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The Irish Healer by Nancy Herriman

The Irish Healer

by Nancy Herriman

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Amazingly, The Irish Healer is Nancy Herriman’s debut novel, published 2012. USA Today accurately calls it “...a lovely period tale of personal transformation and abiding love.” Definitely tantalizing along with its cover; runner-up in ACFW Genesis contest’s historical fiction 2009. A former engineer, Ms Herriman is a past winner of Romance Writers of America’s Daphne du Maurier Award for Best Unpublished Mystery/Romantic Suspense along with finalist placings in other contests.
• Don't miss - Video book trailer available on youtube -

1830. We’re introduced to Irish healer, Rachel Dunne, aboard a steamer escaping her homeland, arriving in search of London’s promise of new beginnings. A new beginning that will call for all the fortitude she possesses to rise up and conquer the inherent perils concealed along the journey...

I found Rachel a likeable protagonist, authentic to her age and abilities; believable in her actions and reactions to new relationships and experiences. Other character descriptions authentically engaged my own positive / negative reactions. Well paced thought and action kept the story moving. Both my interest and emotions were engaged to its satisfying conclusion.

Enough twists to frustrate my expectations whilst concealing pleasing resolutions. Historical details were excellent additions without being obtrusive or documentary. Occasional Gaelic expressions added authenticity. There is only one story detail that I would love to have resolved... perhaps a note to Ms Herriman will satisfy my curiosity!

MY St Patrick's choice read for this month of March!
I Luv'd this book.
Couldn't believe the trouble it took to procure a copy!
None available for review from publisher. I then won my book of choice at Murphy's Library in September 2012. TBD cancelled their order of my book not once but twice! I finally received it in February 2013 :)) I decided to save it as my treat for a St Patrick's read & so glad I did!

Thank you for sharing your writing gift with us, Nancy! I look forward to your next novel...

sharing at

( )
  FHC | Jun 13, 2013 |
I love historical romances, rich in perfect period detail, well researched, and lushly written. The Irish Healer, Nancy Herriman’s debut novel, is all of that and more.

I will be honest and say I would normally have bypassed this one since it’s billed as “inspirational/Christian” romance. That is way outside my reading comfort zone as a non-Christian. And that would have been a tragedy. I would have missed a tender, beautiful, glorious romance that made my heart sing and left me with happy tears at the end.

Rachel Dunne—the Irish healer of the title—is running away. Although acquitted of murdering a child under her care, she’s come to London to escape the scandal of her past, vowing to give up her gift of healing, believing it’s really a curse. She finds work with Dr. James Edmunds, a man with tragedies of his own in his past, a physician who is also in the process of giving up his medical practice. Rachel vows only to work as a sort of secretary for him. She will not help him in medical matters, will not sit at the bedside of patients, will not trust or use her own special gifts.

James and Rachel have each in their own way given up on God, as they believe God has abandoned them. This love story is about healing—not only the bodies of those they comfort and serve, but their own hearts and faith and each other.

Inspirational references are woven in subtly, without browbeating the reader with it, which was what I had feared from an inspirational romance. Again, I could not have been more wrong. This is a book about the universal themes of loss and forgiveness, about finding redemption, and most powerfully, about finding love. It transcends a specific, single belief system. It’s about learning to forgive yourself, and love yourself; about accepting love and forgiveness from others.

And make no mistake, this is first and foremost, a romance, as sweet and delicious and yummy as you could want. There is no overt sex in this book; there’s barely a single kiss. But oh, the yearning! The longing! Ms. Herriman beautifully, powerfully builds the tension, page by page, a glance, a touch, a sigh at a time, until the reader is as wound up as Rachel and James, an ember about to burst into a conflagration. This is a truly romantic romance.

The power of faith is the backbone of this feast of a novel, but love—God’s and man’s—is the heart and soul of it. I’ve never been happier to have been wrong about something. Missing out on this wonderful book would have been a tragedy indeed. ( )
  Pshaw04 | Apr 15, 2012 |
Gentle Love Story

Set in the 1830s, Rachel Dunne flees her home country of Ireland after a child in her care, dies and Rachel stands trial for murder. Even though acquitted, the majority of their town shuns her family, so Rachel moves to London seeking work through a cousin. The death of the child, the trial, and the move take their toll on Rachel’s faith in herself and the Lord. Her employer, also a physician, stumbled from his faith years ago when his wife died. When a cholera epidemic hits London, they each hit bottom, turning to the Lord for the ultimate support.

