About the book:
A brave midwife. A wounded pilot. A risky secret.
In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O'Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she's taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she'll face imprisonment.
Still, something compels Nan to take in "flyboy" Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection-and an unbreakable bond.
But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband's death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?
Grounded Hearts by new to me author Jeanne M. Dickson was a World War II story that takes place in Ireland, who declared neutrality. This was the first time I had read a novel during that time period that took place on neutral grounds and I found the historical information fascinating. We have a small town/village of people that know each other very well and are oftentimes in everyone’s business and all around busy bodies.
The story focuses on midwife and widow, Nan who happens to have a knock on her door one night from the downed and injured RAF bomber pilot Dutch Whitney. Cursing the fact that she has been drawn into his struggle to escape imprisonment and more the dire need of his health, Nan does all she can on her own. I appreciated how the author showed the comradeship of women, especially when Nan had to seek outside help. The women did not just sit around in Ireland but were actually very much involved in the war effort, at least in this novel.
There are quite a few characters that make up this eccentric cast: the priest, the town drunk, and the officers of the LDF, especially the officer Finn who doesn’t know how to take no for an answer, and of course all of Nan’s close friends.
Secrets abound, especially one that lays heavy upon Nan, and there is an instant attraction between her and Dutch. I liked how the author showed the women in this era as strong and fully capable individuals even though most of the men looked at them as just weak and ogled them more than not. This novel was rich in time, place, and characterization that the country of Ireland became alive to me. This read almost like a miniseries and I think it would be a great one dealing with midwifery, small town, war and the war efforts from a neutral country and all the politics that entailed. I look forward to more from the pen of author Dickson.
I received a copy of this book for free through Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.
About the author:
Jeanne M. Dickson was born into an Irish American family, the only girl surrounded by four brothers. She credits her mother, her aunts, and her grandmother with her love of storytelling. Perfecting her craft, she attends many writer's conferences and over the years, she has won and finaled in numerous RWA romance writing awards including the Daphne du Maurier Award, the Maggie Award, The Molly, The Tara, and she was the overall contest winner of Launching A Star. Today she lives in Coastal San Diego with her fabulous husband, her two wonderful girls, and a dozen disobedient rose bushes.
Find out more about Jeanne M. at http://www.jeannemdickson.com.
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