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
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Romance, Inspirational, Christian Historical Fiction

These Healing Hills Review

  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    What a delightful tale! Francine’s whole heart is longing for a useful place to call home, after her mother’s long effort of trying to cut Francine down to the size of the mold of her mother’s ambitions. The new venture of becoming a mountain nurse-midwife (She does much more than simply catch babies, thus the “nurse” part) is her effort at finding freedom to make her own choices in life. Kentucky Appalachia in 1945 is represented in charming and not-so charming detail. I also liked the parts th What a delightful tale! Francine’s whole heart is longing for a useful place to call home, after her mother’s long effort of trying to cut Francine down to the size of the mold of her mother’s ambitions. The new venture of becoming a mountain nurse-midwife (She does much more than simply catch babies, thus the “nurse” part) is her effort at finding freedom to make her own choices in life. Kentucky Appalachia in 1945 is represented in charming and not-so charming detail. I also liked the parts that detailed her job and her relationships with the mountain people.I really liked that the romance in the book is very low-key, and Ben, the young man, isn’t introduced until 1/3 of the way in when he returns from war. A heartwarming, inspiring, and clean story.Thanks to the publisher for a free review copy.
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  • 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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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    These Healing Hills is the story of a nurse who left her comfortable home to “catch babies” and aid the people of the Kentucky Appalachian Mountains. Despite her supervisor’s and mother’s warnings to not get too close to her neighbours, Francine finds that the mountains and its people- particularly one soldier- are capturing her heart. I was hoping for something with the same charm as The Heart of Hollyhill series or Angel Sister, and it did not disappoint! I felt like I was right there in the m These Healing Hills is the story of a nurse who left her comfortable home to “catch babies” and aid the people of the Kentucky Appalachian Mountains. Despite her supervisor’s and mother’s warnings to not get too close to her neighbours, Francine finds that the mountains and its people- particularly one soldier- are capturing her heart. I was hoping for something with the same charm as The Heart of Hollyhill series or Angel Sister, and it did not disappoint! I felt like I was right there in the mountains, back in time. I really liked all the characters and reading about all of Francine’s adventures as a midwife. As a bonus, the dog on the cover plays an important role in the story (you can never have too many stories with dogs). I also liked how the main character was always getting lost. Lol. It always seems like every main character in a book has an uncanny sense of direction. Then there's me, who needs a Google Maps printout of every step if I go somewhere new and who can never remember which way is north or south. So, it was nice to read about someone who doesn't know where she’s going either! I loved this one!
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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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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    Francine Howard had her life planned out. She was going to marry her high school sweetheart, Seth, when he returned from WWII, make a home, and start a family. But when Seth's sister revealed that he is coming home with a girl from England, Francine is devastated and embarrassed. Already having trained as a nurse, she volunteers for the Frontier Nursing Service in the mountains of Kentucky to receive training to be a midwife. Having been raised in Cincinnati, and discouraged by her mother not to Francine Howard had her life planned out. She was going to marry her high school sweetheart, Seth, when he returned from WWII, make a home, and start a family. But when Seth's sister revealed that he is coming home with a girl from England, Francine is devastated and embarrassed. Already having trained as a nurse, she volunteers for the Frontier Nursing Service in the mountains of Kentucky to receive training to be a midwife. Having been raised in Cincinnati, and discouraged by her mother not to interact with those"hillbillies", Francine is uncertain what she will encounter. What she does find though is a great beauty in the land and a people who value and family and hard work.Ben Locke has survived the war as a medic and his greatest desire is to return home to his family and the mountains he loves. Yet Ben is restless and unsure what the future holds. When a chance encounter throws him together with Francine, a longing for love awakens in his heart.Having been hurt by Seth's rejection, Francine too is leary to give her heart to another. As she grows in confidence in her nursing skills and begins to feel drawn to the beauty of the mountains, she learns to trust in the feelings she is experiencing.For anyone looking for a"clean" historical Christian novel, I would highly recommend this book.
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  • Linda Klager
    January 1, 1970
    What a great story situated in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky! I loved hearing about the adventures of a young midwife nurse. Oh, how much Francine learned while helping to "catch babies", the term mountain people use when a baby is born. It was very interesting how this author explained the life of these people. Also the author talked about the beauty of the land. I could picture how gorgeous, but how difficult it would have been without modern conveniences that we take for granted.
