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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
Lydia Walcott's life in Ringle, Iowa, was far from easy. She was left in the care of her ruthless brother at the age of thirteen when her parents died. The only solace she found was with an older lady named Aggie Cuttler who befriended her and helped nurse her wounds whenever her brother became violent. Now at the age of twenty her brother Cyrus informs her that he has sold her to a man named Gus Botwright who is just as mean as her brother, and that she will have to marry him. When she refuses he beats her worse than he ever has. Lydia knows her only choice is to run away. With the help of her friend Aggie she winds up in the town of Cottonwood. Totally exhausted and unsure about what to do, she spends the night in a livery. The town doctor Sterling Graham spent the night in the livery as well. The story spreads like wildfire and the only way the two can save the doctor's reputation is for them to marry. Can Lydia and Sterling make the marriage work? What will Lydia's brother do to get her back, and will she ever feel safe?
"Healing Love" was a story that was hard to put down. Once I started reading it I was easy to be drawn into the lives of the characters. I could easily feel empathetic towards Lydia and her plight. Even after the mistreatment from her brother she never lost her faith. Her brother is such an evil person that I could understand why she felt the need to run away. Thank goodness, she had such a good friend in Aggie. As the story progressed I couldn't help but wonder what might happen to Aggie if Cyrus decided to pay her a visit. The undertone of the story really had me believing that God was at work whenever he put Lydia and Sterling together. As Lydia and Sterling began their married life I was able to see what a wonderful person he really was. There are several secondary characters that that really add to the story. One of my favorites had to be Mrs. Henderson, one of Sterling's patients. She was so kind to Lydia. "Healing Love" has all the elements that make it a good addition to historical fiction. Sophie Dawson blends together the elements of faith, romance, inspiration, and a bit of suspense together with a fast moving plot and wonderful characters to make for a top notch read. If you are a fan of historical inspirational fiction, then "Healing Love" is a must read for you!