19 January 2013

Choices Of The Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes, Book review

Publisher: Revell 
ISBN-13: 978-0800719869

Esther Cherrett comes from a proud line of midwives and was trained by her mother to take over the family calling. But when a scandal threatens all she holds dear, Esther takes a position as a teacher in the western mountains of Virginia instead. There she finds herself in the midst of a deadly family feud and courted by two men on opposite sides of the conflict. When it seems as though her past has followed her all the way into the mountains, all she wants is to run away again.

In this gripping story of trust, deception, and bittersweet loss, a young woman learns the true meaning of choices of the heart.

 My thoughts:

I anticipated  this book for its subject, that of midwifing set in the 19th Century Appalachian mountains. 'Choices of the Heart' is book 3 in the Midwives series written by author Laurie Alice Eakes and a page turner for anyone interested in the past. She has proven herself an excellent researcher and never disappoints with her historical facts. There is still something intriguing in the profession of midwives and whilst having met with controversy often in the past, there is no doubt there is to date much of a demand for such skills. 

Laurie Alice Eakes' writing is full of life and there is no denying she brings to her readers a vivid image of the Appalachian people who moved to these mountains long ago, a large portion of them having crossed the Atlantic from the green hills of Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. They brought with them little more than the clothes on their back and their amazing survival skills. 
The richness of their music, folk tales, herbal doctoring and their legendary feuds still fascinates people to this day. This author found the ideal way to weave a good story amongst all these with 'Choices of the Heart'!

Esther is the belle of Seabourne until a dreadful event occurs and she finds herself subject to shunning. Despite her family's heartfelt support, she seeks new beginnings and accepts a post as teacher to the youngest children of two families in the Mountains. Her task is to help them to fit in society befitting their newest financial status. 
There however she meets two men, both attractive, yet her heart belongs to no one as her shame is a constant reminder of her past. Esther believes God has forsaken her and shies away from any physical contact with her admirers.

For all that I was fascinated by the author's descriptions of this beautiful land and its inhabitants, their folklore and skills, the many period details, I was not so enamoured of her main protagonist. I felt something missing in this bittersweet story, too many characters however colourful and not enough consistency in the overall story line. At the end, I still had questions, to be answered in yet another chapter of the 'Midwives series', this one about a doctor perhaps?

4 Stars!

About the Author:
Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, Heart's Safe Passage, A Necessary Deception, A Flight of Fancy, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats. 

Find out more about this author on her website (HERE) including an excerpt of her novel!

I received this book free from BAKER/REVELL as part of their blogger review program. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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