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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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  • Joleen
    January 1, 1970
    These Healing Hills by Ann GabhartGenre: Historical FictionFormat: KindleTimeframe: 1945 Location: Appalachian hills, KentuckyCharacters: Francine Howard: Nurse, beginning midwife trainingBen Locke: Medic returning from WWII to Kentucky hills Woody Locke : Ben’s talkative young brotherMary Breckinridge: Founder of Frontier Nursing ServiceGranny Em: Elderly wise-woman and healerBetty Dawson: Stoic nursing teacher from New YorkFrancine’s “intended” writes from England near the end of WWII to say h These Healing Hills by Ann GabhartGenre: Historical FictionFormat: KindleTimeframe: 1945 Location: Appalachian hills, KentuckyCharacters: Francine Howard: Nurse, beginning midwife trainingBen Locke: Medic returning from WWII to Kentucky hills Woody Locke : Ben’s talkative young brotherMary Breckinridge: Founder of Frontier Nursing ServiceGranny Em: Elderly wise-woman and healerBetty Dawson: Stoic nursing teacher from New YorkFrancine’s “intended” writes from England near the end of WWII to say he’s fallen in love with another woman. Devastated, trying to figure out what God has for her life now, she applies and is accepted to the Frontier Nursing Service midwife program. She leaves her home and mother in Cincinatti, and heads for the hill country of Kentucky, in Leslie County. She would apprentice, then have her knowledge and skills tested, eventually receiving a midwife license.She’s promised a horse and a dog to get from house to house in the back woods. Her fears are moonshiners, snakes and getting lost… which happens often as there are only unmarked dirt roads/trails and a map she cannot seem to follow. Fortunately the mountain people are friendly and will help whenever possible, like Woody, a fun, talkative teenager who finds her lost on her first day there, in the woods just trying to find the hospital to which she was supposed to report…on foot.A new way of life in the hills, and a new vocabulary for this “brought-in” girl who is learning to “catch babies”. Here she meets Woody’s older brother, Ben, who was a medic in the war, returning after an injury. They are both leery of each other. He's leery of her because she’s not from there, and she's leery of him because he is in no way as friendly as his brother Woody. But her being a fixture in the hill folk homes, and how they’ve taken to her, gives her a fighting chance to win many hearts, including Ben’s. But her teacher, Betty, warns her not to take to their ways, and to maintain an emotional distance because these are “different” people with backward ways and beliefs. I’ve enjoyed many Ann Gabhart books and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I live near these Appalachian hills, and am familiar now with a different way of speaking than I’d ever heard before. So it was fun getting inside the homes, inside their communities and to hear old proverbs, and maxims and pearls of wisdom in this book.I nearly gave it a 4.5 star-rating because of the ending, but when I heard there's another book to follow, the ending made sense.Very good book, one I can completely recommend!
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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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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    This was a wonderful historical fiction novel. The characters are extremely well done and the mountain areas of Kentucky are written about so beautifully that the reader feels like they are there when reading this book.The year is 1945 and Francine has just found out that the man she planned to marry after he came back from fighting in Europe is bringing home his English fiancee. She doesn't want to deal with this heartache so she joins The Frontier Nursing Service to learn to be a nurse-midwife This was a wonderful historical fiction novel. The characters are extremely well done and the mountain areas of Kentucky are written about so beautifully that the reader feels like they are there when reading this book.The year is 1945 and Francine has just found out that the man she planned to marry after he came back from fighting in Europe is bringing home his English fiancee. She doesn't want to deal with this heartache so she joins The Frontier Nursing Service to learn to be a nurse-midwife and take care of people in the Appalachian area of Kentucky. She not only has a real heart for her job but loves the people who live in the mountains. Some of the other nurses fell like they are there to teach the people but Francine soon realizes that she can not only teach but she can also learn from them. When she meets Ben, a mountain man who has just returned from the fighting, they realize that their lives are very different even though there is a spark between them.This is a lovely novel about life in the mountains in the mid-1940s. It was beautifully written and a joy to read -- the word I want to use to describe it is 'gentle'. I highly recommend it.Thanks to librarything for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Kav
    January 1, 1970
    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 bri 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.
