cover image The Heart of the Mountains

The Heart of the Mountains

Pepper Basham. Barbour, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-63609-325-3

This rousing historical from Basham (The Mistletoe Countess) follows an English nurse in training as she begins a new life in Appalachia after WWI. Cora Taylor cannot stomach the thought of marrying the “withered-hearted pansy of a man” her father has chosen for her, so she flees London for the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to start a new life. Upon arriving, she meets former soldier Jebediah McAdams, whose simple demeanor and thoughtfulness endear him to her. The two grow closer, but when they come across an unconscious, badly injured woman on the side of the road, Jeb recognizes her as a prostitute and refuses to help, still stinging from false rumors about him sleeping with “kept women.” He relents after Cora notes that it’s a “very real Samaritan moment,” and the two nurse the woman back to health and offer her a second chance at life. Basham’s smart take on the good Samaritan parable testifies to the resilience of the human spirit and the mysterious workings of heavenly wisdom: “God had a way of placing beauty in the most surprising places.” The result is an inspiring tale about living in harmony through God’s love. (July)