Friday, October 14, 2011
The Irish Healer - Nancy Herriman
I have always wanted to visit Ireland. Perhaps one day I will, but for now it is a place relegated to random daydreams and the occasional novel that transports me its green hillsides. So, imagine my disappointment when The Irish Healer by Nancy Herriman does not happen to take place in Ireland at all! Despite this unfortunate circumstance, The Irish Healer is a solid piece of historical fiction. I never found myself at the edge of my seat, greedily turning pages so that I could discover how the story ends. But instead read quite leisurely, enjoying the characters and the novel's conclusion.
Rachel Dunne's journey takes place in the dark and dirty streets of London. After being wrongly accused of murder, Rachel flees her homeland and takes refuge with the friend of a distant relative. The irony lies in the fact that by leaving her role as a healer in Ireland, Rachel runs straight into the arms of an English doctor desperately in need of an assistant during a cholera outbreak. Both James and Rachel must let go of past hurts in order to discover the hope God has for their future. Their love story unfolds despite social and racial barriers, broken families, death, sickness and bitterness.
The Irish Healer is a testament to God's grace and the power of forgiveness. I very much enjoyed Rachel Dunne. She is a wonderfully smart character, displaying grace and maturity in extremely trying situations. Her conversations with James often showcase a bit of her Irish spunk, which makes her even more delightful to read. The story was at times predictable, and I personally could not get past the sickness and death that prevailed throughout the novel. But the beauty of The Irish Healer is Rachel's ultimate realization that true healing comes from God.
Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Worthy Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.