A Heartbeat Away by : S. Dionne Moore




Title:  A Heartbeat Away (Quilts of Love Series)
Author:  S. Dionne Moore
Pages:  215
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Abingdon Press
                A Heartbeat Away is a fictional story that takes place in 1862 during the height of the Civil War at the Battle of Antietam.  The author has created a moving story set amidst the strife and terror of war.  However, there are other battles going on besides the war, so please read the book to found out more. 
                Joe is a Confederate soldier, who is wounded in action.  He signed up to be a soldier to keep his brother safe.  He and his brother were caught in a gunfight, wounding Joe.  Ben carried him to shelter, discovering some runaway slaves.  While traveling to a friendly healer, Ben is shot.  The slaves get Joe to the healer, Gerta.  As Joe recovers from his injuries, he wonders who shot his brother.  He also begins to have feelings for Gerta’s granddaughter, Beth; however, she is a Northerner.  It isn’t possible for them to have a future together, is it?  She won’t want half a man as his arm will never be the same.  How can he support a wife?  As begins to heal somewhat, he decides he must leave Beth and return to his unit.  He feels sure he will be discharged due to his injury and then he will try to find out what happened to his brother, find his body if possible and return him home to be buried.  Will he be able to get back to Beth?
                Beth has wanted a nursing career and decides to stay at her grandmother’s farm and help her tend the wounded they knew would be arriving as the battle looms ever closer.  Beth and her 79-year-old grandmother treat any man regardless of the color of his uniform.  Beth takes a special interest in Joe.  They share a bond of comfort while the battle rages, but also hope.  Beth has held God at a distance for some time as she can’t understand how God could allow her little brother to die in a fire and leave her with a permanent limp.  No man will ever be interested in her because she isn’t a whole woman in her eyes.  Maybe Joe will love her and not leave her all alone?  She witnesses the atrocities of war, the dead, the dying and the wounded in all the gory details.  Her mother sends her blocks of a quilt to work on.  The colors are unusual and both Joe and Beth see the dark colors gradually getting lighter as the pattern is assembled.  They must look to the light for their hope not the darkness.  They need to see that God is sovereign in all things.
                This is a story of healing wounds, physically, emotionally and spiritually, as well as hope and love.  There are also elements of forgiveness, self-sacrifice and courage.  I thought the description of the battles and what the soldiers, doctors and nurses experienced especially moving.  We have so much for which to thank our service men and women.
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 http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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