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When the Heart Heals

When the Heart Heals is an inspirational historical fiction novel, the second in the Sisters at Heart series, by Ann Shorey.

Rosemary Saxon is still trying to get the people of Noble Springs to better accept the fact that she was a nurse during the Civil War. Traditional ideas give them an impression of an improper woman tending to indecent men – while others just think the thought of a woman being a nurse is ridiculous.

Yet Rosemary is a stubborn female, and she also needs to support herself since she is determined to stay independent and not move in with her brother and his wife Faith. A new, younger doctor named Elijah has come to Noble Springs and he allows her to take a position with him – though he’s hesitant.

In most ways she enjoys the employment, but every time she and Dr. Elijah Stewart converse it seems to be purely butting heads. Both are headstrong, opinionated, and have a tendency to say the wrong things.

When Rosemary begins to receive threats, will her obstinacy put her in danger?

When the Heart Heals features a loving, strong relationship between Rosemary and her dog. She is devoted to him, he’s loyal to her, and she would do anything to keep him safe. As an animal lover, I admired that about Rosemary.

Sadly, that was the only thing I really connected to in this novel.

Lately, I seem to be getting pickier and pickier with historical fiction/romance. There are a lot of readers of this genre that are going to ADORE When the Heart Heals – do NOT let me dissuade you from reading it for yourself.

It’s just that sometimes the plots just start to feel so similar… and unrealistic. Not all, mind you. Most recently The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow by Olivia Newport and All Things New from Lynn Austin are an example of how Christian historical fiction can be so much more. It’s a personal opinion thing, of course.

In When the Heart Heals, as unhappy as it makes me to say it – I didn’t care. On paper, that sounds cruel. These are kind, hardworking people falling in love and following dreams – but I never felt invested. The characters, perhaps, never felt real enough. It is a tough thing to pinpoint, except to say it didn’t work for me.

Certainly not a bad book, When the Heart Heals is good-natured but bland. And I really could not stand the ridiculous, irritating misunderstanding late in the story that just felt contrived and purposefully frustrating. For me, it wasn’t the good kind of frustrating – it was more of the are-you-serious? kind of exasperation.

Again – you like inspirational historical fiction/romance? Check out When the Heart Heals! It might be a perfect fit for you, and that’s wonderful!

As for me, it was not.

*Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

*I received a copy of When the Heart Heals from the Baker Publishing Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.


Ann Shorey said…
Hi Angie, Thanks for reviewing When the Heart Heals. I'm happy you liked Bodie!

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