These Healing Hills, a novel by Ann H. Gabhart, opens in in 1945 and is set in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. Nurse Francine Howard’s plans for the future had drastically changed when the man she thought she was going to marry told her he was going to marry someone else. It was time for a change and she wanted an adventure. She left city life and entered the Frontier Nursing Service nurse midwife training program. Her goal was to provide care to the community of people of the mountains who had the least access to it. Ben Locke had been providing medical care, too. He had left the mountains to serve as a medic during the war and was able to survive the horrors he saw and to return to his Kentucky home. It is in the dramatic and rich setting that Francine and Ben meet. They were both there for their own reasons. While it was unlikely their paths would have crossed elsewhere, or perhaps because of that, circumstances bring them together. Recognizing their differences and not understanding their mutual attraction, Francine and Ben have major decisions to make. Can two different worlds become one?
Richly drawn characters with unique personalities come alive in this beautifully told story. Different cultures are highlighted and the reader is drawn into a world where people have more in common than originally thought.
I can highly recommend reading this book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.