Like richly textured cinematography, author NANCY HERRIMAN'S imagery is mesmerizing and her poignant and stirring story of loss, forgiveness and healing completely swept me away. The characters, even "walk-ons," are beautifully drawn and well-developed, from the despairing physician hero and very determined Irish heroine, to an engaging team of servants: impish houseboy Joe, devout and motherly cook Mrs. Mainprice, spiteful and dangerously desperate maid Molly . . . to a poor, heart-tugging child selling apples on treacherous London streets. These characters come alive in the chapters and linger long after the last page is turned.
As a nurse, I particularly enjoyed insight into the role of a woman "healer" and the many fascinating glimpses into medical practices of the times, from herbal remedies to the newly invented (wooden!) stethoscope. Romance, warm humor, great natural dialogue, tense conflict . . . and a hopeful message of faith like soul-soothing balm. THE IRISH HEALER offers it all, and I heartily recommend it.
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 received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
The Irish Healer is the debut book by author Nancy Herriman...and what a debut! I took a chance on this book honestly because it was an advanced reader copy so I could read it while I train for the mini-marathon on the treadmill. I am so glad I did!
This book is set in Regency England -- but with a twist. Rachel Dunne has to flee Ireland after she is accused of murdering a patient under her care. Then she is hired in London to help a doctor who is giving up practice because he is tired of not being able to help the patients who come to him for help. Then cholera comes to London and both are thrust into situations they don't want.
This story is gripping. I'm not a huge reader of Regency novels except for Julie Klassen. This author does such a great job creating compelling characters with pasts that put their dreams for the future at risk that I can't wait to read the next book from Nancy Herriman. If you're looking for a book that will sweep you back to the days of Jane Austen, then I heartily recommend this story.
Rachel Dunne is the Irish Healer in this story. In her hometown in Ireland a child under her care died. Now she's accused of murder and is fleeing to London. There her cousin has obtained a position as assistant for her with Dr. James Edmunds.
Dr. Edmunds' wife died three years ago and he blames himself for her death. His father also died over a year ago and left him the family estate. The last wish of his father was that James would raise his daughter on the family property. Therefore Rachel is helping him pack his belongings.
Rachel vowed not to use her healing abilities anymore, but she finds out it's harder to ignore her calling than she thought. Soon she falls in love with James, but she thinks there are too many obstacles that make a relationship seem impossible.
Both Rachel and James feel abandoned by God. But when the cholera epidemic is sweeping through London they must learn to pray and trust God again.
Nancy Herriman writes a promising debut novel! She really made me feel like I was in London with her lively descriptions. Her knowledge of healing seems accurate and therefore she writes a believable story. She also knows how to attract attention to the story. The more I read the more I liked the story. Good job, Nancy!
After a child dies under her care, Irish healer Rachel Dunne escapes the hangman's noose but must flee her beloved homeland. Rachel, through a "connected" aunt, has obtained a position with James Edmunds, a physician wrestling not only the horrid cholera epidemics that sweep through the city, but also his calling...and the One Who called him.
In Edmund's spacious home, Rachel accesses the medical tomes she loves...and falls in love with the handsome doctor, who has planned to wed another. Then catastrophe strikes another child, this one dear to both Edmund and Rachel. Can two gifted healers accept God's inexplicable offering of life and death? Of works and grace?
From Page 1, debut author Nancy Herriman captivated me with her tight plotting and storyline, with the sights and sounds of 1800s London, with the intrigue of class distinctions and divisions, with lyrical yet action-packed prose. As a writer, I'm envious that Nancy pulled this off in her FIRST BOOK. As a reader, I say, Ah-hahh! Satisfying! Intriguing! Bravo, Nancy! Bravo!