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These Healing Hills

By Ann H. Gabhart

Description:

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.

Book Takeaway:

I hope readers of These Healing Hills might get a comforting sense of how the Lord continues to work in our lives even when things aren’t going the way we think they should. As Francine’s grandmother tells her, where one door closes another opens. Or if not a door, a window somewhere. Sometimes blessings await us on the far side of disappointments.

Why the author wrote this book:

While poking about for a new idea for a story, I happened upon a book about Mary Breckinridge, the founder of the Frontier Nursing Service. She was a woman with a vision. After losing her two children at young ages, she wanted to make a difference for the health of mothers and children. So after much training and research on the best place for her health initiative, she established the Frontier Nursing Service in the Kentucky Appalachian Mountains where very little medical care was available in 1925. At first all the midwives were from England due to no midwife schools in America, but when WW II broke out in Europe, the English midwives felt compelled to return home to help with the war effort. So Breckinridge started her own Frontier Nursing School in the mountain town of Hyden, Kentucky to train new midwives. She had always actively sought contributions to fund the Frontier Nursing Service but now she and others also began recruiting applicants to the school. The more I read about the women, who came to the program from easier lifestyles but yet were enchanted by the mountains, the more I wanted to let my character be one of those women. And then I liked getting to know the mountain people through my research. Great history, mountain settings, strong characters, all made a great jumping off place for me to start writing this story.

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