These Healing Hills
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These Healing Hills

Revell / 2017 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW723631


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Product Description

Francine Howard’s marriage plans fall apart when the soldier wrote her to tell her he had fallen in love with someone else. She was devastated and jumps at the chance to train as midwife in the Frontier Nursing Service in the Appalachian Mountains. The mountain views and mountain people touch her heart. After many years in the army, Ben Locke is eager to return to the fresh mountain air of his home in the Appalachian Mountains. Once home, he meets Francine and the life he thought he wanted, is no longer.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Revell
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0800723635
ISBN-13: 9780800723637

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Publisher's Description

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.

Author Bio

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 www.annhgabhart.com.

Product Reviews

4.6 Stars Out Of 5
4.6 out of 5
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(11)
(1)
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Quality:
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Value:
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Meets Expectations:
4 out Of 5
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Displaying items 1-5 of 46
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  1. MaureenT
    Syracuse NY
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    End of WWII
    November 20, 2017
    MaureenT
    Syracuse NY
    Gender: female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    This review was written for These Healing Hills - eBook.
    I really found myself rooting for young Francine Howard as she began her new career as a baby catcher, or midwife, in the mountains of Kentucky.

    The author made those mountains so alive with word pictures that I found myself crossing the creeks, and going over the rocks. Such a great story, with the end WWII we are with the veterans and those left behind. Most of all we meet the mountain people and you will really fall in love with some of these unforgettable individuals.

    Will our girl end up loosing her heart to these people and maybe someone else, or will her mother get her way and she will go back home to Cincinnati? How about our young soldier and the responsibilities that are now placed on him, will he take advantage of the GI bill, or stay and help family?

    I really enjoyed this story, and made me want to move and live here, but that grass usually looks greener on the other side.

    I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.
  2. Victoria
    Canada
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    These Healing Hills
    November 14, 2017
    Victoria
    Canada
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Historical fiction, WWII era, frontier nurses. Check, check, check. I knew with all of these elements, the odds of my enjoying These Healing Hills by Ann Gabhart was fairly high. What I didn't realize is what a gem I'd find in this new to me author and the Appalachian Mountains she wove into life.

    One review on the back cover calls this a "beautifully crafted story" and that is a wonderful description of what Gabhart has achieved. Gabhart has used her research to invite readers into a small section of mountain life in 1945.

    As anyone who's poked around here before knows, I need a good character to connect with a story and Gabhart provides a mountain full. The Locke family are real, I love how Gabhart has captured the dynamics of life on the mountain among such a diverse family of characters who are relearning how to be in the same space after so many changes. Equally captivating is Francine, our intrepid nurse. Again, I really came to appreciate Gabhart's attention to detail in her characters. Fran's wrestling with her insecurities were well established and her confusion about how to proceed in life feels relatable.

    Oh, and can we talk about the amazing Granny Em? What a character, I love how Gabhart showed the transition of eras with Granny Em's wisdom and knowledge of the old ways. Honestly, I would be crushed if this book found a sequel without Granny Em's ever present wisdom.

    Stylistically, I found Gabhart to have a blend that was quick to draw me in as a reader and hold my attention. Using actual historical records to base her frontier nurses on lent interest and credibility for the geek in me, but the earnestness with which she conveyed the humour, hardworking nature, and love of the mountains inherent to her characters lent a richness to the novel that made me wish I was doing rounds with Fran (although I can guarantee we'd still need Ben or Woody to rescue us from our own sense of direction).

    Fans of historical fiction will probably not find any major surprises in the overall plotlines, whether it's Fran's coming into her own, Ben's readjustment to life post-war, or Woody's brink of manhood adventures and yet the charm of this book and it's characters draws me like the mountains draw in Fran.

    4.5 out of 5 stars.

    "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."
  3. KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Amazing!
    November 7, 2017
    KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book cast a spell over me. Enchanting. Captivating. Riveting. And the word-crafting! Sheer beauty! No skimming allowed -- you'll want to savor every single sentence.

