I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel from Nancy Herriman! The story captured my interest from the first page and didn't let go! I hope there will be a sequel! I look forward to this author's next release!
It's a compelling opening line. Rachel Dunne, a healer, has been forced to leave her Irish home and find employment in London after being shunned following an accusation that she was responsible for the death of an ill child. She is hiding her past and hiding her background in healing from her new employer, Dr James Edmunds, a widower who is struggling with his own medical calling. He is also father of Amelia, who is being raised by his sister-in-law because he felt responsible for his wife's death after childbirth.
Unfortunately, I didn't find that The Irish Healer lived up to its early promise. It was very well researched and (as far as I could tell) historically accurate in its handling of the 1832 cholera outbreak in London. But I found the story difficult to get into, because I found both Rachel and James hard characters to like, and because I thought their â€˜romance' seemed to develop too quickly. I know some people marry soon after meeting and still manage to have long and happy marriages, but these are the exception rather than the rule (otherwise there wouldn't be the saying 'marry in haste, repent at leisure').
There were a also number of areas where the actual writing felt clumsy (odd choice of vocabulary, use of adverbs, use of first person), or where characters seemed to know things that the reader knew but the character did not know, and a couple of typos that will hopefully have been eliminated in final print version.
The Irish Healer had a gripping opening line, but unfortunately I didn't find the rest of the novel nearly so interesting. It wasn't bad; it simply failed to interest me. However, similar novels by Liz Curtis Higgs and Siri Mitchell (both of whom have won Christy Awards) also didn't interest me, so who knows? This may be another award winner.
Thanks to Worthy and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Nancy Herriman takes us away to 1832 London with a story of Rachel Dunne and Doctor James Edmunds. Two people from different worlds, yet that are alike in the fact they both have a calling to heal others. In this story Nancy weaves a tale of shame, secrets and unforgiveness but by the grace that only God can give, it becomes a tale of forgiveness and love.
Rachel Dunne is from Carlow, Ireland, where she has been a healer since a very young age. When Mary Ferguson died under Rachel's care, Mary's father insisted Rachel had killed her. Rachel was brought to trial and found not guilty, but that didn't stop Mary's father from spreading his hate to others in town. To keep her family from any more undue stress, with the help of a relative, Rachel secures a temporary position with a physician in London who requires help to catalog his huge private library.
When Rachel finally arrives at Doctor Edmunds she is surprised to find him quite pleasant and especially handsome. Dr. Edmunds kindness stirs feelings in Rachel she would love to be able to act on but she knows that cannot be because if he finds out the real reason she is in London he would never forgive her. After several incidents of helping people in distress, will Dr. Edmunds realize Rachel knows more about doctoring than she is telling? When someone steals a letter from her mother, will her secret at last be revealed? Will Rachel ever be able to release the guilt she feels and receive forgiveness?
Dr. James Edmunds is a man that has given up hope in his calling to be a doctor. James has seen far too many deaths and some he takes the blame for, including his wifeâ€˜s. When Rachel Dunne shows up to help him pack up his library, James knows something is different about her. He feels drawn to her; it seems Rachel is like the breath of air he needs to revive his dead life. But James has secrets of his own and he feels it would be better for all if he just quietly moves away to the country and gives up his dreams of being a doctor. Will James be able find the grace and forgiveness that his soul needs? Will he ever be able to forgive Rachel for what he sees as her deception to him?
This was a great story, I found myself being drawn into it and not wanting to put it down until the last page was read. Thank you Nancy for this most enjoyable read, I cannot wait to read another of your stories.
I was given an ARC by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Set in the 1830s, Rachel Dunne flees her home country of Ireland after a child in her care, dies and Rachel stands trial for murder. Even though acquitted, the majority of their town shuns her family, so Rachel moves to London seeking work through a cousin. The death of the child, the trial, and the move take their toll on Rachel's faith in herself and the Lord. Her employer, also a physician, stumbled from his faith years ago when his wife died. When a cholera epidemic hits London, they each hit bottom, turning to the Lord for the ultimate support.
This gentle love story provides the reader a time of introspection as the characters seek to find God's mercy in their lives. The characters have depth, and Herriman describes the scene so well that the reader easily transports to another time. Very enjoyable read, recommended for readers looking for a deep love story with the added depth of Biblical foundations.
Irish Healer by Nancy Herriman is set in the 1830's in the city of London. Taking place during the times of cholera epidemics the story follows a doctor and an Irish healer.
Rachel Dunne decides it is better to flee her home in Ireland then stay where she is not wanted. She arrives in London and takes a temporary position with a Doctor. She does not tell her new employer of the recent charges she has been acquitted of. Being accused of murder is not something you talk about when you desperately need a place to hide away from the scandal.
James Edmunds is tired of being around so much sickness and death and decides to take over his Fathers old estate in the country. He hires Rachel to help with the packing up of his London home. Not wanting to fall in love again after a loveless marriage he is surprised by the feelings his new employee is causing him to have. Will James tell Rachel about his secret? Will he be willing to forgive her for not telling him about hers? Both will have to learn to trust God and each other before they can move on in their lives together.
This story was an easy read. The characters developed throughout the book and the conversations flowed flawlessly. The story itself had enough twists to keep you interested. I thought this was a well-written and enjoyable book!
I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.