BOOK REVIEW: Light of My Heart by Ginny Aiken

Dr. Letitia Morgan comes to Hartville, Colorado, in the late 1800s to follow her God-given calling to heal. Soon she becomes Hartville's ministering angel, reaching out to the children of the town drunk, and skillfully touching all who need her.
But not everyone warms to the lovely new physician and Letty ruffles plenty of feathers when she takes on Hartville's thriving brothels. As she rescues first one then another young girl forced into the sordid trade, Letty becomes the target of some of the town's most powerful people.
Eric Wagner, Hartville's newspaper editor, finds he got much more than he bargained for when he brought this female doctor to town. As Letty stirs more controversy with each passing day, he wonders if he can save the noble-minded doctor from herself.
This is heart-warming and engaging fiction at its best, straight from the pen of a skilled storyteller.

Raised by a 'proper' mother and a doctor father Letty chooses to follow in her father's footsteps and go to medical school.  Unheard of for a female.  Unnatural according to her mother.  Unable to find acceptance, as a doctor or as a woman, Letty struggles to stay ahead in Philadelphia and during a visit to her old medical school discovers a letter that leads to a new path and a new future for Doctor Morgan.  Moving halfway across the country to Hartville Colorado at the request of the town for a woman doctor.  Of course girl meets boy and is smitten.  Boy meets girl and is smitten.  However, boy is still drowning in his own grief and self pity that despite all the feelings will not accept his, or her, feelings and attempts to stifle them.  And attempts to thwart them.  And attempts to push her away.  Mired in her own self pity girl can't decide whether to pursue or leave town.  After she tries to save the world.  And he tries to stop that at every step as well.  Oh the tangled webs we weave when we attempt to deceive ourselves.  That's ultimately what it all boils down too.

Eric Wagner has his own demons, his own battles and his own self deceptions.  Having lost his wife and child tragically he writes to find a female doctor for their booming town.  What he expected is no where near what he received.  He also never expected to develop feelings for the new doctor.  Letty Morgan expected to meet the newspaper man who wrote and his wife.  She had long before given up the idea that she could be a doctor and have a family.  That didn't stop her from developing feelings for Eric. However, please do not be drawn to the idea that this book is only about feelings and falling for each other.  There's oh so much more to talk about.

Letty's life focus on her calling to minister to the sick.  Not just through medicine but also through her faith in God.  When confronted with the fact that there are young women, read teenagers, working in the brothels she is focused on rescuing them for a better life.  Many in town are not OK with Letty putting herself into the position to spend them with these girls.  Eric included.  He is convinced that if he can find another way to close the brothels, and jail the women, then he can save her from herself.  Save her practice and her reputation.  Through all the ups and downs of their battle of wills the friendship grows stronger.  But Eric can't just let the past be the past.  So many times in this story I wanted to yell at both of them.  What is it with the books I choose here lately and the inability of the characters to communicate with each other.  And my need, desire, want, to yell at them. The urge to fix it for them.  When they both stopped being so hard-headed and self-absorbed they were able to communicate.  When they both stopped lying to themselves they were able to communicate.  And when they started was grand.  Parts of the story dragged for me.  Parts of the story felt rushed.  All in all though the author did an amazing job of creating two strong characters that I became invested in and want to read more about in the next installment of this series.

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 Light of My Heart (Silver Hills Trilogy #1)

About Ginny Aiken
Ginny Aiken, a former newspaper reporter, lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and their three younger sons--the oldest is married, has flown the coop, and made her a doting grandmother. Born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Valencia and Caracas Venezuela, Ginny discovered books at an early age. She wrote her first novel at age fifteen while she trained with the Ballets de Caracas, later to be known as the Venezuelan National Ballet. She burned that tome when she turned a "mature" sixteen. An eclectic list of jobs--including stints as reporter, paralegal, choreographer, language teacher, retail salesperson, wife, mother of four boys, and herder of their numerous and assorted friends, including the 135 members of first the Crossmen and then the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps--brought her back to books in search of her sanity. She is now the author of twenty-seven published works, but she hasn't caught up with that elusive sanity yet.


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