These Healing Hills
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.

These Healing Hills Details

TitleThese Healing Hills
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 5th, 2017
PublisherFleming H. Revell Company
ISBN-139780800723637
Rating
GenreChristian Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Romance, Christian Historical Fiction, Christian Romance, Christian, War, World War II, Fiction

These Healing Hills Review

  • Shantelle
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars.I suppose stories about midwives, the Appalachian Mountains, frontier and family life, and slow, tender romances just touch my heart. These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart was a beautiful novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.Set during the end and aftermath of World War II, this book introduces us to frontier nurse/midwife, Francine Howard, and soldier, Ben Locke, who's a native to the mountains. Besides our two main characters, who both quickly endeared themselves to me, we meet many other 4.5 stars.I suppose stories about midwives, the Appalachian Mountains, frontier and family life, and slow, tender romances just touch my heart. These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart was a beautiful novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.Set during the end and aftermath of World War II, this book introduces us to frontier nurse/midwife, Francine Howard, and soldier, Ben Locke, who's a native to the mountains. Besides our two main characters, who both quickly endeared themselves to me, we meet many other unique people in the beautiful and sometimes harsh Appalachian hills. Woody. Becca. Granny Em.Midwifery is interesting to me, and These Healing Hills got into it a fair amount. What a miracle pregnancy is! What a beautiful thing new life is! What a precious blessing - babies. *smiles* Francine is also a nurse and just helps with random needs of the mountain people. It was neat to learn about frontier nurses and what their lives looked like. In the old-fashioned mountain life, people generally rode horses instead of having cars and had to work hard to keep up their gardens in order to make it through the winter.In her nurse outfit, blue tunic and trousers, and with her trusty horse, Jasmine, Francine maneuvers the mountain paths and befriends the people. I like how she can have her no-nonsense "nurse attitude", but also has such compassion for her patients, and genuinely cares about them as people, and is interested in their lives. I love how sweetly she falls for Ben.I like Ben. And Sarge. And the parts they play in Francine's life. ^_^These Healing Hills was just a really lovely and tender story. With bits of drama and excitement here and there. A heartfelt journey of faith. A story of friendship that slowly blossomed into love. It's something akin to Catherine Marshall's Christy. Very satisfying tale. Looking forward to reading more by Ann H. Gabhart!I received a copy of These Healing Hills from Revell publishers in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Olivia
    January 1, 1970
    It's so nice to read a book that catches human nature so well. The gentleness, yet straight-forward characteristic of the mountain people in this book is so refreshing. Fran and Ben's romance may not be extremely different from many others, but the setting and the background creates something incredibly unique and special.This took me several days to read only because I wanted to savor every scene. It's a slow story that must be read carefully, although there were several intense/action-filled s It's so nice to read a book that catches human nature so well. The gentleness, yet straight-forward characteristic of the mountain people in this book is so refreshing. Fran and Ben's romance may not be extremely different from many others, but the setting and the background creates something incredibly unique and special.This took me several days to read only because I wanted to savor every scene. It's a slow story that must be read carefully, although there were several intense/action-filled scenes. There were so many lines that I smiled and laughed at. Woody's character made me beam inside and out. He's just the perfect sunshiny fellow. Sometimes I got riled with Fran and Ben with ignoring their feelings, but it was so short-lived and realistic that I couldn't really fault them.I absolutely loved how Fran thought of the spiritual wisdom her grandmother passed on to her. That was just perfect! And then even in some of the mountain people who didn't want to talk religion, they brought up simple truths from God's Word that was so thought-worthy. This book reminded me of so many things, but especially that the little moments of life are important. Not the huge things we may accomplish, but our daily decisions to help, love, and a be blessing to others. And also to speak to the truth.Romance-wise everything was very discreet and sweet. There is several mentions about babies, and the love in marriage. But really, I loved how the author portrayed it all. Never blunt...even the birth scenes.I highly recommend this book because it was a simple delight to read.*I received this in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    These Healing Hills is a delightful historical romance novel. The descriptive writing firmly places the reader in the gorgeous scenery and amongst the friendly people of the Appalachian Mountains. It was wonderful to sink into this story and journey with Fran and Ben as they overcome the obstacles before them, each find a place to call home, and find peace.Francine Howard didn't start her life looking for adventure, but when her fiancé writes home from the war to tell her he has found someone el These Healing Hills is a delightful historical romance novel. The descriptive writing firmly places the reader in the gorgeous scenery and amongst the friendly people of the Appalachian Mountains. It was wonderful to sink into this story and journey with Fran and Ben as they overcome the obstacles before them, each find a place to call home, and find peace.Francine Howard didn't start her life looking for adventure, but when her fiancé writes home from the war to tell her he has found someone else, she knows home in Cincinnati is no longer where she wants to stay. Instead, she takes up the offer to travel to the Appalachian Mountains and put her training as a nurse to use as one of the Frontier Nurses. It is a vast change in culture, but Fran soon feels at home there. Ben Locke has spent many years away at war and wants nothing more than to return to his home in the mountains. He isn't sure what his future holds, but the kind nurse with the amazing smile draws him like no one has before. This book is set just as World War Two is coming to an end. However, at times it feels like it could be set in an earlier era, as the people in the mountain eek out an honest and simple living and the women of the Frontier Nursing Service ride horses across the rugged lands to offer what medical help they can. So the mentions of buses and cars, and women wearing pants sometimes came as a bit of a shock and reminder of the true setting of this story. The setting was almost a third main character in this book. The mountains truly came to life on the pages. These Healing Hills is beautifully written. It was a long story. While there is no shortage of exciting happenings, from snow storms, babies needing catching and shootings, this book had a beautiful, slow cadence to it that made sinking into its pages a delight. I took the time to savour every moment. However, the ending was way too sudden for me. I was left desperately flicking for pages I might have missed, another chapter, a long epilogue, anything! I thought there was more to learn, endings to be neatly tied in a bow, but maybe that's because I wanted the book to go on forever. I would be content, however, with a sequel or a companion novel... Here's hoping. The slow sweet burn of the romance in this novel was oh so delightful. Little moments, shared laughter, simple things that brought Ben and Fran together, while they doubt and wrestle with their feelings. It made the ending all the better (if still too short!).I was totally surprised by just how much I enjoyed this wonderful book. I eagerly look forward to discovering what else this talented author will produce. These Healing Hills is highly recommended for readers who enjoy historical novels with strong characters, detailed and descriptive writing that flows beautifully, a touch of adventure and heartwarming romance.The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library.
