These Healing Hills Review

About the Book
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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 Perspective

From the very first chapter I felt like I was transformed to the 1940’s, looking at the beautiful hills, seeing the affects of the war, and helping women deliver their babies. The author uses vivid descriptions which make it so easy to imagine in your mind. Sadly, you get a glimpse into how the war negatively affected some of the soldiers, and it was just heart wrenching to read. I imagine there are soldiers today going through similar things.

The best part of this book was the characters. I liked several of them for different reasons. Let’s start with Woody. This talkative “jaybird” was such a delight to read about. He had such enthusiasm for life, was always willing to help out, and wasn’t afraid to talk your ear off. I actually found him very endearing and wanted his character to be involved even more. Perhaps Ms. Gabhart would like to write a future installment with him as the main character!

Then there was Granny Em. Oh my goodness was she a hoot! But here’s the thing, she kind of reminded me of how the Lord sometimes guides us. She seemed to always be there, whether Francine noticed or not. She always offered her advice to – sometimes it seemed to be in riddle form (reminds me of Jesus speaking in parables), but typically easy to figure out. She seemed like someone I would want to get to know better and spend time with. If only my community had a Granny Em!

Of course Francine and Ben were wonderfully written as well, but Woody and Granny Em were my favorites. I did enjoy the speed of Francine and Ben’s relationship. It was not rushed or forced. In fact, I felt like Francine became a part of the family simply by befriending them all, and probably built these relationships faster then a relationship with Ben.

Be prepared to be transported back in time to a lovely mountain setting, with a warm and loving community. You may not want to return to the present! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Ann H. Gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. An award winning author, she’s published many books for both adults and young adults. Scent of Lilacs, her first inspirational novel, was chosen as a Top Ten Christian Fiction Book by Booklist magazine. Her Shaker novel, The Outsider, was a finalist for ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year and was a Top Pick by Romantic Times Book Review Magazine. Love Comes Home won the Selah Book of the Year award. Ann writes about Kentucky history and small town life and as A.H. Gabhart is the author of the Hidden Springs mysteries.

Ann lives on a farm in Kentucky not far from where she was born. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. Ann loves hiking on her farm with her grandkids and her dog, Oscar. See more about her books at or join the conversation on her Facebook page,

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