    Gabhart celebrates the life and culture of a proud mountain people with reverence and respect. Francine is just as enthralled as I am! Never mind that her nurse midwife mentor expects her to remain apart (really 'above') these simple hill folk. But Francine can see the beauty in that simplicity -faith, family and service. It brings her a unique sense of belonging which is a stark contrast to her sterile upbringing.

    And then there's Ben. He's spent his years in the war aching to feel the mountain back under his feet but once he's home he finds himself yearning for something more. Especially when a certain 'brought-in nurse' keeps getting lost on his mountain. Sigh. Their love story is the perfect blend of laughter and uncertainty and oh-so-sweet-and-tender hope.

    Some of my favourite parts in the book are the snippets of wisdom we get from the sage elders who played a significant role in Ben and Francine's lives. Things like this: "What was it his pa used to say when Ben started worrying a problem like a dog licking a sore? You don't have to know the last step. Just the first one. You and the Lord can figure out the rest of it on the way." (p 218) I've got that written out on a card and taped to my wall now -- I'm in desperate need of enough faith to trust that 'the Lord and I can figure out the rest' in many areas of my life. And this book is full of sage takeaways like that.

    There's a quality in the storytelling that stays with a reader long after the last page has been read. Definitely one of my favourite novels of 2017.

    Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.
  4. Rebecca Maney
    Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Fascinating and Entertaining Historical!
    October 28, 2017
    Rebecca Maney
    Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "You might be confused on how to get to some place, but with the good Lord beside you, you're never lost."

    Aspiring Frontier Nurse Midwife Francine Howard is always getting lost, much to her chagrin and to the amusement of the Appalachian mountain folk she labors to serve while "catching babies". When caught in a rainstorm due to an errant horse, she is rescued by a local man returning to his Kentucky home after serving as a medic in World War II. While sheltering together underneath a crop of rocks, her mentor's mantra rings strangely true, "no one comes here by accident".

    Benjamin Locke has made it home alive. "But happy ain't always so easy to catch and hold on to as the the storybooks tell us"; Ben's family needs him, especially now that his father has passed, his youngest sister is in frail health, and one of his other sisters has come to live with them while she is in the "family way". Nurse Howard seems to have won the hearts of his siblings rather quickly, and it seems that Ben's thoughts turn towards the pretty nurse way too often as well. Regrettably, Francine is not from the mountain and while Ben has no idea what his future holds, he can only pray that "the Lord would point the way".

    This story has a lovely lilt, its characters comfortable in their own skin, and a setting that is sure to satisfy.

  5. Mauri
    Kansas
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    These Healing Hills
    October 27, 2017
    Mauri
    Kansas
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I loved this book. Granny Em counseled Francine Howard to listen for the rhythm of the mountains as a way to help her know her way around the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, where Fran was training with the Frontier Nursing Service to be a nurse midwife, since she was prone to getting lost.

    Ann Gabhart's book has an easy rhythm as well that causes the reader to put themselves in the story, feeling the cold rain, catching the babies, getting lost on the mountain (and being rescued by Ben, a handsome mountain man just home from the war). Though her mother was against her going from Cincinnati to Kentucky, and she was cautioned by other Frontier nurses not to get emotionally close to any of the mountain families they serve, Fran can't help liking the Locke family: 15 year old Woody who shows her the way to the hospital when she first arrives, chattering all the way; four year old Sadie, who is "punying around" so needs Fran's nursing skills; Becca, their young, pregnant sister; their mother who respects Fran's skills but cautions oldest son, Ben, about his growing interest in Fran. Fran tries to convince herself she isn't becoming attracted to Ben. Besides the human characters, Sarge, the dog Ben gives Fran, plays a very important part in the book. I wasn't aware of the Frontier Nursing Service, so it was a good introduction to this part of history.
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