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  • Jean
    January 1, 1970
    Sent to me for an early review - Another "can't put down " story - Set in the mountains of KY after WWII - Nurse/mid-wife - plently of action, romance, heart warming story - characters come to life -
  • Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
    January 1, 1970
    Being from Kentucky this was a great book. I loved the vivid descriptions and the way Gabhart took me book to the mountains. The characters were so easy to love, will most of them were. I enjoyed going home in this heartwarming read.You are going to get lost in the mountains with Fran and like me you just might enjoy it. Well crafted read and you are going to be left wanting more. I loved the ending. I just might be Gabharts biggest fan.This is a 5 star two times read! I HIGHLY recommend this bo Being from Kentucky this was a great book. I loved the vivid descriptions and the way Gabhart took me book to the mountains. The characters were so easy to love, will most of them were. I enjoyed going home in this heartwarming read.You are going to get lost in the mountains with Fran and like me you just might enjoy it. Well crafted read and you are going to be left wanting more. I loved the ending. I just might be Gabharts biggest fan.This is a 5 star two times read! I HIGHLY recommend this book.The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    i am a huge fan of Gabhart's cozy mysteries, but haven't read very many of her historicals. When I was offered a chance to review THESE HEALING HILLS I thought I'd give it a try. Recently my son graduated from A school for the Coast Guard and we drove through "these hills" and saw how massively huge they are. It gives new appreciation to these "pioneer" nurse midwives who traveled them on foot and on horseback to "catch babies" or see to sick women and children. The story is rather slow, easy to i am a huge fan of Gabhart's cozy mysteries, but haven't read very many of her historicals. When I was offered a chance to review THESE HEALING HILLS I thought I'd give it a try. Recently my son graduated from A school for the Coast Guard and we drove through "these hills" and saw how massively huge they are. It gives new appreciation to these "pioneer" nurse midwives who traveled them on foot and on horseback to "catch babies" or see to sick women and children. The story is rather slow, easy to put down, but it was a nice peaceful read, a good escape. I identified completely with Fran, out of her element with the setting (she was a city girl) and getting used to hillbilly lingo, and traversing steep mountain trails on foot. And so many other dangers out where people are likely to shoot first and ask questions later. Ben is a sweet hero, battle worn, glad to be home, but mourning so much. he has a lot of hurts to work through and a lot on his plate with the death of his dad and his mom and siblings needing so much from him. I rooted for these characters. Granny Em was a lovely secondary character and some of the others added humor and drama as well. A great historical fiction read. Historical fiction loves will devour this book. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    I don't think I have ever been disappointed in an Ann Gabhart book. She is one of my favourite authors and These Healing Hills proved once again why.In These Healing Hills, she created pictures so vivid I felt like I was watching a movie. That is the work of a great writer. It was easy to see the "mountain people" who Fran grew to love and to see why a city gal would stay. Ms Gabhart's characters are well developed and seemed to jump off the paper (or Kindle in my case) and become so real you di I don't think I have ever been disappointed in an Ann Gabhart book. She is one of my favourite authors and These Healing Hills proved once again why.In These Healing Hills, she created pictures so vivid I felt like I was watching a movie. That is the work of a great writer. It was easy to see the "mountain people" who Fran grew to love and to see why a city gal would stay. Ms Gabhart's characters are well developed and seemed to jump off the paper (or Kindle in my case) and become so real you did not want to let them go. Which is my only complaint about this book. It ended without letting me know what happened next. There was no epilogue. I have to imagine what Ben and Francine will do next. My imagination is not as vivid as Ms Gabhart's. I hope she writes a sequel.I loved getting to know more about the Frontier Nursing Service as well. I had never heard of them before. The theme that God always has a plan seemed central to this story, but not in an overly preachy way. I really enjoyed this book and I know you will too.You can never go wrong with an Ann Gabhart book. I highly recommend it.This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing.
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  • Sydney Young
    January 1, 1970
    "No one comes here by accident." --Frontier Nurse SayingI loved this book. And, much like the mantra of the frontier nurses, I know I didn't come to it by accident, either. In fact, I rather think that anyone who is compelled to read this book will come away feeling the same. After all, when looking for inspirational fiction, the title itself accurately portrays what a reader will encounter with this story: new starts after a time of reflection, and lives that encounter healing after hardship, w "No one comes here by accident." --Frontier Nurse SayingI loved this book. And, much like the mantra of the frontier nurses, I know I didn't come to it by accident, either. In fact, I rather think that anyone who is compelled to read this book will come away feeling the same. After all, when looking for inspirational fiction, the title itself accurately portrays what a reader will encounter with this story: new starts after a time of reflection, and lives that encounter healing after hardship, with a soft dose of biblical wisdom naturally mixed into the character's thoughts and conversation, much like life as many still know it.Nurse Francine Howard is the kind of woman that I could be friends with in real life. Not the type to mope about after a breakup, she chooses a new path that takes her away from the hurt and into hard work that helps her focus on others, while finding her own strength. Meanwhile, soldier Ben Locke has to re-encounter his home with fresh--though war weary-- eyes. Do either of them belong in the Appalachians? Is that really even the question?Regardless of the reason the book was timely in my life, this book is timely in a number of broad ways. First, a great number of readers have digested "Hillbilly Elegy," by J.D. Vance, so we know the rest of the story a bit more intimately than we would have even a couple of years ago. Also, many of us, regardless of our political beliefs and news channel(s) of choice, are in need of a bit of healing over the divisiveness afflicting our country and world these days, not to mention the natural disasters. Books like "These Healing Hills" help us step back and re-evaluate, and know that there is hope after all. Especially well written and edited books like this one.(BONUS: SWEET DOG STORY!! See him on the cover below?! Also, check out the short book trailer inserted below my picture. And don't forget to enter the giveaway!)You have a new fan, Ann H. Gabhart, and Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group). Thank you for the review copy in exchange for an honest opinion.