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  • Christian Fiction Addiction
    January 1, 1970
    I am never happier than when I crack the cover of a historical fiction novel and encounter a piece of history I've never heard of before. Such was the case with "These Healing Hills", and learning about the Frontier Nursing Service that operated in the Appalachian Mountains, offering midwifery nursing care (or digging out bullet wounds for that matter!) The author has done a great job at bringing the Mountains to life, capturing their beauty along with the strength of the people who lived there. I am never happier than when I crack the cover of a historical fiction novel and encounter a piece of history I've never heard of before. Such was the case with "These Healing Hills", and learning about the Frontier Nursing Service that operated in the Appalachian Mountains, offering midwifery nursing care (or digging out bullet wounds for that matter!) The author has done a great job at bringing the Mountains to life, capturing their beauty along with the strength of the people who lived there. Gabhart has crafted some wonderful and endearing characters in the plucky Francine as she seeks to heal from her past, and the likeable Ben Locke, who seems torn between his home in the mountains and all that the rest of the world has to offer. The romance that simmers between them is sweet to behold, and readers will enjoy watching them grow over the course of the novel, as they live life alongside the community around them. Although some parts of the novel move faster than others, there is plenty of drama woven into the plot to keep you absorbed in the story. And the way that Gabhart depicts the stereotypes against the mountain people by outsiders is so remnant of the way that people continue to be judged by their differences to this day. The story offers a needed reminder that we all need to take the time to get to know people where they are at, discovering that we aren't so different after all!Ann H. Gabhart continues to give life to endearing and uplifting stories that satisfy the heart, and "These Healing Hills" will not only please her wide fan base but appeal to those looking for good historical fiction. I award this novel a solid rating and give it 4 out of 5 stars.Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
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  • Maureen Timerman
    January 1, 1970
    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 loos 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.
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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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  • 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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  • 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
    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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  • Clara
    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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  • 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 past couple of weeks I have been immersed in stories about the Appalachians and the people and their ways of life. These Healing Hills was the second story I have read and this time the time period was right after World War 2. Francine Howard has decided to leave her very familiar life in Cincinnati, Ohio to become a midwife in the Kentucky Appalachian area. She has decided to embrace a new dream after her long held ones were shattered when the love of her life decided to bring back anothe These past couple of weeks I have been immersed in stories about the Appalachians and the people and their ways of life. These Healing Hills was the second story I have read and this time the time period was right after World War 2. Francine Howard has decided to leave her very familiar life in Cincinnati, Ohio to become a midwife in the Kentucky Appalachian area. She has decided to embrace a new dream after her long held ones were shattered when the love of her life decided to bring back another woman to be his bride. After four long years she decides to leave before he returns and get out from under the thumb of a very controlling mother.I liked Francine’s character and her fearlessness to try a new adventure and to carve out a new life for herself even though she was alone and heartbroken. She was not willing to just sit back and feel sorry for herself, but to get up and make something of her life. She enters the Frontier Nursing Service and actually finds that she connects with these mountain folks in such a way that it feels like home to her.Enter Ben Locke, who is returning from the war back to his home and family in the mountains. Ben has lived his whole life in the mountains and except for his military service did not know anything else. Now that he has seen how different the world is, the loss of his father, the burden of caring for his family, and trying to not remember the horrors of the war, Ben has a lot on his shoulders. He definitely feels that he is not ready to fall in love, especially not with an outsider.I enjoyed this story of two very different people working together and falling in love. I enjoyed learning more about the Appalachian mountain people and some of the different phrases that they used in their everyday language that was different than a ‘city’ person used. I also found the historical details about the nurses that did train there in the very real Frontier Nursing Service. A lot of these women were from England and were able to go back with the knowledge that they garnered. This was a piece of history that I did not previously know about before. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all the views and opinions stated are my own.https://pausefortales.blogspot.com/20...
