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Hearts of Mercy

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4.64  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  11 reviews
When Viney Wallker's long absent father arrives in the 19th century Utopian community of Rugby, TN,he begs her to return with him to the Great Smoky Mountains. Viney's sister, Lizzie urges her to go, because a new setting will help Viney heal from a broken engagement. Viney acquiesces and in her new home, she meets her Walker cousins, including handsome and brawny James. ...more
Paperback, first, 198 pages
Published June 28th 2018 by Black Rose Writing
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Average rating 4.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  39 ratings  ·  11 reviews


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Tony Parsons
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
19th century, Utopian Community of Rugby, TN (Great Smoky Mountains). Mr. Hugh’s pretty much controlled everyone/everything.
Surprise. Lavinia “Viney” Walker (daughter/sister, narrator), & Lizzie Walker (daughter/sister) father came to pay them a visit after 19 yrs.
Lizzie worked P/T for Mrs. Carroll.
Jacob Walker (husband/father, older son/brother), Hazel Walker (wife/mother) were expecting their 2nd child.
Traverse City, MI. Charlie Breckenridge (English, ex-fiancé) had written & bailed
...more
Coco.V
Jul 19, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
FREE on Amazon today (7/19/2018)!
...more
Michael Hartnett
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This Historical Novel Speaks to Us Today
Whether it be baskets, quilts, or coverlets, Viney Walker and her Tennessee cousins do a fair share of weaving in Joan Donaldson’s lively and revealing new novel Hearts of Mercy. On many levels, so does Donaldson as she evocatively knits a rural post-Civil War south that still has many wounds to heal. Most of emblematic of that sense of loss is Viney’s Pa, who has returned after abandoning his children for many years following the death of his wife (that
...more
Sublime Book Review
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Overall Rating = 4.75
Storyline & Concept = 5
Writing and Delivery = 5
Cover Marketability = 5
Editorial = 4

After the departure of her English fiancé, Lavinia “Viney” Walker is determined to carve out a life for herself in the rural post-Civil War South. She lives in the utopian community of Rugby, in Tennessee’s Cumberland Mountains, where she weaves coverlets made from the wool of her herd of sheep. When her father unexpectedly returns after an absence of nineteen years, in poor health and
...more
Mcf1nder_sk
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hearts of Mercy is a historical romance following Viney, a young woman in rural Tennessee in 1883. After her fiancee breaks their engagement and moves away, Viney is sent to care for her ailing estranged father. While in Sevier County, she ends up in the crosshairs of the White Caps, a vigilante group whose goal is to ensure the virtue of single women by threats and whipping.
.
Donaldson's research into this era is apparent on every page. The clothing, dialogue and history of Rugby, Tennessee
...more
Penny
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I have visited the Smokey Mountain and Cumberland Mountain areas many times and found this history of the mountain people post-civil war utterly fascinating. Viney's struggles to bring peace and love to the high mountains made this an unforgettable story.

I could just picture the author's descriptions of the mountain landscapes, the trees, the flowers, the sounds of the birds and animals. It brought the book to life. I have been to some of the modern day mountain missions in
...more
Crystal Lindsey
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a credit to the author. I learned a lot of the Smoky Mountains history which was previously unknow to me. It was sickening to read the truth concerning the White Cap vigilantes. What bullies and cowards they way they victimized the mountain folk. This is a strong story and one very worthwhile of the read.
Written in the first person it was extremely clever in description and presentation.
Michael Cayley
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Set in rural Tennessee after the American Civil War, this novel portrays a young woman’s attempt to assert herself in an environment in which females are harshly suppressed and those who overstep the bounds of what men think right risk brutal punishment. This novel conveys the atmosphere of the time and place, but never fully gripped me, and I found the characterisation a little simplistic.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Cadence McManimon
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fellow-author
I had the privilege of connecting with Joan through our mutual publisher, and love the history of her books! Well worth picking up if you are someone who loves historical fiction (accurate, of course!), pioneer days, Civil War era stories, and/or just an interesting read for the summer. My particular favorite elements about this book were the things I learned about the White Caps and the Blue Bills and how they were connected to the Civil War. Great work, Joan!
Rose
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book

I lived reading about the happenings in Sevierville years ago. As a resident of Sevierville I knew a lot of the locations. Highly recommend
Sally
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Loved the history and the connection to Michigan.
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Viney's plan 1 1 Sep 25, 2018 01:46PM  

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Reading and writing summarize how I spent most of my childhood, and then I married a farmer. I still love both activities, but now I must braid together reading, writing and caring for a farm, a large garden, and all the other various activities that sustain our homestead. Yet, those jobs precipitate stories that flow into both my personal essays and novels.
When I am not working, I play my harp
...more