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  • Susan Snodgrass
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.Reading an Ann Gabhart book is like sitting down with a friend to pass the time in the best possible way. Her descriptions, her characters, her setting (this setting!) are all so wonderful. Everything in her books just goes down deep in your soul, reminding you of a happy place and when life was easy. But it's not all easy in her books. Don't get me wrong. Her characters have hard times, but her telling is amazing. I loved this book and the people that populated it very much. *I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via Net Galley. My review is my own honest opinion.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderful story full of colorful characters and fun dialogue, an instant add to my favorites list! Set in 1945 Kentucky, in the Appalachian Mountains, featuring the brave women of the Frontier Nursing Service. I loved the people in this story, especially the locals who Fran met in her visits, and the aspect of midwifery in 1945. The history of the FNS was fascinating, and had such a positive impact on the health of the people. The difficulty of travelling all over on horseback over rough terra A wonderful story full of colorful characters and fun dialogue, an instant add to my favorites list! Set in 1945 Kentucky, in the Appalachian Mountains, featuring the brave women of the Frontier Nursing Service. I loved the people in this story, especially the locals who Fran met in her visits, and the aspect of midwifery in 1945. The history of the FNS was fascinating, and had such a positive impact on the health of the people. The difficulty of travelling all over on horseback over rough terrain in all weather, making home visits with little back up, using everything they knew, made them some of the strongest women I've ever read about. Every day was an adventure! The fun dialogue, especially between Fran and the Locke family, with the local vernacular was very entertaining, along with Granny Em's insights and how the locals perceived any outsiders. Plenty of inspiration is tucked in also, with scripture references, including past conversations between Ben and his father, and Fran and her grandmother adding their wise counsel. I enjoyed the relationship between Fran and Ben, watching their little back and forth dance of friendship developing. Wished the story could have gone on just a bit longer, but the ending was satisfying. I hope it may continue with another book and it will be a series. Highly recommend to readers who enjoy Christian historical fiction set near WW2, with a clean romance. (An e-book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.)
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  • Lori Parrish
    January 1, 1970
    I really did enjoy this book!! I think it's one of Ann's best yet!!.I enjoyed it so much because of the Kentucky backdrop. I enjoyed learning about the mountain people and their ways. I laughed at Fran for some of the things she said and did. I thought she fit in rather well and she didn't really have to try very hard to do it. I fell in love with Woody because of his energy!! I wish I had a bundle like him!I almost felt sorry for Ben. Ben has seen and done things that he didn't want to. I wante I really did enjoy this book!! I think it's one of Ann's best yet!!.I enjoyed it so much because of the Kentucky backdrop. I enjoyed learning about the mountain people and their ways. I laughed at Fran for some of the things she said and did. I thought she fit in rather well and she didn't really have to try very hard to do it. I fell in love with Woody because of his energy!! I wish I had a bundle like him!I almost felt sorry for Ben. Ben has seen and done things that he didn't want to. I wanted to wrap my arms around him and comfort him. I think I'm crazy for wanting to do that to fictional characters but oh well. You gotta love them and the authors who brings them to life!!I just couldn't put this book down!! It's a page Turner from the moment you open it. I could just imagine myself hearing Granny Em. How old is she anyway? I enjoyed hearing her wisdom of advice to Fran, Ben and his family. I think she'spretty special!! All grannies are!! I know mine was!!!I strongly recommend this book. I received this book for free. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own
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  • maryreads
    January 1, 1970
    Ann H. Gabhart knows how to write with gentleness and sincerity to a point that I didn't quite notice how much this story had entrapped me until the day was long gone and the to do list long forgotten.Francine Howard had her life planned out. But when the man she wished to marry decides he's actually in love with someone else, she hopes on to an adventure at the Appalachian Mountains with the Frontier Nursing Service to learn midwifery. Confronted with a culture so different from hers, she feels Ann H. Gabhart knows how to write with gentleness and sincerity to a point that I didn't quite notice how much this story had entrapped me until the day was long gone and the to do list long forgotten.Francine Howard had her life planned out. But when the man she wished to marry decides he's actually in love with someone else, she hopes on to an adventure at the Appalachian Mountains with the Frontier Nursing Service to learn midwifery. Confronted with a culture so different from hers, she feels pulled towards the people who live beautifully, even if somewhat dangerously, among the mountains and wilderness, as well as by her obligations and superiors, who never hesitate to point out that she's not one of them and should keep her distance. But what happens if a city girl finds her true self in the middle of this raw and captivating society?Ben Locke has seen the devastations of war up front. He has always dreamed of finally going back to the mountains that call to his heart. When this finally happens, how to find his back to building his own life when so many unexpected responsibilities are thrown upon him? And what about the kind nurse who is slowly but surely capturing his heart, even though she is not mountain?Even with life not going as either of these two characters planned, can both truly believe no one is heer by accident?I was completely captivated by this author's writing about mountain life, to a point that I had half a mind to buy a ticket to go see for myself these rocks capable of settling your worries and hear the many rhythms of this wilderness.**I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I had the pleasure of reading this for possible endorsement and fell in love with the story from the first page. Here's my endorsement.What a wonderful story! Filled with true-to-life characters (including some four-footed ones) and fascinating historical details, These Healing Hills is a beautifully written, heartwarming story of life in the Appalachian Mountains at the end of the second World War. Ann Gabhart combines vivid descriptions, meticulous research, and a deep understanding of the hum I had the pleasure of reading this for possible endorsement and fell in love with the story from the first page. Here's my endorsement.What a wonderful story! Filled with true-to-life characters (including some four-footed ones) and fascinating historical details, These Healing Hills is a beautifully written, heartwarming story of life in the Appalachian Mountains at the end of the second World War. Ann Gabhart combines vivid descriptions, meticulous research, and a deep understanding of the human heart to create a story that will linger in readers’ memories long after the last page is turned. This is a book to savor, not just once, but over and over. A true keeper.
