To escape a forced marriage, Cora Taylor travels from England to the Blue Ridge Mountains in search of her brother, who is working as a teacher in a mission school. She hopes to find a place where her nursing skills and independent ideas will be accepted and appreciated, but nothing prepares her for the wild mixture of isolation, community, brokenness, and hope within these mountains…or in the person of Jeb McAdams.
Returning from the devastation of World War 1 emotionally damaged, Jeb McAdams struggles against the rampant mountain alcoholism to soothe his nightmares. It’s easy to hide within the mountains, or it was, before Cora Taylor arrives. Now, she seems to show up at every turn, bringing her ideas, curiosity, and beautiful eyes with her. Their mutual understanding of the costs of war leads to an unspoken bond that develops into a hesitant friendship. As Cora turns her nursing experience and determination on establishing hygiene and education for women in the Appalachian community while also attempting to rescue Jeb from his own ghosts, Cora and Jeb’s partnership turns into a project of celebrating the gifts within Appalachia. But when the past sweeps back into their lives and an outbreak of scarlet fever threatens the future, will Cora and Jeb find a way to work together – even if it means unplanned matrimony – or will their different lives and brokenness tear them apart.
The Heart of the Mountains is one I had been looking forward to since I heard it was being written. I absolutely adored the first book. You can read this one as a standalone, but why read one great book when you can read two great books?
As with any of her Appalachian stories, it was rich in setting. It’s not overly descriptive, but the mountains come to life on the page. And her characters are amazing!
But even greater than these things are the Christian elements. There’s a beautiful salvation scene tucked away in here. And the story itself is one of healing and is remarkably done.
Rating and Recommendations: I’m giving it 5 stars and recommending it to those who enjoy Christian Historical Romance or those looking for an Appalachian setting.
~ I received a copy from NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one. All thoughts are my own.