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Engraved on the Heart

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  354 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines―until ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 1st 2018 by Tyndale House
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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  354 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Sarah Sundin
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A truly lovely debut novel. Through the eyes of an unlikely heroine awakening to the injustices of slavery, Engraved on the Heart brings Savannah, Georgia during the Civil War to life. Tara Johnson writes with honesty and compassion, undergirded with solid research. The characters are lovingly drawn, and Keziah’s growth from sheltered weakness to faithful courage is simply radiant. A book to savor and an author to watch!
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Solid historical romance debut. Isn't the cover lovely?

Keziah Montgomery has the "falling sickness" and is viewed by her family as an embarrassment. Her parents are eager to find her a husband. Keziah doesn't see her ailment as debilitating as her parents. She wishes to marry for love.

The Montgomery family lives in Savanah, Georgia and support the confederacy. Kezia finds her own view about the war and slavery in particular early in the novel.

The first half of the novel
Jocelyn Green
Through the eyes of pop-off-the-page characters, readers are whisked into turbulent Confederate Savannah, from charming balls to the intrigue and danger of the Underground Railroad. Woven throughout this vibrant tale are strong spiritual threads sure to inspire. Lovers of Civil War fiction will rejoice to add Engraved on the Heart to their collections. I’ll be looking for more from Tara Johnson!
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"Most wisdom comes through trial (...) but there's great peace in surrender"

I am absolutely impressed my Tara Johnson's debut! There heart and care woven throughout this story. The setting just comes alive and it was torture to put this book down when I had to. Obviously there has been an amount of research to bring this story alive, and I believe the author did a splendid job. My heart twisted with sorrow as I pondered on the society's thoughts in the 1800's and if we have truly walked aw
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The story line in this book grabbed my attention and my heart within the first thirty pages. Once my heart and mind was engaged, I was pulled through this read in one sitting losing sleep. ( As I’ve heard said, “ Who ever bragged about how much fun or memories the made sleeping.” Sometimes it’s overrated!)

I did enjoy the characters we are introduced to in this read. Some with great much so that it made me wonder what I would do with such circumstances. For Civil War buffs or those
Amanda Geaney
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

A strong debut from Johnson. I enjoyed the chemistry between Keziah and Dr. Greyson as well as the how the author captured the divisiveness of the war. My favorite secondary character was Hiriam, a slave in Keziah's household. While it is a well-written and compelling story, I felt it was a tad predictable.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing debut novel! I'm definitely a Tara Johnson fan now! She catapulted me back in time and wrangled my emotions into a heap of pulsating fury. Gah! Some of these characters....enraged doesn't begin to describe the way I feel! I do so love when I can become emotionally engaged in a story and my passions ran high over the course of this read.

Phew! The things Keziah comes up against! The restrictive role forced upon a woman in this time period for one. Added to that are heal
Carrie Turansky
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tara Johnson's debut novel, Engraved on the Heart, is a powerful story that will touch your heart. The characters are memorable, and I loved both the hero and heroine. There were some surprising twists and turns in the story that kept me reading. Very well done! I'll look forward to Tara Johnson's next book!
Caitlyn Santi
This is a very good debut novel! The author has immense talent, but unfortunately I just didn't really connect and engage with this book the way I had hoped, and I don't really know why. I did love main characters Keziah and Micah, and I especially loved Hiriam!
I don't think I've ever before read a book where the main character has epilepsy, and I found it very interesting to read about in a historical novel and get a glimpse of how epilepsy was perceived by people in that time! This book is ve
Sarah Monzon
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 star but since there aren't any half stars I'm rounding up. Lovers of Civil War era fiction with a light shinning on the Underground Railroad will enjoy this book by debut author Tara Johnson. Set in Savannah, Georgia, readers get a feel for sentiments of those living in the south and Confederate states. I especially enjoyed how the author highlighted how those on both sides believed that God was on their side, both citing Scripture to prove their points. While this is a romance, I have to a ...more
4.5 stars

I have definitely found a new author to watch! My first time reading by Tara Johnson was worth it ... Engraved on the Heart was an exciting story with depth and heart.

Set during America's Civil War, it follows the life of Keziah Montgomery, a young woman belonging to a staunchly Confederate family and suffering through seizures. She unexpectedly meets up with a childhood schoolmate, unaware that he's haunted by his father's legacy and a shocking secret. Both get caught up in
Linda Klager
Thank you Goodreads for letting me win this book. I loved this story. I thought the author did such a great job of research of the Civil War Era. Although this was a terrible time for people on American soil, I find this era very fascinating.

How must it have felt to have had war so close? How would it have felt to have brothers, sons and sweethearts go off to war knowing the odds of them never coming back or coming back with such horrible war wounds both physically, mentally and emotionally? ...more
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved most of the story and the main characters, but the plot had some serious holes in it, in my opinion. I did love how the MC had epilepsy. That was a unique and unusual twist that added a lot of interest to the story.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition I have to give this 5 stars. It had my attention from the very beginning. It could have been Keziah, which reminded me of Little House episodes with Keziah and her crow, or that we just got back from vacation in Charleston and visited a slave auction house. So sobering!