This gentle love story provides the reader a time of introspection as the characters seek to find God’s mercy in their lives. The characters have depth, and Herriman describes the scene so well that the reader easily transports to another time. Very enjoyable read, recommended for readers looking for a deep love story with the added depth of Biblical foundations.

Received Galley from NetGalley.com

Published by Worthy Publishing, April 3, 2012. ( )
  Glenajo | Apr 8, 2012 |
Irish Healer by Nancy Herriman
4 Stars
It was good but I did not connect with the characters somehow. Its a regency romance in 1830's in London. No sex scenes. Also made me glad that doctors are better now.
Rachel Dunne is a Irish healer like her mother. A young girl she was trying to get better died while she slept by her side. Rachel was tried for murder and was found not quilty. But her mothers business dropped right off and had a hard time feeding their family.
So Rachel left for London to work for awhile at a doctors house and then planned to be a teacher. Rachel was finshed being a healer.
James Edmunds was a Physician and was closing his practice in London. He was moving to family country estate to be a gentlemans farmer.
He could not save his wife or father and tired of failing. So he was leaving medicine.
Rachel had lots of guilt and hard times but everytime she saw a need to help she did give the help. She turned away from God because she did not believe he was answering her prayers.
At this time a lot of people were dying of Cholera in London.
I was given this ebook to read in exchange of honest reviews from Netgalley.
04/03/2012 PUB Worthy Publishing ( )
  rhonda1111 | Apr 4, 2012 |
The Irish Healer was a pleasant surprise. On Netgalley you may find the smuttiest and kinkiest of smut - and you may also find the most strait-laced of Christian fiction. I request books based on their descriptions, and often forget to check the publisher; sometimes the latter will give a better clue of what I'm in for than the former. This sounded like it was going to be first and foremost a historical, with some romance thrown in (forbidden, at that), along with a quart of cholera and a sprinkle of Ireland. Worth a try. It was only later that I read more thoroughly and discovered that it's billed as a Christian romance. Oh, I thought, dear.

But no. This was lovely. It is indeed a Christian romance, in that faith is important to the characters and, unmarried, they don't leap into bed with each other every thirty pages. While physical attraction is very much on their minds there is no call for any of the stunningly lame and stilted language the general run of romance novels resort to to talk about intercourse. All in all I'm very pleased by the writing; Herriman is the sort of writer who gets out of the way of her characters and setting and lets them loose. The story may owe much to 19th century literature like Jane Eyre, and may push the bounds of what was actually possible for a young woman in 1832 England, but it's all to good purpose. The threats that surround the main character, Rachel Dunne, are made very real, and her strength in the face of all of that makes for someone I'm pleased to read about.

I think the only complaint I could possibly make is that Rachel's dialogue is just much too erudite, always. She's 20 years old and has been through hell (if it's all right to say that), and still even just chatting with the young groom, Joe, she sounds a little like the Professor from Gilligan's Island. This is not to say I missed the hideous attempts at "Irishness" so often seen - "Shure now, boyo, an' would I not be after just comin' from me ould ma's house, now?" But Rachel is very young, and however well educated and however suppressed her accent has been, just the occasional hint would have been good: a phrase or a dropped G under stress or something of the sort.

This is perhaps three and a half stars, rounded up to four – I'm much more inclined to be generous than I expected to be.

An unexpurgated review is on my blog. ( )
  Stewartry | Feb 26, 2012 |
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When a cholera epidemic sweeps through London, Irish healer and accused murderer Rachel Dunne feels compelled to nurse the dying daughter of the enigmatic physician she has come to love. James Edmunds, wearied by the deaths of too many patients, has his own doubts about God's grace. Together, they will have to face their darkest fears ... and learn what it means to have real faith.… (more)

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