Ann Shorey weaves a tale of hurt and healing set in post-Civil War Missouri. Rosemary Saxon had served as a nurse during the war, but now some reject her because of that unladylike role. She uses herbal remedies to help the townsfolk of Noble Springs. Apparently someone takes issue and warns her to cease concocting her "witchs brew." Good thing she has her faithful dog, Brodie, to help keep watch.
Rosemary seeks employment with Dr. Elijah Stewart, yet they seem to provoke each other at every turn. Her stubbornness and desire to stand on her own add to the problem, as does her taking in "strays"â€”needy women. Thankfully she has her brother, Curt, and his wife, Faith, who is Rosemary's best friend.
The theme of this book is obviously healingâ€”physical, emotional, and spiritual. Rosemary must deal with the rejection and painful parting with her parents as well as forgive the local sheriff who once threatened Curt. And she is caught in the midst of a love story that may not stand the tests life throws in its way.
When the Heart Heals is the second book in the Sisters at Heart series, but makes a fine read-alone too. Book one is Wheere Wildflowers Bloom and shares the events prior to book two. Book three, Love's Sweet Beginning, is scheduled for release in February 2014.
During the Civil War Rosemary Saxon served as a nurse, something that the women in town frowned on, seeing her as unfeminine and vulgar. Now she is living in Noble Springs, Missouri with her dog Bodie, trying to begin a new life. But nursing is the only thing she can do to support herself, so she seeks out the new doctor in town, Dr. Elijah Stewart, to work as his nurse. When she goes to his office to apply for a nursing position she finds that she knows Dr. Stewart. Dr. Stewart was one of the surgeons she assisted at Jefferson Barracks during her first weeks as a nurse during the war before he was called to the front lines.
As Rosemary and Dr. Stewart begin working together to care for the citizens of Noble Springs, they often disagree with how to treat the patients. Rosemary freely offers herbal remedies for the patients for which Dr. Stewart reminds her that he is the doctor and not to interfere with the treatments of his patients, especially not to offer them her herbal cures. They often have heated words about it but still they are drawn to each other.
Rosemary begins to receive threatening notes, her herb garden is trashed, green house broken into and she is attacked. She finally goes to the sheriff to report the notes and destruction of her gardens. Her brother, Curt and his wife Faith want Rosemary to move in with them while the sheriff investigates to keep her safe. But Rosemary refuses, she wants to be independent. Elijah even joins the sheriff in his investigation of the threats to Rosemary.
However, Elijah has troubles of his own. Using less than honorable tactics, Elijah's father schemes to get him to come back home and take over his practice; something Elijah does not want to do.
The main character, Rosemary captured my attention from the start. I love the way she goes out of her way to help those who are in need of medical treatment-her herbs, or a place to live until they can figure out what they should do even though she herself has only enough funds to feed or clothe herself. She learns to rely on God to help and guide her each day, but also how to forgive and the restoration of loved ones.
Being a nurse, I found post Civil War medicine very interesting, how women had to step forward to help in the hospitals for the soldiers during the war and how society looked at them as unfeminine or vulgar women.
From the first page to the last, the story captured me and held me to the end. The characters are realistic in their struggles to survive and I like that many of the characters I learned to love in the first book, Where Wildflowers Bloom, are woven through this book as well. It offers romance, suspense/mystery, secrets, a good glimpse of history, forgiveness, restoration, surprises and so much more.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Book Club Network_.I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
This is a wonderful book and a wonderful love story;I love Elijah and Rosemary. Like the fact that Rosemary is a nurse and she wants to be independent during a time when it was still consider taboo for a women to consider working when she a male relative to take care of her. My favorite part of the book was the herbal remedies she would use; I'm one to believe that we need herbal remedies as well as conventional medicine.
I receive a free copy of this book courtesy of TBCN for my honest review.
I love historical fiction, especially from the Civil War era. This book wonderfully met my expectations, and I found myself enjoying the dynamic of the characters within this setting. Ann Shorey does a fabulous job creating believable characters as they work through an intriguing plot. I will definitely be reading more of her books!
I received this book from TCBN in exchange for my opinion.
Merciful to wounded Civil War soldiers, Rosemary Saxon became a nurse. Considered a filthy and disgusting job, unfit for a woman, Rosemary was ousted from her home. Her compassion compelled her to help others in need, in spite of her own limited resources. After the war she had moved to Noble Springs, Missouri where she eventually sought employment with Dr. Elijah Stewart who had set up practice in the small town after the Civil War. Refusing to join his father's medical practice in Chicago, Dr. Stewart's aim was to distance himself from his father's demands. Elijah's medical standards were scrupulous and honorable, contrary to his father's unethical standards.
Threatened by a local menace for preparing herbal remedies only substantiated Rosemary's stubborn and independent nature, but potential suitors repeatedly came to her aid. Attracted to Dr. Stewart, Rosemary had to quell a relationship developing with another local gentleman. Her hopes for love and family appear to be just a dream, but is there hope for happiness in her future?
Family dynamics play a key role throughout this novel. Broken relationships and misunderstandings between family members are broached with inventive and creative skill. The characters throughout this novel are colorful, realistic, down-to-earth humans who struggle with emotional conflicts and physical assaults that are common to all of us. Faith is a strong motivator throughout this novel, and enhances the story very effectively. The physical details are picturesque and beautifully depicted with vivid imagery. Ann Shorey has written a very touching, absorbing and remarkable story. This is a very entertaining, heartrending and eloquently scripted novel!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through BookFun.org in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Many thanks to Fred St. Laurent and Revell Books for their participation in the For Readers Only program through BookFun.org.