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  • Katrina Epperson
    January 1, 1970
    This story touched me both heart and soul. The author weaves words together that bring to life the mountains of eastern Kentucky and brings a wonderful tribute to Mary Breckinridge. The author does an excellent job of bringing her characters to life on the pages. I immediately liked Francine Howard. She was not one who focused on broken promises. No, she choose to start an adventure that would bring her new dreams and purpose. Her arrival in Hyden was not as she anticipated in the least. With no This story touched me both heart and soul. The author weaves words together that bring to life the mountains of eastern Kentucky and brings a wonderful tribute to Mary Breckinridge. The author does an excellent job of bringing her characters to life on the pages. I immediately liked Francine Howard. She was not one who focused on broken promises. No, she choose to start an adventure that would bring her new dreams and purpose. Her arrival in Hyden was not as she anticipated in the least. With no one there to meet her she was challenged with climbing the mountain to Wendover, the school for Frontier Nursing. This showed her determination and drive to accomplish her dream. Ben Locke is a young man who had his dream of becoming a doctor cut short by World War ll and service to his country. With the end of the war Ben heads back home to eastern Kentucky. While serving his much loved father passed away so his homecoming was filled with many memories of days gone by. He felt a great responsibility to care for his mother and siblings so again he puts his dreams on hold. For me, this was a one setting book. I was immediately pulled into the story and didn't put it down until the last page was turned. It has elements of humor, adventure, faith, second chances, trust, and love. I loved everything about this book and would recommend it to anyone. **I received this book from the publisher as part of their book bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.https://katrinaepperson.blogspot.com/...
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  • ASC Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    A MUST READ!!!!! This is one of the best books I've read this year!!! And the best book I've read of Ann's! The whole plot was very intriguing to me from the beginning and I was drawn deeper still as Fran starts her journey. Feelings of Christy echo in the first few pages, but soon the story grew into it's own! I LOVE these characters from the main to the sub. I was fearful something bad was going to happen, since life in the mountains is hard at the best of times, but I was refreshingly overjoy A MUST READ!!!!! This is one of the best books I've read this year!!! And the best book I've read of Ann's! The whole plot was very intriguing to me from the beginning and I was drawn deeper still as Fran starts her journey. Feelings of Christy echo in the first few pages, but soon the story grew into it's own! I LOVE these characters from the main to the sub. I was fearful something bad was going to happen, since life in the mountains is hard at the best of times, but I was refreshingly overjoyed. I also LOVE the pace of the story, at first it felt a little strange as the timeline took some pretty big steps, but as things progressed I was happy Ann didn't dig into great detail on some scenes. Francine has become one of my favorite characters, and one that will stick with me! Then there's Ben, who you can't just help but fall in love with, and yes the dog on the cover isn't just for looks! ;) I think he was probably my favorite character! :D The setting is gorgeous and Ann's details of the scenery are just right, enough to paint the picture without giving too much description. There was just one thing that I did NOT like about this book....IT ENDED! LOL! I knew it was coming, but when I got there I was thrown into Reader's melancholy and nearly started all over from the beginning again! Oh overall I JUST LOVED THIS BOOK! I HIGHLY recommend it, and dub it a MUST READ!Songs: "Froggie Went a Courtin' " (though while the book says the snake eats the mouse the version I read says it was the cat. ;) LOL!), "He Leadeth Me", "Same Power" by Jeremy Camp, "Toora, Loora, Loora",and "Amazing Grace" Songs etc. May be changed and/or added in the future. ~ASCPsalm 46:1-2~ASC*I requested and received this book from Revell for the purpose of reviewing it. This in no way affected my opinion and the above are my true thoughts and feelings about These Healing Hills. ~ASC
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    These Healing Hills is a wonderful new release by Ann H Gabhart. As an Appalachian Mountain girl, I absolutely loved the setting. The author described the area so vividly, I felt like I was right there. I found the historical details unique. I never heard of the Frontier Nursing Service before. How intriguing to learn about that part of Appalachian history. It was, also, a reminder of how devastating the war was here in the United States. Including, broken hearts of those who found out their lov These Healing Hills is a wonderful new release by Ann H Gabhart. As an Appalachian Mountain girl, I absolutely loved the setting. The author described the area so vividly, I felt like I was right there. I found the historical details unique. I never heard of the Frontier Nursing Service before. How intriguing to learn about that part of Appalachian history. It was, also, a reminder of how devastating the war was here in the United States. Including, broken hearts of those who found out their loves have married another. As a granddaughter of a war bride, I found a connection to this aspect of the story. I loved Francine Howard and her determination and courage to help those who were in need. She was a strong woman of the times.These Healing Hills is a must read and one I recommend to other readers who love a good, clean story based on Appalachian history.5+ stars.I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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  • Teresa
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsFrancine Howard was waiting for the war to be over so she could marry her fiancé who was a soldier in WWII. When she finds out he's bringing a girl home from England to marry, she decides she's in need of an adventure and away from the constant reminders of what she thought would be her future. She heads off to Kentucky to the Frontier Nursing Service which trains nurses to become a midwife/nurse. Francine thinks the Appalachian Mountains seem like the perfect place to start a new life. 4.5 StarsFrancine Howard was waiting for the war to be over so she could marry her fiancé who was a soldier in WWII. When she finds out he's bringing a girl home from England to marry, she decides she's in need of an adventure and away from the constant reminders of what she thought would be her future. She heads off to Kentucky to the Frontier Nursing Service which trains nurses to become a midwife/nurse. Francine thinks the Appalachian Mountains seem like the perfect place to start a new life.Ben Locke was a medic serving in WWII when a freak accident sent him home after the fall of Hitler. He had been dreaming of being back in the Mountains where life was simpler and he was surrounded by family. When he stumbles upon a lost nurse trying to find her way in a torrential rain storm, he can't help but notice she's one of those "brought-in women" that just doesn't belong in the mountains of Kentucky. Can a rough and tough, war torn, mountain man and a city nurse ever come to see eye to eye on anything? Especially matters of the heart? I really enjoyed These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart. I love historical fiction set in the WWII era. The fact that it's set in the Appalachian Mountains was very intriguing to me. This is really a gem of a book that will have you wanting more. I highly recommend it for everyone! I received this book from NetGalley and this is my honest opinion and views.