SUMMARY: 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?
REVIEW: While parts of this book was interesting, there are quite a bit that I found a little disheartening and concerning in a book that was supposed to be Christian fiction. While reading, I learned about Ireland's neutrality during World War II and how difficult life could be for those who were found helping anyone involved in any way with the action. In Grounded Hearts, the militia groups, and their affiliates, would arrest anyone thought to be harboring, in their eyes, a fugitive. When Nan took in Dutch after he crashed his airplane in a nearby bog, she decided to hide him while he healed from his injuries. Doing so, she took a great risk to her reputation as the local (and only) midwife for the area. Also, reading about the treatment of the arrested fugitives in Ireland was eye-opening and shocking, in a good way. The adventure Nan and Dutch had trying to get him across the border to Northern Ireland was funny at times. I also liked how Nan steps out of her comfort zone and finds there is more to life when you just take a little risk.
One disheartening and concerning part was how the local Irish men were portrayed. They were shown to be ignorant, overbearing, and totally clueless about the actions of their wives. All they were concerned about was having the house taken care of and their needs met. They were portrayed as being drunk as soon as it was "socially acceptable." As their wives took control of the situation Nan found herself in, the men of the village didn't have a clue about what was happening. While I like having strong women characters, I don't like it at the expense of the men.
Another concerning part was how the attraction between Dutch and Nan was illustrated. There were times when I became a little uncomfortable reading about how they felt and what each other found attractive. It was more descriptive than I usually find in Christian novels and was mentioned at every turn.
This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Waterfall Press
for review without any compensation.
Jeanne M. Dickson was born into an Irish American family, the only girl surrounded by four brothers. Her grandmother lived with them and was a constant source of stories about life in Ireland and about saint and ancestors long gone from this earth. Jeanne credits her mother, her aunts, and her grandmother for her love of storytelling.