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Friday, May 31, 2013

"A Heartbeat Away" by S. Dionne Moore

When a band of runaway slaves brings Union-loyal Beth Bumgartner a wounded Confederate soldier named Joe, it is the catalyst that pushes her to defy her pacifist parents and become a nurse during the Battle of Antietam.

Her mother's mysterious goodbye gift is filled with quilt blocks that bring comfort to Beth during the hard days and lonely nights, but as she sews each block, she realizes there is a hidden message of faith within the pattern that encourages and sustains her. Reunited with Joe, Beth learns his secret and puts the quilt's message to its greatest test---but can betrayal be forgiven?

A Heartbeat Away is an intense look at the emotions of the Civil War from an angle rarely considered: those caught up in the blood of battle as civilians who want to help the wounded.  Never have I read a fictional account that dwelt on the hope that comes from the ashes of war like this one does.  The semi-graphic accounts will make your heart dip into your stomach just as your fingers grasp the straws of hope that Joe points out to Beth.

Beth learns amazing spiritual truths from her grandmother as she's faced with the carnage of war and witnesses violence all around her.  Several of these lessons cut deep and are readily applicable to us, too, as we live and learn to trust and forgive just as Beth does.

This book isn't going on my bookshelf of other historical fiction novels; instead, it's getting a special place among my Civil War books.  I really enjoyed this fresh perspective and the way that Moore makes this era not just about love or slavery or North-vs-South but about people ... people who are hurting and afraid, people who love, people with disabilities and families and have dreams for their futures.  When my children are old enough to study all of these aspects of this war, they'll read this book.

To read other reviews in this bloggy hop, click here.  If you'd rather dig into this book sooner rather than later, click here to purchase your own copy.

Dionne Moore is a historical romance author who resides in South Central PA with her family, surrounded by the beautiful Cumberland Valley and lots of fun, historically rich locations. She is a weekly contributor to "The Borrowed Book", a blog for book-lovers and "Cozy Mystery Magazine", for all things cozy mystery. 

Learn more about Dionne at

I received a free copy of A Heartbeat Away from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

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