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    "These Healing Hills" is a wonderful historical romantic novel. Ann does a fantastic job at making the reader as though they are in the Appalachian Mountains with Fran and Ben. This is a story of love, war, letters, a simpler life and the medical life. This book is wonderfully written. I really felt for Fran, I loved the adventure, I didn't know where this book was going to go at times as it kept me on my toes between shootings, snowstorms and a love story. Overall, this book will overtake you a "These Healing Hills" is a wonderful historical romantic novel. Ann does a fantastic job at making the reader as though they are in the Appalachian Mountains with Fran and Ben. This is a story of love, war, letters, a simpler life and the medical life. This book is wonderfully written. I really felt for Fran, I loved the adventure, I didn't know where this book was going to go at times as it kept me on my toes between shootings, snowstorms and a love story. Overall, this book will overtake you and you won't be able to put it down. The pages will turn fast and you'll become a huge fan of Ann Gabhart! After reading this book and falling in love with these characters, I hope for a second book. I give this book 5/5 stars. Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy. A favorable review was not required. All opinions are my own and should not be used without my consent.
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  • Peggy Clayton
    January 1, 1970
    Ann writes just wonderful heart warming books and this one is included. One of my favorite books is one that she wrote and this book didn't fall short. I loved this story and all of the characters in it I just loved. One of the characters I thought wasn't going to make it to the end and I was so worried. This book is another home run for Ann!
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  • Fizzy
    January 1, 1970
    Do you remember that song ‘Froggie went a’courtin’ from childhood. You know the annoyingly repetitive song with a catchy tune that sears itself into your brain. It’s coming to you know isn’t it, un-huh. I’d forgotten about that song. Until this book. Sometimes it’s the little things that take a story from good to great or even from great to amazing. Uh-huh. OK, sorry I’ll stop that, u-huh. When this book came available from Revell, despite other books that stood at attention as well, I knew I ne Do you remember that song ‘Froggie went a’courtin’ from childhood. You know the annoyingly repetitive song with a catchy tune that sears itself into your brain. It’s coming to you know isn’t it, un-huh. I’d forgotten about that song. Until this book. Sometimes it’s the little things that take a story from good to great or even from great to amazing. Uh-huh. OK, sorry I’ll stop that, u-huh. When this book came available from Revell, despite other books that stood at attention as well, I knew I needed to read it. Somehow I’ve scheduled a lot of 1940-something books this week. There’s something about WW2 era strong women that you lend itself to a good story. Fran is a strong woman, the man she thought she’d marry and grow old together while raising a family finds a new love in Brittan during the war so she takes off on an adventure with the Frontier Nursing Services in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. She realizes that what she lost she didn’t need while finding herself and a life she never envisioned but one she can’t live without.Before picking up this book I’d never even heard of the Frontier Nursing Services. It was interesting to read about the woman who founded this organization to bring medical care to areas that are mostly not open to outsiders but also not in positions to be knowledgeable about issues such as hygiene or have access to things like prenatal care. The FNS is still active in the United Sates as well. Another new tidbit to file away to sound smart if given the opportunity to use it! Besides learning new things there was so much to love about this book. The characters drew you into their lives and their moments and felt like someone you really know, like in real life. While hanging out with people wished were neighbors I also wanted to live near their neighborhood. Not necessarily in it, I mean thermostatically controlled heat and running water are luxuries that I’m too lazy to live without. But. The beauty of the mountains and bubbling creeks and friends and neighbors who will stop you walking by and offer you pie or tea or coffee. How’s that for a run on sentence? I try 😀Gabhart builds a story that literally wraps you into it’s embrace that, despite even the difficult things of life, you feel comforted. I’ve never read this author before but now I’ve got the library list pulled up because I need to read them all. I need to read stories full of faith so seamlessly woven into a story of struggle and triumph and comfort through it all. I need to know that faith conquers all, even when love doesn’t win. Even when it does win. I read because I get to live all the lives of all the people in all the places. But when all that is wrapped into something so real and so true I win. Every single time. With this book. I win. Uh-huh.I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley, Revell. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
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  • Robin Willson
    January 1, 1970
    Christian Historical fiction based on the Frontier Nursing Service in the hills of Kentucky. Fran wanted to be a nurse and go overseas to serve, but her mother wouldn’t let her go. Then the boy she was going to marry when he got back from the war became engaged to a girl he met in England. After all, she was there and Fran was back home. Fran heard about the training in Kentucky and went to learn to be a nurse midwife and is taken with the beauty of the hills right away. She had heard about the Christian Historical fiction based on the Frontier Nursing Service in the hills of Kentucky. Fran wanted to be a nurse and go overseas to serve, but her mother wouldn’t let her go. Then the boy she was going to marry when he got back from the war became engaged to a girl he met in England. After all, she was there and Fran was back home. Fran heard about the training in Kentucky and went to learn to be a nurse midwife and is taken with the beauty of the hills right away. She had heard about the “hillbillies” where she grew up in Cincinnati but quickly learned the truth about these people who were fiercely loyal to their mountains and families, and had great common sense and knowledge. The new school provided additional knowledge and the death rate went down but the “Grannies” had been the midwives and healers for years and had skills and talents of their own.Ben had been away as a medic in the war. Just after Germany surrendered he was injured by a patient and sent home early. He had missed home greatly and was glad to get back, but things had changed and so had he. His father had passed while he was away and his little brother and sisters had grown – one even married and carrying a child. It will take a bit to learn what had gone on while he was away. And to decide what he would do now that he had returned, whether to stay and take care of his family or take advantage of the GI Bill and return to school.I always love stories of people who “live off the land”. I appreciate having grocery stores and restaurants but miss the old times. When we were growing up we planted food crops and put them up, and had lots of berries to pick within a short walk of our small farm. I used to go to the library and get books about the weeds and plants growing everywhere, their medicinal properties and how they had been used. We are finding that getting back to basics is healthier for us. There is a lot to be admired about the “hillbilly ways”. This is a great story of old ways meeting the new, and the advantages to be found in both. And new relationships and the value in helping and learning from one another. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Author and Revell/Baker Publishing Group - Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/wa....
