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    You never know where you will find love

    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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    Excellent read!

    These Healing Hills, written by Ann H. Gabhart, is the first book I've read by this author and hopefully not the last. What an interesting book on the Frontier Nursing Service in the hills of Kentucky. The nurses were sent to the Appalachian Mountain trails to help the sick and "catch" babies. Loved the way that the author was able to help the readers hear how the "hillbillies" spoke. I could hear them clearly, see the land in which she traveled, and feel the air in my face at times as I read. Lovely style! My favorite character...Francine, of course. She was such a sweet young city girl who had a heart for the less fortunate without treating them like they were below her. Although it was expected of the nurses that they were not to talk to the people about religion, politics, or moonshine...it was evident by Francine's life that she had a relationship with the Lord and was taught from a young age to depend on Him through her grandmother's teachings. I found a lot of golden nuggets throughout the story that will stick with me. I'm hoping this is the start of a series as I'd love to know what happens with Francine, Ben and his family and even Granny Em! Lovely read! I was given a copy of this book by the publishing house. All thoughts and comments in this review are my own.
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