When the Heart Heals by Anne Shorey

When the Heart Heals by Ann Shorey is Book 2 of the Sisters at Heart series and is primarily about Rosemary Saxon. Rosemary and her brother Curt move to Noble Springs, Missouri, after a falling out with their parents over their Civil War sympathies.

Curt marries Faith Lindberg (from Book 1, Where Wildflowers Bloom,) and Rosemary sets up her own home. This is a very scandalous situation for a young unmarried woman. It was not surprising, though, as Rosemary is a very unconventional female.

During the Civil War Rosemary served as a nurse. This caused most people to think she was vulgar.  After all, she had seen men in various stages of dress and undress; this was extremely unseemly for a woman at that time in history.

Rosemary soon realizes, even though she wants to put nursing behind her, that there are no other jobs for which she is suitable.  Knowing she has to provide for herself, she approaches Dr. Elijah Stewart for a job as his nurse.

Dr. Stewart gives Rosemary the job and the fur begins to fly.  They constantly butt heads over Rosemary’s herbal remedies.  Dr. Stewart feels “traditional” medicine is superior to herbal remedies; and he is afraid Rosemary’s remedies could reflect adversely on him and his practice.

Before long Rosemary raises the ire of someone in the community and becomes the victim of threatening notes, vandalism and the theft of her dog.

Ann Shorey does a masterful job of inter-weaving historical details, tension and several plot twists to a satisfying ending.

I really enjoyed reading When the Heart Heals and can’t wait to read the other books in the series.

This book was provided to me by Revell a division of Baker Publishing through The Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review.

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A Sound Among Trees

October 14, 2011

A Sound Among Trees by Susan Meissner starts out so slowly, I didn’t really want to finish it. The book really doesn’t pick up until almost the last chapter.
Susan Meissner has interwoven a modern day story with a civil war era story, and I feel the book would have been better if she had created two different stories instead of one.
The modern day story is full of superstition and unfounded ghost stories perpetrated by Adelaide Bishop, owner of the ancestral home.
Adelaide is convinced there are not ghosts in the home but that the home, Holly Oak, is trying to exact penance from all the female inhabitants both past and current –  penance for her great grandmother’s treason in helping the Union soldiers.  How else, she reasons, would there have been so many losses.  Losses that include the death of her granddaughter, Sara, and the running away of her daughter, Caroline, Sara’s mother.
When Carson, Adelaide’s grandson in law (Sara’s widower), marries Marielle, a woman he met and fell in love with over the internet, the community wastes no time in apprising her of the “ghosts” of Holly Oak.
Marielle, just a little too susceptible to the stories, gets caught up in the intrigue.
The book really doesn’t  begin to work until after a major mishap and Caroline’s return.  It’s as if everyone needed a slap to get back into reality and Caroline provided the slap.
I normally love historical fiction; however, A Sound Among Trees never really delivered.

This book was provided for me by WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for an unbiased review.