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  • Lorilei Gonzales
    January 1, 1970
    I love reading historical fiction as an adult because history was one of my worst subjects in school growing up. Books like this teach me something about a time period, place, or people that my history classes either failed to cover or that my overstimulated teenage brain couldn’t comprehend at the time. How fascinating that a British woman would choose to start a midwivery school in America; in Kentucky of all places!I imagine that the women who joined the Frontier Nursing Service were plucky a I love reading historical fiction as an adult because history was one of my worst subjects in school growing up. Books like this teach me something about a time period, place, or people that my history classes either failed to cover or that my overstimulated teenage brain couldn’t comprehend at the time. How fascinating that a British woman would choose to start a midwivery school in America; in Kentucky of all places!I imagine that the women who joined the Frontier Nursing Service were plucky and maybe even adventure junkies. Or perhaps they just wanted to save the poor and uneducated women and children from early deaths like FNS founder, Mary Breckinridge. At any rate, these women often left a life of comfort to rough it out among people who sometimes did not appreciate their assistance.Gabhart’s use of dialect in the story is among the best I have set eyes on. With other books I’ve read, I often have to read passages aloud to decipher clunky dialect. But this was never the case with this book. The author’s writing style is natural, giving the characters an added dimension of authenticity.There were times where I thought that the mountain people stereotypes were drilled in a bit much, but I think that Gabhart intended to drive home the stark contrast between outsiders and the mountain people. You know, just in case the reader is not aware of the conflicts that existed during that time in the Appalachian area. My only prior knowledge of these issues came from reading Christy by Catherine Marshall years ago. I like that Gabhart’s portrait of the mountain people is much kinder than Marshall’s.Maybe because I’m a delayed launcher myself, I felt like this was sort of a coming of age book. After suppressing her true desires to please her mother and fill the void of her father’s absence, Francine finally goes out into the world alone to find out what she’s made of. Not to mention, she is finally free to do things that she has never been able to do before. The devastation of her broken engagement is reminiscent of that first heartbreak. Francine might be 23 years old, but Seth was her only boyfriend and high school sweetheart. I could also relate to the complicated mother-daughter dynamic.I found this to be a really lovely book and it has been added to my collection of cozy books to be reread while drinking a nice cup of cocoa.
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  • Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    What a lovely story!  It is "Call the Midwife" but in the Appalachian mountains.I learned so much from this book about the culture of the people that lived in the mountains in the mid 40's, what the nurses went through to learn and be certified as a midwife and of course was swept away in the love story between Francine (Fran) and Ben.  Since the author is from this general area I'm sure it was easy for her to research details.  I was able to picture the mountains, the homes, the people and what What a lovely story!  It is "Call the Midwife" but in the Appalachian mountains.I learned so much from this book about the culture of the people that lived in the mountains in the mid 40's, what the nurses went through to learn and be certified as a midwife and of course was swept away in the love story between Francine (Fran) and Ben.  Since the author is from this general area I'm sure it was easy for her to research details.  I was able to picture the mountains, the homes, the people and what life was like during that time frame - when people did not have a lot but were happy.  Goes to show that money does not make you happy.  I also learned a lot of new words like baby catching, sass patch (garden) and killed - but not as in dead, just wounded.  As I was reading the author's notes at the end, I discovered that the Frontier Nurses and the Frontier Nursing University are indeed real and was started by Mary Breckenridge in 1925 as a way to help those get nursing care that might not otherwise receive the services.There is a little tension between Fran and her first boyfriend, Seth.  It takes a certain type of person to do what Fran is doing and Seth is definitely not that kind of person...as they might have said back then, he is "city folk".  Plus Fran is becoming accustomed to living in the mountains and has grown attached to many of the residents, especially Ben.  She is learning quite a bit from her patients - to have patience, to not dismiss herbal remedies and to take joy in life.There is some joyful moments throughout the book and I think Woody, Ben's younger brother, steals the show at various times.  He is quite the talker and happy all the time that it is hard to not like him or root for him in various situations.  There are also some dogs featured in the book.  I loved the descriptions of the dogs and their antics.This was a very enjoyable story and I did not want it to end.  I want to know more about what happens to many of the characters like Woody, Jeralene and Becca & Carl.  Perhaps the author will grace us with a follow up book.We give it 5 paws up and suggest you pick this up soon
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  • Meghan Lloyd
    January 1, 1970
    Simply fascinating! An exciting foray into the often-misunderstood world of the Appalachian people, albeit many decades ago, These Healing Hills grabs the attention of both romance enthusiasts and history buffs. It was a highly enjoyable read, not just for its beautiful characterization of life on the mountain, but also for its engaging characters and thought-provoking storyline. Books that make you think are the best books of all.Francine Howard has traveled to to the Appalachian Mountains to s Simply fascinating! An exciting foray into the often-misunderstood world of the Appalachian people, albeit many decades ago, These Healing Hills grabs the attention of both romance enthusiasts and history buffs. It was a highly enjoyable read, not just for its beautiful characterization of life on the mountain, but also for its engaging characters and thought-provoking storyline. Books that make you think are the best books of all.Francine Howard has traveled to to the Appalachian Mountains to serve as a midwife through the Frontier Nursing Service. She wants to be of use, in a place where no one is nagging her to go out and get married. Recovering from a recently broken engagement to a soldier who found a British girl overseas, the last thing Fran is looking for is romance. But while out on call, she finds herself lost, and a handsome mountain man saves the day. Ben Locke, a medic recently returned from the war, feels like he has one foot on the mountain and the other back in the war. Although both know that they come