“These Healing Hills” is a beautifully written novel that takes place in the Kentucky Appalachian Mountains near the end of World War 2. Central characters are Francine Howard, a nurse who has moved to the mountains for training as a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service and Ben Locke, a lifelong resident of the community who has recently returned from the war. As Fran and Ben get to know one another, they find themselves increasingly attracted despite the vast differences in their upbringing.

Ann Gabhart has written a story that held my interest from the very beginning. Her descriptions of the Appalachians and their people were captivating and it was easy to see why Francine lost her heart to the area. I loved reading about the Frontier Nursing Service and the challenges these brave women encountered and the rewards they gained from their sacrifices. It was great fun getting to know all the unique residents of the area, especially Ben and Woody. What a blessing to see that all people have similar struggles no matter what their background and that faith in the Lord is the ultimate connection that draws them together.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


Francine Howard has her life all mapped out–until the man she loves announces his plans to bring home an English bride from war-torn Europe in 1945. 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.


Photo Credit: © Memories by Chris

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series, as well as several Shaker novels–The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at