“These Healing Hills” by Ann H. Gabhart was a delightful book. Not only was this book set in the Appalachian Mountains, but it also described what it was like coming home after fighting in WW II.
Francine Howard waited patiently for her supposed fiancé to return from the war, however, his sister told Franny that he had found an English miss and married her. Francine decided to seek a fresh start in the Frontier Nursing Service as a midwife. She was accepted and after training, was sent to the rural Kentucky hills to help the mountain women with birthing and give medical assistance when needed by others.. Some are hesitant to seek help from outsiders, but most welcome the availability of having medical help when it’s needed.
Ben Locke has returned to his Kentucky mountain home from serving overseas. The outlook is bleak from the standpoint of finding a job that is not in the mines. He served as a medic in the army and is considering becoming a doctor. But how can he walk away from his family who needs his help just to survive. Times are hard and the people are harder. Moonshine is the most valuable product to come out of the mountains besides coal. This makes the hills and dales dangerous to the people who live there and to the outsiders.
Is it possible that Francine and Ben can find common ground in these hills? This story is compelling to read and thrilling in another sense. I fell in love with the mountains and the people who live there from reading this book. I know that is a romanticized idea of reality, but I am comfortable living in that fantasy and would recommend Ms. Gabhart’s work.
The Frontier Nursing Service was a real program founded by Mary Breckinridge, a member of an influential Kentucky family who lost two young children. She was determined to improve the health of the women in rural Kentucky.
I received a complimentary print copy from Revell as a member of the Blog Tour Team.