Keziah Montgomery suffers from epilepsy, and the one boy who gave her any attention in school, Micah Grayson, became a doctor. But a doctor who studied in Philadelphia, a hot spot for the Underground Railroad and
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I thought the characters were well developed and the overall story line was pretty well done. I would say a lot of this book was a tad predictable but that isn't necessarily bad. People who really love Civil War fiction and history would enjoy this story as it takes you into the Underground Railroad from a different perspective. My husband has been a Civil War reenactor so you could say that Civil War history is pretty common and read about in our house! There were ti ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was such an enjoyable read! A simple plot that was made poignant by the setting and circumstances of the individual characters. I loved the unique aspect of Kizzie's falling sickness, and the tender yet bittersweet relationship she shared with Micah. The dramatic peek into such a turbulent era was fascinating as well. Really enjoyed it!
Robin Hatcher
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tara Johnson delivers a stirring tale of danger and hope in Engraved on the Heart. I was invested in Micah’s and Kizzie's love story from the very first chapter—and fell more than a little in love with Micah myself.
— Robin Lee Hatcher, RITA and Christy Awards winning author of You’ll Think of Me and You’re Gonna Love Me
Karen R
A moving story set in Savannah, Georgia during the turbulent Civil War years.

This is an impressive debut novel, with characters that either drew me in or made me want to slap them at times. Keziah grew on me with her quiet strength and determination to help others taste the freedom she longed for herself.
Her tender heart prays, "Whatever talents or abilities I have, use them. I give myself to you. Lord, I want to make a difference." She was a lovely character that had me rooting for her a
Dana Michael
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Four and Half Stars! This was a wonderful story set during the civil war in Savannah Georgia. The heroine is young lady who has epilepsy. Her family has slaves and is pro confederacy. They also shame her because of her "falling illness".

The hero is an abolitionist who is also a physician. He has loved Keziah since he was a boy in their school days.

I really enjoyed this book. I especially loved the second half of the story. I enjoyed the romance, I wish there was a tad bit more to it, but the k
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I always love finishing the first work of a debut novelist while looking forward to their next one. And that's the case with Tara Johnson. Thoroughly enjoyed this first of hopefully, many, strong novels. Well done, friend!
Andrea Boyd
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very detailed, and sometimes graphic, tale about the underground railroad.
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Engraved on the Heart took me deep into the heart of Savannah, Georgia, into the home of one Keziah Montgomery. Besides her unusual name, she is also a young Southern belle that suffers from epilepsy, at a time when little was understood about that ailment. I liked how the author wove into her story the leanings of her heart to being an abolitionist, yet living with her family who are very pro-slavery. In fact I felt for her as she was little more than a prisoner/slave herself being ruled by her ...more
E. Espinoza
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In her debut novel, Engraved on the Heart, Tara Johnson has authored a captivating story of courage and conviction in the face of hatred and danger. This book is truly an inspiring piece of historical fiction with memorable characters and significant themes that resonate with purpose and meaning.
Ms. Johnson’s thoughtful research and careful attention to historical details thoroughly enriches the story with depth and authenticity. The plot flows easily from scene to scene, effortlessly buil
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

"You are a treasure, Kizzie Montgomery. Never let anyone tell you differently."

People have been giving Keziah Montgomery mixed messages all her life; "weak-minded", "addled" "not right in the head" . . . . . . her epileptic seizures causing her family great angst as she hovers on the cusp of spinsterhood.When such an incident brings her face to face with the one childhood friend who seemed to have exactly the right words at exactly the right time, Keziah can hard
Suzie Waltner
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
In her debut novel, Tara Johnson takes readers into the Civil War with originality and insight. Set in the deep south—Savannah, Georgia—Engraved on the Heart not only shines a light on the danger surrounding those involved in the underground railroad but also illuminates the hearts of those people risking their lives to give others freedom.

Keziah Montgomery’s family is ensconced in Savannah society. With a well-known father, house-slaves, and a brother joining the confederate army, h
Vicky Sluiter
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tara Johnson’s debut novel about life during the civil war is one of the best books I’ve read this year. She has done a fabulous job of showing us what life was like in the south; the Underground Railroad, slavery, and being an abolitionist in the south during that time. The author’s descriptions of people and places will pull you further into the book. I found myself unable to stop reading. There was so much happening that I needed to know what was next.

The heroine deals with epilep
Trisha Robertson (Joy of Reading)
I was drawn into this story right from the start and blissfully held captive until the last page. Tara Johnson’s writing is so immersive that I felt like I was right there in the sticky heat of Savannah, Georgia. Take a journey back in time through the pages of this wonderful, story of faith. With a poignant reminder that we are all priceless treasures.

Keziah is such a gentle soul. She is soft-spoken and kind. She has a heart for others, especially those she see’s being treated unfai
I’m always happy to find well-done inspirational novels to share with my students, and Tara Johnson’s debut novel fits that bill! Engraved on the Heart features a sweet love story set in the South during the Civil War time period. The hero and heroine face down family and culture to join the abolitionists in standing for the value of all people.

The main character works through her own issues on personal worth, as well. Instead of thinking of herself as “trash, addled, and worthless” she learns
Abby Breuklander
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love love and love this book!! Every single one of us has felt ignored or abandoned at some point, it's one of the worst feelings possible. We feel completely along and sometimes useless because we don't seem to matter to anyone. But thankfully that is so not true! God is the only One who always there for us. He sees us and loves us more than we could ever imagine. He uses us, faults and all, because He is the God of the impossible. What we think are things that hold us back and He could never u ...more
A.M. Heath
What I Loved: This was a fantastic debut novel! There’s so much to love and appreciate here. I always enjoy reading about a main character who has a disability or ailment of some sort, so I thrilled to read about Keziah and her struggle with epilepsy. I quickly connected with both Micah and Keziah. There were times, though, when I felt like some of the characters were too knowledgeable about the matters of war when the history books had yet to be written. But other than that, I found it to be a ...more
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Tara writes stories that help people break free from the lies they believe about themselves. Tara is a history nerd, a passionate lover of comedy, and will happily play basketball with anyone who asks. She writes historical romance, and her favorite love is the Civil War.

Tara’s debut novel Engraved on the Heart (Tyndale) earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, as well as numerous other ac