Sunday, June 24, 2012

Debut Historical Fiction Author: Nancy Herriman! The Irish Healer, c2012.

This story is beautifully written, with similes potent as a parable with their everyday reference; page 192:
He attempted to gather his thoughts, but they kept slipping away from him, like he was trying to cup grains of wheat in his hands only to have them trickle through his fingers.
Page 205
…She could not keep tending to people. Why does this continue to happen to me?

Do you have a calling, a mission in life that you are ignoring?
The Irish Healer is the story of a young woman, Rachel Dunne, who leaves her  Emerald Isle to travel to London after being accused of murder when a patient she is tending dies. She is deemed innocent by trial, but local gossip conjures up stories. Have we ever taken on guilt that is not our own? Nothing that we could have prevented?

She is unaware the position her cousin has secured for her in London is in the home of Dr. James Edmunds. She is hired to assist in the preparation of the household move to his inherited boyhood home. He is disillusioned by the death of his wife, he was helpless to save, and other patients who succumbed under his care. He has decided to become a gentleman farmer and leave the medical field.
She is about to be found out!!
As hard as she tries to hide it, Rachel Dunne keeps getting called upon to assist with her medicinal knowledge that is a part of her. She automatically renders service to those in need. And then the unthinkable happens; the Asiatic cholera epidemic spreading to London in 1832. This is historical fiction at its best. In this first published novel by Nancy Herriman, she has placed her characters within this setting which will force them to choose their part.
Author, Nancy Herriman
The Irish Healer
Beginning of Chapter 1
At sea, 1832
"My name is Rachel Dunne,
 I am not a murderer."
Rachel tightened her grip on the ship's wooden rail, as if she might choke into silence the echo of her own voice. Better to focus on the receding sight of Ireland's blue-green hills, seek to memorize every bounding stream, every wisp of misty fog, every rubble-walled farmer's field, than to remember. For who knew how long--if ever--it would be before she saw her beloved homeland again?
    "Oh, Mother," she murmured over the slap of the paddle wheels and the hiss of the steam, the scree of persistent seagulls skimming the boat's wake. "How did it come to this?"
    This parting, this going. Deoraicht. This exile.
    Mother was not there to answer Rachel's question; they could only afford ship's passage for one, and Rachel was the one who had to leave. Mother and the rest had stayed behind in Carlow to mend the damage Rachel had never meant to cause. Restore the honor of the Dunne name in a town already prone to dislike them for their English ways. Once Rachel had been a healer, but she could not heal the scar upon her family. No more than she had been able to heal poor Mary Ferguson, who also died so quickly and so quietly even Rachel had been at a loss to explain the how and why. 
    I would never harm the ill. I am a banaltradh ...
    A healer. If the thought didn't hurt so much, Rachel might laugh. She had vowed to never let herself be a healer again. 
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
I liked this story very much and the similarities I found with Rachel. I had a full scholarship to nurses training and did not attend. She is very caring and attentive to others. Dr. James showed growth and determination as his foibles were revealed as well.

Thank you to Worthy Publishing for this review copy I received to read and review in my own words. Nancy Herriman! I hope you are writing, writing, writing! I am looking forward to reading your next book!

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