Appalachian mountains, beauty of nature, betrayal, book review, Choices of the Heart, feuding, history of early America, Laurie Alice Eakes, Love, midwife, music, peace, redemption, romance, Scottish heritage, teaching, traditions, trust, women's fiction, YA
Book Review: Choices of the Heart – by Laurie Alice Eakes
I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down. Esther Cherrett was trained as a midwife by her mother, and she is proud to follow in the family tradition. But then the worst happens, accusations fly, and scandal threatens to shame her family. Esther flees Seabourne and goes to the western mountains of Virginia to take a position as a teacher. There she hopes to find peace and anonymity. Instead she finds herself being courted by Zach and Griff, two friends who are trying to end the deadly feuding between their families and bring peace to the mountain. But as their feelings for Esther grow, so does their jealousy, and someone is determined to play the two men against each other and get the feud going again. Again and again Esther is pulled into the conflict, and she cannot look the other way or deny her calling when people from both sides are hurt. More and more, it seems that someone from her past has followed her here and is determined to wreck what small happiness she has gained.
This story is about love, trust, betrayal, redemption, and the search for peace. I loved the characters in this story. They were so real, with a tumultuous mixture of good and bad characteristics. Esther has a good and caring heart, and she is dedicated to healing, but she is also proud, impetuous, and filled with guilt. Until she can face her past and talk to someone about what really happened, she will never be able to find peace. Zach is fun-loving and romantic, determined to win Esther for himself just because he can. Griff yearns for peace for all the families on the mountain. He sees the larger picture and feels a responsibility to his people. He is willing to sacrifice his feelings for Esther in order to have peace and keep his friendship with Zach. But as his love for her grows, he cannot stay away from her. The other people in the story were also very real, filled with conflict. I was intrigued by the setting and the history of the people of the Appalachian mountains, whose roots go back to Scotland. These roots concern not only their bloodlines, but also their fierce independence, loyalty to family, and a deep love for music and the beauty found in nature. This book kept me up late into the night. It was very well written, and I enjoyed it very much.