from very different worlds, they are drawn to each other. A mountain boy and a city girl - could their love truly endure in the unforgiving mountains?Fran and Ben were a delightful couple! They had their squabbles, but I loved how Fran held her ground and Ben knew when saying sorry was the best option. Though their love seemed strong, it was hard to watch as they both fought their attraction. Fran knew that, as a nurse, she was supposed to maintain distance from the people. After all, she was not of their world. Ben knew this too, but though he lashed out at times when she seemed to judge the mountain life, he also couldn't help his desire to see her all the time. As the romance blossomed, I loved them more and more, and I couldn't help seeing the change in Fran. She truly grew to love the mountains, in a way that many of us might have trouble with, considering how different life is there. Wonderful to read about that transformation.This was my first book by this author, but it most certainly won't be my last! I am eager to read what Ann Gabhart has planned next, no matter the subject. I'm sure it will be a book I will like!**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**
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  • Kristina
    January 1, 1970
    These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart takes readers back to 1945 in Hyden, Kentucky. Francine Howard needs to get away from Cincinatti, Ohio before her former fiancé, Seth Miller returns home from the war with his English bride. Fran has a nursing degree, can ride a horse, and looking for an adventure so she signed up for the Frontier Nursing Service Midwifery School in the Appalachian Mountains. It will be a life style change for Fran, but she feels she will be something worthwhile. Ben Locke i These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart takes readers back to 1945 in Hyden, Kentucky. Francine Howard needs to get away from Cincinatti, Ohio before her former fiancé, Seth Miller returns home from the war with his English bride. Fran has a nursing degree, can ride a horse, and looking for an adventure so she signed up for the Frontier Nursing Service Midwifery School in the Appalachian Mountains. It will be a life style change for Fran, but she feels she will be something worthwhile. Ben Locke is returning home from the war. He cannot wait to return home to the mountains, but he has not thought of what he will do with his future. Ben is on his way home when he encounters a very lost Fran. They are immediately comfortable around each other, but they come from very different backgrounds. But Fran feels at home in the mountains and has fallen in love with the people. Is there a chance for a future between Ben and Fran? These Healing Hills is well crafted novel that has a unique plot. It was interesting reading about the Frontier Nursing Service Midwifery School in Hyden, Kentucky (it still exists) and the services their nurse midwives offer. I liked the characters and the beautiful setting. Woody Locke was my favorite character. He was refreshing and entertaining. Ann H. Gabhart is a descriptive writer which brings scenes to life (especially the mountains and the people who live there), but it also makes for a slower pace novel. I sometimes felt the author was a too verbose. The Christian element is prominent throughout the story and I liked the Christian attitude of the mountain people. I appreciated the spiritual wisdom that Fran’s grandmother (Grandma Howard) imparted on Fran. I am giving These Healing Hills 4 out of 5 stars. My favorite phrase was “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart”. The romance was sweet, but it was predictable. Some of the themes in the story are prayer, friendship, trust, listening to God, believing in God, and a person finding their path or place in life. I did feel that the ending was abrupt and felt incomplete. It would have been nice if the author had included an epilogue. Readers who enjoy rich, historical novels will appreciate These Healing Hills.
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  • Jalynn Patterson
    January 1, 1970
    About the Book: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 About the Book: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.My Review: Francine thought she had it all together, but fate stepped in and turned her world upside down in a matter of minutes. Her Prince Charming found another while he was off to war. We hear those stories, a lot, don't we? She starts to begin her life again and she needs this change in her life. She needs that fresh start. Ben is at an emotional crossroads, as well. He was away at war and even though he has survived, he has to live with the horrors that play out over and over in his mind. All he has ever been able to ficus is getting back home to Kentucky--thats the only thing that can bring him peace. It was so much fun watching these old souls come together. A girl that is heartbroken and a guy that is but over two different situations. Neither of which either could change. Now such is life and they have to find a way to cope and they both end up in a most serene place, The Appalachian Mountains.The way this romance develops is slow and steady and there's nothing in this world wrong with that.A great read for a blustery fall day by the fire.**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the author. All opinions are my own.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Set in rural eastern Kentucky mountains after WWII, this is a heartwarming story of a city girl who came to the hills to learn to be a nurse-midwife. That's not the only reason she fled to the hills, though. Francine (Fran), a Frontier Nursing Service trainee, was running away from an overbearing mother and a former sweetheart, Seth. He went off to war and came back with a British girlfriend.Among the mountain families the nurses served was the family of Ben Locke, home from war and wondering wh Set in rural eastern Kentucky mountains after WWII, this is a heartwarming story of a city girl who came to the hills to learn to be a nurse-midwife. That's not the only reason she fled to the hills, though. Francine (Fran), a Frontier Nursing Service trainee, was running away from an overbearing mother and a former sweetheart, Seth. He went off to war and came back with a British girlfriend.Among the mountain families the nurses served was the family of Ben Locke, home from war and wondering what the future holds for a battlefield medic. His father died while he was off to war, and he felt an obligation to stay and take care of the family. But, he wanted to go to college on the GI Bill, too.Francine met Ben under embarrassing circumstances, but they both felt the spark of attraction. The both thought they had little in common. Fran went home for a visit and found her mother as overbearing as ever and the old boyfriend jilted by the British woman. He wanted to get back together with Fran, but she couldn't wait to get back to the hills and the people she came to love.Gabhart is a master of bringing the setting and characters to life. The mountain people in this story are colorful yet not stereotyped. I particularly liked Granny Em, the mountain healer, who took a liking to Fran in spite of herself. The Frontier Nursing Service still exists today. Take a look at https//frontier.edu if you are interested.Do Ben and Fran get together in the end? I'll never tell. Read it for yourself and find out.#TheseHealingHillsDisclosure of Material Connection: I received this book compliments of the author and Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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  • Sally
