Friday, July 15, 2022

THE HEART OF THE MOUNTAINS by Pepper Basham, Reviewed by Rebecca and Winnie

Rebecca's Review:
"I reckon there are a few good things from England".

You think? Cora Taylor and her fancy boots literally dropped into Jeb McAdams' life and had managed to upset the delicate balance of a simple man with a simple life . . . that wasn't even close to simple anymore. The tongues had started waggin'; the mountain had not been exactly kind to her, but Jeb had hardly met a kinder, more compassionate, more beautiful woman in all his born days . . . and in spite of all the self-control that he could muster, she made his lips itch . . . "and that's a fact".

Cora didn't know what to expect of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains that her brother Jonathan had so fondly written about, but she was not about to become trapped into an arranged marriage with an awful man just to increase her father's coffers. Covertly hopping on a ship, she made the trek from England to North Carolina, ready to help the "Teacher Doctor" with her war-honed nursing skills. Instead, she had already been stalked by a mountain lion, hung precariously over a ravine, rescued by a mountain of a man whose steady gaze was like a clear mountain stream . . . what a wild, wonderful, breathtaking place to be.

Capturing the beauty tucked carefully within the harsh, often misunderstood lives of the Appalachian people, the author pens a story of authenticity, bravery, and hope. And love. Yes, love . . . the purest, sweetest, inspiring kind. . . patient, not boastful or proud, not dishonoring or keeping a record of wrongs; instead, bearing all things, believing, protecting, persevering; for at "the heart of these mountains" is love. It's a story worth reading over and over again.
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4stars

Winnie's Review:
With a setting in the mountains of Appalachia in 1919, The Heart of the Mountains by master storyteller Pepper Basham transports the reader on a fascinating cultural trip to a different way of life. Capturing the speech of the locals and the adventures awaiting the outsiders who dare to venture there, the author painted such a vivid picture that I felt I was part of the setting. The colorful, engaging characters came alive on the page and I was able to easily visualize all their adventures.

Cora Taylor is escaping a forced marriage in England when she decides to travel to the Blue Ridge Mountains to visit her brother who has relocated there. Jeb McAdams has emotional damage after returning from serving in World War I. He is trying to recover when Cora crashes into his life. I loved his gentle compassion and willingness to help others.

“Bringin’ a heap of women into a man’s life certainly sent everything into a tailspin.”

Brimming with wit and charm and full of Basham’s sense of humor and beautiful prose, this book is a delicious sequel to Laurel’s Dream. Themes of forgiveness, redemption, the importance of family, and the power of love are woven throughout the book and add to the journey into this intriguing world. 4.5 stars
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing. All opinions are my own.

See Paula's Review

BackCover Blurb: 
Can their hearts overcome the darkness of the mountains?

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 arrived. Now, she seems to show up at every turn, bringing her modern ideas, curiosity, and beautiful eyes with her.

Bound by their shared war history, the pair develop an unlikely friendship, which unexpectedly hints to something more. But when Cora’s desire to help the women of the mountains crosses an unspoken line, will Jeb be able to protect this feisty flatlander from the wrath of the mountain men or will he end up losing much more than his heart? 
Barbour Publishing, July 1, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding, and audiobook:
Buy THE HEART OF THE MOUNTAINS at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

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