Ann H. GabhartRevell / 2017 / Trade PaperbackOur Price$11.494.5 out of 5 stars for These Healing Hills. View reviews of this product. 56 Reviews
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ConnieRMEAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Engaging story!June 13, 2021ConnieRMEAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This wonderful book is the first I've read by this author and it won't be the last. It is a fictional story of a nurse midwife employed by the real Frontier Nursing Service in the hills of Kentucky. The author based her story on journals she read from those who served in this way. Mary Breckinridge was the founder of this service and established the Hyden Hospital in 1928.
I mention these facts because I feel that these details make the BEST fictional story in the hands of writers like Gabhart who do the work needed to keep the story authentic. I love the characters in this story and would enjoy reading more about their lives if the author decides to do a second book.
ADFehlArden, NCAge: 25-34Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5Frontier Nursing Service #1July 27, 2020ADFehlArden, NCAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3In the summer of 1945, wanting to distance herself from a broken heart, nursing student Francine Howard decides to do a stint with the Frontier Nursing Service station in Appalachian Kentucky. There she will train in their midwifery course as well as assist with general medical concerns (illness, broken bones, skin irritations, etc.) that come up in the community. In these remote parts, she'll also come to find out that "off-duty" is just another word for part-time farming. All the while, Fran is frequently reminded that she "ain't mountain."
Over the course of the story, Fran develops a bond with veteran and former medic Ben Locke. Ben and Fran first meet when Fran, forever getting lost in the hills, gets thrown from her horse one day. The spooked horse runs off and eventually crosses paths with Ben, who had newly arrived to the area. Ben gets the horse to guide him back to Fran's location and from there a friendship (and yeah, duh, a romance lol) begins to grow.
While I was excited for the setting of the story, the plot here was a little slow for me. There are lots of scenes of mundane chores being carried out, and while I understand this kind of thing is often meant to develop a sense of community within these rural sort of stories, in this case it wasn't terribly interesting and just bogged down the pace of the story. Additionally, many of the characters conversed in a way that was too stiff and proper to allow a chance to get too invested in them. There were some quick moments of action here and there, such as Fran being thrown from a spooked horse, or another character being shot at from an unknown source. And hey, I'll always offer up a few extra points whenever an otherwise kinda slow story introduces a cute puppy co-star like Sarge. :-)
IVLeagueCabot, ARAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Hours of effortless reading and wholesome entertainement.April 22, 2020IVLeagueCabot, ARAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Ann H. Gabhart is a master of her craft. With so many books to read and so little time, I tend to stick with authors I'm already familiar with. By taking up These Healing Hills, I took a chance on a new-to-me author and was repaid with a few hours of effortless reading and wholesome entertainment. Gabhart's words planted my feet in the rich mountain soil of Kentucky. You never knew what to expect while following Francine Howard on her nursing rounds-visiting people of various ages, temperaments, and eccentricities. I laughed, I learned, and I lived in their world for a time. The story never plodded along, but the author did take her time developing her characters and their bonds so as to deliver the maximum impact for her audience. I was extremely satisfied with how the story ended and I look forward to reading An Appalachian Summer as well as exploring Gabhart's extensive backlist.
Catherine Coile4 Stars Out Of 5These Healing HillsJune 3, 2019Catherine CoileQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Enjoyed the book very much. Gave me an insight into the world of the people living in the mountains and never really knew about the nurses who went there to care for them. I am sending it on to my friend who shares my passion for books!
GW4 Stars Out Of 5Informative and entertainingJuly 23, 2018GWQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0I enjoyed this book to the point where I had difficulty putting it down. The lives of hill people and their superstitions and distrust of outsiders were facinating. It was encouraging to see how Francine broke that barrier and was accepted.