    January 1, 1970
    Ann Gabhart takes us back to her beloved Kentucky for a story of redemption and new life. There’s an unwritten rule that the women in the Frontier Nursing Service should maintain a respectful distance from the people they serve, but Fran develops a rapport with young Woody Locke on her first day. That soon extends to his family, including his mother, younger sister, and older brother Ben. Geographically challenged on the forested trails, she comes to rely on the Locke family for guidance and the Ann Gabhart takes us back to her beloved Kentucky for a story of redemption and new life. There’s an unwritten rule that the women in the Frontier Nursing Service should maintain a respectful distance from the people they serve, but Fran develops a rapport with young Woody Locke on her first day. That soon extends to his family, including his mother, younger sister, and older brother Ben. Geographically challenged on the forested trails, she comes to rely on the Locke family for guidance and they also introduce her to the various mountain traditions. Her primary duty is that of midwife, but she treats everything from coughs to gun shots.These Healing Hills is a lovely book, with descriptions over which I wanted to linger. It details the change of seasons, from the heat of July when Fran arrives to the blizzards of her first winter. There are sharp contrasts between the Ohio city, where Fran grew up, and the remote location of her calling. It’s represented in the people: her mother is pretentious and disdaining of those not in their class, while Grammy Em lives simply and uses natural resources for her medicinal remedies. One thing that struck me was that, while the novel takes place in 1945, the area appeared stuck in the Depression. Poverty was widespread, with homes little more than shacks and shoes being a rarity.If there was anything in which I was disappointed, it was the ending. I felt it was somewhat abrupt, as though all that mattered was a resolution of the romantic angle. But I wanted to know more, which I can’t detail here because that would spoil the story line for you. Nevertheless, I enjoyed These Healing Hills and can recommend it.Thank you to Revell for my complimentary copy of These Healing Hills, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Edward Arrington
    January 1, 1970
    I was drawn to this book for several reasons. The setting is the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky in 1945, an untamed but beautiful part of the country. The hero is a World War II veteran who has returned home from Europe at the end of the war to his beloved Kentucky. The heroine is a young lady from Cincinnati who joined the Frontier Nursing Service in the Appalachians to learn to become a nurse-midwife. So why would that make me want to read this particular book? I went to college in Kentucky I was drawn to this book for several reasons. The setting is the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky in 1945, an untamed but beautiful part of the country. The hero is a World War II veteran who has returned home from Europe at the end of the war to his beloved Kentucky. The heroine is a young lady from Cincinnati who joined the Frontier Nursing Service in the Appalachians to learn to become a nurse-midwife. So why would that make me want to read this particular book? I went to college in Kentucky and traveled through the mountains on several occasions. Although it was twenty-five years after the date of the story, I could picture the setting in my mind as I read and dream of days long ago. My father was a World War II veteran. Since he died years ago, reading stories of others who fought in that war gives me brief snapshots of what it must have been like for him. Finally, I have read several books by Ann Gabhart and enjoyed them. When reading her stories, I feel like I am there. I appreciate that her books are clean. The hero and heroine had grown up with a special person in each of their lives who provided strong guidance and they were both grounded in their faith. Although the women in the Frontier Nursing Service were not supposed to talk about religion, politics, or moonshine among the mountain people, Francine seemed to let her faith come out wherever she was. As I finished the book, I found myself hoping this might be the beginning of a new series. I can imagine there is still much to tell about Francine, Ben and his family, Granny Em, and the others living in the hills and hollows of the Appalachians. I received a copy of the book from the author. This is my honest review. All opinions are strictly my own.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    Some books are merely written and enjoyed. Others flow with a rhythm that gets into your soul,threatening to stay for a long time to come. Granny Em, in These Healing Hills, by Ann H. Gabhart, certainly feels the mountains have a rhythm if only one can stop, hear, and feel it. This same World War II mountain life of Appalachian Kentucky slowly meanders through my imagination, wrapping its tendrils around me and drawing me quickly into Francine's new world.Francine is making her escape to the hil Some books are merely written and enjoyed. Others flow with a rhythm that gets into your soul,threatening to stay for a long time to come. Granny Em, in These Healing Hills, by Ann H. Gabhart, certainly feels the mountains have a rhythm if only one can stop, hear, and feel it. This same World War II mountain life of Appalachian Kentucky slowly meanders through my imagination, wrapping its tendrils around me and drawing me quickly into Francine's new world.Francine is making her escape to the hills of Kentucky to practice midwifery. She is fleeing the return of an unfaithful boyfriend from the army. Although the side of the Appalachians and the protagonist's profession differ, this novel is like a refreshing mountain stream, bringing sweet memories of Catherine Marshall's Christy to mind. You will enjoy meeting talkative Woody, dour-faced Betty, Ben, who is unsure of his place on the mountain, and of course Francine, whose propensity for getting lost is well-known. Such great, complex primary and secondary characters.If you loved Christy the book or the tv show, you will not want to miss this haunting tale of simple mountain life!A couple of favorite quotes:"I've found you can overcome a great many imagined dangers in this world. Generally, while we're imagining one thing, a real difficulty we haven't even considered pops up.""...And the good Lord heard everything, whether you said it out loud or just let it sneak through your head.""When things are the most confused in our lives, that's when the Lord can work best."I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I am freely leaving this review, for which opinions I am solely responsible.
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