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  • Suze Lavender
    January 1, 1970
    It's 1945 and Francine thinks her future is secure. She's planning to marry Seth as soon as he's back from the war. When Seth writes her that he's in love with someone else Francine is devastated. Because Seth will bring his new love to America she decides it's time for a change. She signs up for the Frontier Nursing Service midwife training in the Appalachian Mountains. When she arrives she feels at ease straight away. Francine loves the mountains and she enjoys working with people, but there a It's 1945 and Francine thinks her future is secure. She's planning to marry Seth as soon as he's back from the war. When Seth writes her that he's in love with someone else Francine is devastated. Because Seth will bring his new love to America she decides it's time for a change. She signs up for the Frontier Nursing Service midwife training in the Appalachian Mountains. When she arrives she feels at ease straight away. Francine loves the mountains and she enjoys working with people, but there are many rules and customs she isn't used to. Has she made the right choice leaving everything she knows behind?Ben's family lives in the mountains. He hasn't seen them for quite some time, being a medic in the army. The horrors of the war have greatly affected him and he's glad to go home. However, when he arrives he doesn't have a clue what to do with himself. What should his future look like now that he has the time and the freedom to make his own decisions? When he meets Francine he immediately feels she's special, but they're from different worlds. Can they be friends and maybe even more or do their backgrounds stand in their way?These Healing Hills is a fantastic book. I was immediately intrigued by Francine. She's optimistic, strong and capable. She's kind and caring and never loses her faith. I loved how she takes the time to be there for people. She's a wonderful person and that makes this book incredibly beautiful. Moving from a life filled with luxury in the city to a much simpler and more basic one in the mountains isn't always easy and it was fascinating to read about her challenges. Francine makes mistakes and it's in those moments she has her most interesting meetings. I loved her connection with Ben, it's genuine and feels exactly right. I couldn't turn the pages of These Healing Hills quickly enough to find out what would happen to these two amazing people.Ann H. Gabhart skillfully paints a gorgeous picture of the Appalachian Mountains. I could certainly understand why Francine would love being there so much. I enjoyed reading the vivid descriptions of both the surroundings and the inhabitants that made the whole story come to life very well. I liked how Ann H. Gabhart pays attention to every single detail. She's made sure the story perfectly suits the era she's writing about. It especially was a lot of fun to read about the songs they were singing. She combines lightness with serious topics and balances this exactly right. The result is a charming, entertaining, multilayered, thought-provoking and romantic story. I loved everything about These Healing Hills, it's a brilliant book.
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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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  • Ibjoy1953 Hannabass
    January 1, 1970
    MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK Francine Howard’s life was on a right and happy path, or so she thought. But when them man she loves announces he’s bringing home a bride from the war, Francine makes the choice to move to the Appalachian Mountains and start her training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service. These mountains not only gave Francine a fresh new start, but a completely new life. She grew to loved and be a part of these mountain people.Ben Locke was on his way home to his Ke MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK Francine Howard’s life was on a right and happy path, or so she thought. But when them man she loves announces he’s bringing home a bride from the war, Francine makes the choice to move to the Appalachian Mountains and start her training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service. These mountains not only gave Francine a fresh new start, but a completely new life. She grew to loved and be a part of these mountain people.Ben Locke was on his way home to his Kentucky mountains, having no idea where his life would end up. But meeting the new nurse in town made coming home a little sweeter. As Ben continues to help Nurse Howard find her way through these mountains, would she find her way to his heart too?Ann Gabhart creates a lovely story of love, forgiveness and acceptance in These Healing Hills. For me, the story was so paced in the beginning, but as I kept reading, just as Francine did, I fell in love with these sweet Mountain people. The characters and plot were well created and developed. I love that the lives and situations in each scene in the book were so realistic I felt drawn to this place. Despite the hard work needed to survive, the people lived in ways most communities don’t. I highly recommend this beautiful story by Ann Gabhart!I received this book from the publisher, Revell. I was not required to write a review, it was my choice to write this positive review, and the opinions in this review are my honest opinion’s only.
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  • Angie Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this story and liked the characters. I also appreciated the way the author balanced the tension between the mountain and the city perspectives, especially through the viewpoint of Francine herself. There was very little judgment toward the strong opinions on either side, even though they could be very judgmental of each other at times. The faith element was very pervasive, though not overbearing, but a bit on the generic-inspirational side. I don't always mind that, but one particular I enjoyed this story and liked the characters. I also appreciated the way the author balanced the tension between the mountain and the city perspectives, especially through the viewpoint of Francine herself. There was very little judgment toward the strong opinions on either side, even though they could be very judgmental of each other at times. The faith element was very pervasive, though not overbearing, but a bit on the generic-inspirational side. I don't always mind that, but one particular scene here made me wince pretty hard. (view spoiler)[A boy thinks he's dying and mentions praying for forgiveness, and his mother tells him he can do it if he wants, but he'll be okay, since he's always been a good boy. (hide spoiler)]Aside from that, the only problem I had with the book was that I couldn't really get into the author's style. For some reason, I didn't really feel connected to the characters through the whole book. I liked them and wanted to see things go well for them, but my heart was never really invested in them. I also had a bit of trouble following the back and forth when a past event that a character had been remembering for a number of paragraphs would suddenly jerk back to present day.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    "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 r "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.
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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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