Francine Howard thought she was running from, not realizing she was running to. To find her true heart's desire ~ the people of Appalachia, and the mountain air, and... her first dog, Sarge. I loved how she discovered true importance; others ~ worthy of who she was becoming. All of the secondary characters become family! I hope many more adventures are honed in these healing hills. ***Thank you to author Ann H. Gabhart, and to the publisher for sending a print copy to me. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation beyond J*O*Y was received.***
ARS8 6 months ago
These past couple of weeks I have been immersed in stories about the Appalachians and the people and their ways of life. These Healing Hills was the second story I have read and this time the time period was right after World War 2. Francine Howard has decided to leave her very familiar life in Cincinnati, Ohio to become a midwife in the Kentucky Appalachian area. She has decided to embrace a new dream after her long held ones were shattered when the love of her life decided to bring back another woman to be his bride. After four long years she decides to leave before he returns and get out from under the thumb of a very controlling mother. I liked Francine’s character and her fearlessness to try a new adventure and to carve out a new life for herself even though she was alone and heartbroken. She was not willing to just sit back and feel sorry for herself, but to get up and make something of her life. She enters the Frontier Nursing Service and actually finds that she connects with these mountain folks in such a way that it feels like home to her. Enter Ben Locke, who is returning from the war back to his home and family in the mountains. Ben has lived his whole life in the mountains and except for his military service did not know anything else. Now that he has seen how different the world is, the loss of his father, the burden of caring for his family, and trying to not remember the horrors of the war, Ben has a lot on his shoulders. He definitely feels that he is not ready to fall in love, especially not with an outsider. I enjoyed this story of two very different people working together and falling in love. I enjoyed learning more about the Appalachian mountain people and some of the different phrases that they used in their everyday language that was different than a ‘city’ person used. I also found the historical details about the nurses that did train there in the very real Frontier Nursing Service. A lot of these women were from England and were able to go back with the knowledge that they garnered. This was a piece of history that I did not previously know about before. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all the views and opinions stated are my own.
Mocha-with-Linda 7 months ago
Ann H. Gabhart brings post WW2 Appalachia to life in this engaging and touching novel. As a nurse who has worked in home health, I was fascinated by the portrayal of the historic Frontier Nursing Service and in awe of the courage of those nurse-midwives as they faced the elements, superstitions, and often, downright suspicion in their attempts to provide care to women and their families deep in the Kentucky mountains. As always, Gabhart creates compelling characters that burrowed into my heart. With moments both tough and tender, some that brought a tear and others that made me grin, this poignant novel warmed my heart and kept me up until the last page was complete. A thoroughly satisfying read, These Healing Hills is the perfect fall read. Grab your copy today! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishers for a blog tour. I was not required to write a 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.”
SeasonsofGrace 7 months ago
This was such a beautiful story. Although it started out with a vaguely familiar feel, and I kept saying to myself, "it seems like I have read this before or seen this somewhere", it didn't end that way. Once the first chapter was through, the story took on its own makeup. The characters were wonderful and I felt like I was there right in the center of it all. Maybe because I live in the hills, I was able to picture the book in a realistic way. Of course, it was set a little further back in time. :-) I fell in love with the families, especially the Locke family and Granny Em. I loved the courage of the frontier nurses, especially Nurse Howard. The story focuses mostly on her, and she stands out above the rest, not just for her courage but for her willingness to love people and get involved in their lives at their level. She accepted who they were, where they were from, and wasn't there to change them, instead she was there to help them. Of course a little hint of romance between her and Ben, doesn't hurt the plot. Another favorite character for me was Sarge, the faithful snake killing Collie. I would highly recommend this book! I received my copy courtesy of Revell. I was not required in any way to review positively and all opinions are my own.
KrisAnderson_TAR 7 months 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 7 months 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 7 months 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 8 months 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 8 months 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 8 months 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 8 months 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 8 months 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 8 months 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 8 months 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 8 months 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 8 months 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 8 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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."