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Hearts and Bones

(Hannah Trevor Trilogy #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  431 ratings  ·  50 reviews
The physical and emotional scars of the Revolutionary War are an important part of this tremendous new first mystery -- the most exciting debut since Laurie R. King and The Beekeeper's Apprentice. Like King's Mary Russell, the heroine of Lawrence's book is an unconventional woman, unwilling to be forced into an historical mold. Hannah Trevor is a gifted, educated midwife ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Avon Books (first published 1996)
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Stephanie This may very well be that book. Hannah (the lead) is indeed a midwife and the time period is correct. This is a really amazing book - easily one of…moreThis may very well be that book. Hannah (the lead) is indeed a midwife and the time period is correct. This is a really amazing book - easily one of my very favorites.(less)

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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  431 ratings  ·  50 reviews


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Michele Bolay
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This series is fantastic, and the first book is arguably the best. A truly chilling (and ultimately heartbreaking) mystery, the masterful and evocative use of an unstable historical period, vivid and well-defined characters, and a strong, smart, compassionate, intriguing heroine. Lawrence is a powerful and immensely skilled writer. Fans of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and the Wilderness series by Sara Donati should love this, as well as fans of gritty and emotionally rich historical ...more
Aneca
Ever since I read, and really enjoyed Sara Donati's into The Wilderness that I have been looking for books with a similar setting. Hearts and Bones is also set in America and around the same time and I couldn't resist picking it up.


Unlike Donati's this book is a murder mystery. The heroine is Hannah Trevor, a midwife living with her aunt and her deaf, and illegitimate, daughter in Rufford, Maine. When she finds a young woman raped and murdered who left a letter accusing three men, one of which
...more
Allyson Faith
Feb 07, 2008 rated it liked it
I've had this book on my shelves for many years and finally pulled it down to read on a plane trip. It was quite good, and I would recommend it for mystery readers who also enjoy historical contexts. The protagonist is a midwife in Maine in 1786, right after the American Revolution. The book is very good at showing the dissatisfaction of common people at how our nation was managing--or not managing--after we won the war. It's not a time period that we learn much about, and although I enjoy ...more
LaRae
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a book I read many years ago, which stayed with me, and I finally revisited it. Lawrence's prose is beautiful, and the story is heartbreaking and moving. It is brutal at times, at an unsettled time in American history (post revolution), which is something I tend to avoid, hence 4 stars instead of 5.

Women are legal non-entities, requiring permission for everything including owning a business. Women like Hannah Trevor, however, use their unique skill to gain some independence -- they are
...more
LJ
Mar 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
HEARTS AND BONES (Hist. Mys-Hannah Trevor-Maine-1700s)- Ex
Lawrence, Margaret - 1st of series

From Fantastic Fiction: Hannah Trevor, a midwife in a small Maine town, discovers the body of a young wife and mother, along with a note naming Hannah's secret past lover and the father of her illegitimate daughter as the woman's murderers.

Very well written. An excellent portrayal of life in Maine of 1770s and how little power women had over their own lives. Hannah is a great character. I'll read more of
...more
Mimi
Mar 01, 2011 rated it liked it
A decidedly not cozy mystery, but the setting is amazing. I've been kicking around the portrayal of the post-Revolutionary War society, and how broken it was. Very interesting.
Strong main character and an interesting mystery. With a content caveat, I'd recommend.
Stephanie
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've been trying to write an adequate review for a book I love terribly, and I can't. All I can say is that, looking at Hearts & Bones as just a mystery would be an error. Yes, it is that but it is also an amazingly well-written book and Lawrence is a remarkable talent.
Melissa
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Being from New England this book resonated with me, as I am always so curious about 18th century America.
Karen Hogan
Mar 17, 2012 rated it liked it
One of the few mysteries, I enjoyed about a murder in post revolutionary war Maine. Plan to read the sequel "Blood Red Roses"
Bonnie Tesch
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was recommended this book in the context of a set of murder mystery series all featuring midwives. (All shared some elements of love stories, differences of religion, and raise the question of whether midwifery allows women to break normal rules for women's behavior or draws to it women already inclined to break those rules.) While the rest were relatively formulaic historical fictions, which could have been about any number of things, this was well constructed with thorough historicism but ...more
Janet
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a different kind of mystery than what I have read before. It is a historical mystery taking place years after the Battle of Saratoga during the American Revolution. Hannah Trevor is the intrepid midwife and solver of mysteries in the novel. People end up dead, and it looks like the killer is obvious, but not so fast! It takes Hannah time to unravel this issues surrounding the deaths, but she manages to do so. She is a lovely woman, and this is only the first in the series. Hearts and ...more
Alice Seidel
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read a book quite like this one since the novels of Taylor Caldwell. Margaret Lawrence brings to life the cold, icy days of colonial America like no one I know. She thoroughly fills in her characters, introducing aspects of their lives, both past and present, in very unique ways. You will think you are there trying to keep warm while trying to piece together all of the loose ends to a most mystifying murder. Then two murders. I won't tell, read the book.
Jen
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great story, from an excellent author Lorraine Margaret Keilstrup under her pseudonym Margaret Lawrence. Lead character is a very headstrong young lady, Hannah, very much in the vein of Diana Gabaldon's "Claire" (without the time travel). The story moved at a good pace, with a few twists and turns. The author gave lots of clues, I enjoyed trying to figure out the who-dunnit.
Linda Smith
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good mystery set in Maine (actually Massachusetts at the time) during the period right after the Revolutionary War. Well developed characters with much inner turmoil caused by the war. Strong main character, a single Mid-wive, who does have some of the same ghosts haunting her as do the returned soldiers. Thought provoking.
Kylie Briggs
May 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Meh. Dialogue felt forced. Not sure it deserved the time it took to read.
Christina
Jun 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Predictable. Shallow. Boring.
JoAnn Steinly
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, historical
I really enjoyed this story. A bit dark and suspenseful for me, but I still liked it. While there is despair, there is also love and all it's little messes. It was hard to put down.
Kitty Tomlinson
Hannah Trevor, a midwife, in colonial Maine, gets involved in the murder of w townswoman. Quite good.
Margaret
Apr 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: re-read
4th pandemic re read.
John
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The GoodReads blurb isn't for this book but (I assume) for a sequel. And the first reader review I looked at gets an important detail of the plot wrong in the first sentence. Oh dear. Unfortunately I don't have the time this morning to spell things out in any detail myself, so . . .

