THE IRISH HEALER
1830's London is rich with promise. And fraught with peril. Rachel Dunne and James Edmunds are about to discover that love is too.
Rachel Dunne has always been a healer...until she's accused of causing the death of a child under her care. Acquitted but shunned, she flees Ireland in search of a new life, convinced that she'll be fine so long as no one in London learns of her disgrace -- or forces her to sit at another sickbed.
Physician James Edmunds has endured the loss of too many patients -- the death of his wife the greatest blow of all. Deep in his grief, and no longer certain that God can be trusted, he decides the time has come to abandon his practice and run his family's small farm. Alone. Though when he's drawn to the intriguing Irish woman who has recently joined his household, he begins to reconsider his well-paid plans.
Then cholera sweeps through London, and the life of James' young daughter hangs in the balance. Can Rachel and James overcome their innermost fears and regain their faith? Or is it too late for trust and love to heal their hearts?
If you love books by Laurie Alice Eakes and Julie Klassen, you are going to love The Irish Healer! This stunning debut novel is seeped in that kind of Austenish style. It was such a thrill to read that I raced right through but then tried to put the brakes on towards the end because I wasn't ready for it to be over! Does anyone else do that when they are reading a good book?
Herriman immersed me in the gritty reality of 19th century London and she didn't gloss over the seamier aspects. The contempt in which the Irish were treated really got my ire up, seeing as I hale from that fair isle. And the inequality between men and women -- oy, don't get me started. While I love to romanticize that era just like everyone else, I was grateful that Herriman didn't. It brought such depth to her story and upped my blood pressure a good bit as well! :-)
Both Rachel and James have so much more in common then they realize, but neither is bent on sharing their past which adds an air of mystery to their romance. The attraction is there, never mind that they are from different classes, but as the reader, I could see why they would be good for each other and it about drove me crazy waiting for one of them to reveal the reason for the their mixed emotions regarding healing. But when one finally did, I wanted to throttle the other! LOL. Herriman kept me on my toes right to the very last page.
James is an admirable tortured hero with so many rough edges that it was impossible to smooth them all out. In fact, he possessed one significantly un-hero-like quality that should have repelled me but the author created such depth to his character that she managed to engage my sympathy instead. Not an easy task, given his failing. Now doesn't that intrigue you? I hope so because this is one book you do not want to miss!
If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Irish Healer, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please put the title in the subject line so your entry is easy for me to spot. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday April 2, 2012. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!