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Choices of the Heart

Title:  Choices of the Heart
Author:  Laurie Alice Eakes
Pages:  384
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Revell
                While it is a fictitious story, the truth about feuds in different parts of the world and for many reasons is true.  The author lets us know that the feuds between families came from across the ocean.  Also, many feuds in the Appalachian Mountains started after and as a result of the Civil War.  The novel is set after the Civil War timeframe, but the feuding in the book is depicted in the story due to revenge.  Usually when one member of a family gets hurt or killed, then the injured party’s family will retaliate.
Here a young woman raised by godly parents and trained as a midwife is running away from town due to cruelty due to her looks, words and notes.  Even though Esther told her parents what happened, she then went against her father’s wishes and refused to really believe that she could have any future in that seaside area.  It isn’t just what others say about her that makes Esther feel forced to run from; it is what she believes in the depths of her heart.  So Esther answers an ad to become a teacher in the mountains 400 miles away and leaves in the middle of night.
The family that takes Esther in is unaware at first of her healing skills just that she has come to teach the children so they may have a brighter future.  Two cousins have vowed before God to no longer continue the feud that has gone on, but show love and forgiveness instead.  Just how will Griff and Zack stop the killing that has marred the hills with blood for so long?  Will they even be able to continue the vow once Esther comes to the mountain?  What does the future hold when it looks like someone is trying to purposely sabotage the peace after two long years without a problem?
In the pages of the story, there is a mystery far deeper than is obvious after reading the first couple of chapters.  Hints of problems, past hurts, unforgiveness and more are revealed through various action scenes and character interactions.  One aspect of reading historical fiction is being reminded once again how different life is today as well as different in areas all around the world.
Choices of the Heart is the third book in the Midwife Series; the first is titled Lady in the Mist. There is a second novel in the series called Heart’s Safe Passage and all are authored by Laurie Alice Eakes.  The three books do stand alone if, like me, you read one book before the other two!  I do like this author’s novel and recommend her books.
My rating is 4 stars.
          Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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