February 1786 in a small Maine settlement. The grip of winter is fierce. Middle-aged midwife and quilter Hannah Trevor, alongside bluff constable William Quaid, discover the body of Anthea "Nan" Emory; the woman has
...more
Awallens
Dec 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The physical and emotional scars of the Revolutionary War are an important part of this tremendous new first mystery -- the most exciting debut since Laurie
R. King and The Beekeeper's Apprentice. Like King's Mary Russell, the heroine of Lawrence's book is an unconventional woman, unwilling to be forced into
an historical mold. Hannah Trevor is a gifted, educated midwife who carries wisdom and sorrow with her in equal measures: one husband and three children
dead, another daughter born out of
...more
Paul
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
PLOT OR PREMISE:
Hannah Trevor is a midwife in 1786 colonial America. She has 3 dead children, a dead husband, and a live daughter whose unacknowledged / unclaimed father is a neighbour. Hannah is present when the authorities discover the raped and mutilated body of another village resident, who has left behind a letter accusing some of the village elite of the crime, including Hannah's former lover.
.
WHAT I LIKED:
The plotting is well-done, if somewhat slow to get to the discovery of the body. So
...more
Jennifer
Aug 04, 2008 rated it liked it
I borrowed this from Dabney, who recommended it very highly. It was enjoyable. The mystery was well-plotted and the story line was interesting. I liked the setting and how Lawrence didn't let the magic of the Revolution overcome the reality of life at that time, especially for the common soldier. The heroine was interesting.

But I felt like it dragged in places. I struggle with reading description and I felt like there was a lot of it. By the end, I just really wanted the killer to be revealed
...more
Rosina Lippi
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, best-beloved
This is a novel set in post-revolutionary Maine (then still Massachusetts). It focuses on the life of a midwife, Hannah Trevor.

I loved this book for the way Lawrence wove together different kinds of narratives, and for the two main characters.

It's very clear that Hannah's story is a retelling based on A Midwife's Tale which is a non-fiction presentation of a midwife's diary, carefully examined and analyzed.
Lois
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This mystery features an unconventional woman in 18th century rural Maine. Hannah Trevor is a gifted, educated midwife who carries wisdom and sorrow with her in equal measures: one husband and three children dead, another daughter born out of wedlock and deaf. When a young woman is raped and murdered, leaving behind a note that implicates her daughter's father, Hannah is the only person in the small Maine town of Rufford with enough insight and experience to uncover the truth. The physical and ...more
Helen
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
At the center of "Heart and Bones," a book about a mystery set in Revolutionary America, is the murder of a young wife and mother. It is a fascinating glimpse of the times, it's superstitions and prejudices, the broad social and cultural milieu, the position of women in general and of Hannah Trevor, a midwife and healer in a small Maine town, in particular. Each chapter is headed by a quilt pattern, if you are interested in how and what to cook in a woodburning fireplace, it's all here. Best, ...more
Andrea
Dec 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book has it all - mystery and suspense, a little romance, a strong heroine, and a great time period (post American Revolution)! Even though it's fiction, Lawrence does a great job contextualizing what life was like for ordinary people who fought and survived the American Revolution....bringing the horrors and problems of that time period vividly to life.
Julie Hulten
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
The scenes of midwifery seem to parallel the life of Martha Ballard as she herself describes them in her diary (see Laura Thatcher Ulrich, *The Midwife's Tale*)... that said, I learned a lot about Shay's Rebellion and the "privileged class" nature of the American Revolution couched in an excellent story!
Linda
Jul 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: hist-fic
A murder mystery investigated by a talented 18th century midwife. Fairly accurate, historically, but the author portrays patchwork quilting as a community pastime, making it a central theme, and patchwork did not come into use until after 1810. Irritating.
L.B.
Feb 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite series, shortlived though it was. I wish she'd write more in this series!!! The books take place in upstate Maine after the American Revolution. Can't say enough good things about this series.
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There is more than one author with this name

Lorraine Margaret Keilstrup, wrote as Margaret Lawrence, Margaret K. Lawrence and M. K. Lorens. Her last name is pronounced KEEL-strup. She was born in February 23, 1945 and died on January 8, 2012 in Freemont, Nebraska at her home.

Keilstrup graduated valedictorian from Fremont High School and then summa cum laude from Midland Lutheran College, now
...more

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