Set in rural eastern Kentucky mountains after WWII, this is a heartwarming story of a city girl who came to the hills to learn to be a nurse-midwife. That's not the only reason she fled to the hills, though. Francine (Fran), a Frontier Nursing Service trainee, was running away from an overbearing mother and a former sweetheart, Seth. He went off to war and came back with a British girlfriend.
Among the mountain families the nurses served was the family of Ben Locke, home from war and wondering what the future holds for a battlefield medic. His father died while he was off to war, and he felt an obligation to stay and take care of the family. But, he wanted to go to college on the GI Bill, too.
Francine met Ben under embarrassing circumstances, but they both felt the spark of attraction. The both thought they had little in common. Fran went home for a visit and found her mother as overbearing as ever and the old boyfriend jilted by the British woman. He wanted to get back together with Fran, but she couldn't wait to get back to the hills and the people she came to love.
Gabhart is a master of bringing the setting and characters to life. The mountain people in this story are colorful yet not stereotyped. I particularly liked Granny Em, the mountain healer, who took a liking to Fran in spite of herself. The Frontier Nursing Service still exists today. Take a look at https//frontier.edu if you are interested.
Do Ben and Fran get together in the end? I'll never tell. Read it for yourself and find out.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book compliments of the author and Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."