Grounded Hearts

Grounded Hearts

Grounded Hearts (Waterfall Press, July 2017)

A brave midwife. A wounded pilot. A risky secret.

In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.

Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection—and an unbreakable bond.

But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband’s death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?

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  • I was in nursing school when I met my pilot husband; who’s father’s side of the family immigrated from Ireland just three generations ago. Therefore, when I read the synopsis of Grounded Hearts my curiosity was piqued.

  • This was the first book that I have read by this author and I really enjoyed it. I really liked reading this WWII era novel from an Ireland stand-point. The characters are well written, the story line fresh and complete. WWII is such a fascinating time in history – and I really enjoyed this story. This book is well researched and when you read you feel like you are there. I hope to read more form this author.

  • The book was a quick read and was very interesting. The characters were well developed and entertaining. However, I had a hard time to fall in love characters and the story line even though I was entertained while reading the book. A decent read but not a book I would love to re-read.

  • The book is so well written that I could not put it down. I loved the storyline and how the author transports readers back to World War II.

  • A well written and researched read! The background story was fascinating and lots of fun! The ending was a little different than what I expected, but overall loved the story!

  • If you like history, romance, humor and strong characters, then try this book and you may find yourself falling in love too.

  • I really enjoyed this read. The characters were well-developed and compelling. The storyline was interesting and believable. And I loved getting to know a little bit about Ireland’s position during the war.

  • The story takes place in Ireland during WWII when Ireland at that time was neutral. When a plane crashes and the injured pilot ends up at the door of a midwife, Nan O’Neil, she risks all to care for him. As the story developed, I got lost in the well described scene of an Irish town and the personal history of Nan O’Neil. The tale gripped my heart as she faced her worst fears and had to decide to risk loving again or captivity for the pilot whom she helps get well.

  • Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with Grounded Hearts. I was expecting a generic story, but instead I read a wonderful WWII drama with plenty of heart.

  • Being a huge fan of anything to do with WWI or WWII, I immediately felt a connection to Nan’s character. Not only is the position she finds herself in the midst of compromising, she follows her heart to care for a man, no matter which side of the war he is on.

  • Fic Gal says:

    I do like the writing but I guess I just wasn’t in the mood for this type of book. I have enjoyed historical fiction in the past although this isn’t a go to genre for me. It was enjoyable but I was hoping for something different.

  • I loved this story, I loved roaming the hills of Ireland, and the concept presented by the author is one that peeked my interest immediately!

  • Grounded Hearts is a beautiful story of hope, trust, letting go and faith during an extremely difficult time. We have amazing characters who never give up and inspire you the reader. I could not put this novel down – I loved every moment.

  • This book was fairly well written and engaged me enough that I wanted to finish reading it. I liked that Nan was on a journey to healing and a new love and I enjoyed reading about the women of the village who banded together to help Nan out when danger finds her.

  • From the moment I saw the striking colors of the cover to the moment I read the very last page, I enjoyed this book! The book pulls you into the lives of Nurse Nan and her “flyboy” from the very first chapters. With a story that is full of twists and adventure, it will keep you on the edge of your seat. I didn’t want to put the book down and go to bed each night. Great story line, great characters, and great author!

  • Such a well written book. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Dickson. The research was phenomal!

  • Grounded Hearts fully captured my attention and reader heart! This book is delightfully immersive and engaging and reading it is an experience I won’t soon forget! The rich setting and intriguing historical circumstances saturate the story with a cozy rainy day atmosphere. Bake some cookies and grab your favorite blanket, reader friends, you won’t want to put this one down!

  • There’s something about a book featuring opposing loyalties in war time that always grabs my attention, but this is the first time I’ve read a book where one of the parties is living in a politically neutral country and obligated to behave in a politically neutral manner. As far as the overall plot is concerned, this was an engaging read, and the constant risk of discovery for Dutch kept the tension high.

  • Grounded Hearts set in Ballyhaven, County Clare, Ireland 1941 is an interesting story of a fallen Canadian pilot and the Irish midwife who nurses him back to health.

  • This book starts off strong. With realistic characters and action packed adventure, you will find yourself smack dab in the center of the action.

  • Ms. Dickson’s writing served to keep me interested until the last page and aggravated that I could not sit and read this book in one sitting. I thought this novel touched on something I had not heard of. A wonderful first novel!

  • GROUNDED HEARTS is a story with a mix of charm, humor, religion, friendship, and romance set in Ireland during WWII. The story is sure to tug on readers’ hearts with its lovable characters, small-town charm, mild espionage, sizzling romance, and themes of forgiveness and trust. An enjoyable story from beginning to end!

  • This novel was rich in time, place, and characterization that the country of Ireland became alive to me. This read almost like a miniseries and I think it would be a great one dealing with midwifery, small town, war and the war efforts from a neutral country and all the politics that entailed. I look forward to more from the pen of author Dickson.

  • The story is a beautiful tale of redemption, second chances, forgiveness, loyalty, and love.

  • When Dutch Whitney parachutes into an Irish bog, he has two thoughts on his mind: the fate of his crew, and getting back to the fight. But County Clare is a long way from safety, and he’s injured. He’s fortunate to stop at the isolated cottage of a nurse and midwife who can tend to his wounds and who has a car he can “borrow” – if he can get it running.

  • Grounded Hearts is an engaging tale! Dickson intrigued me with the historical details of WWII Ireland, and I delighted in the richly drawn time period and setting. Nan and Dutch, as well as the village inhabitants who aid them, are well-developed characters, and the story that unfolds is rife with drama, danger, and romance.

  • I was excited to get this book to read and review because I absolutely love books set in World War 2. I am not a big fan of romance novels (partially because I don’t believe them helpful or edifying for the reader’s life) but in the past I have discovered a few romances set in World War 2 which I have enjoyed. Grounded Hearts is set in Ireland and the story revolves around an Irish midwife, Nan and a wounded RAF pilot whom she gives shelter to.

  • By The Book says:

    Grounded Hearts could have been a great novel; it had all the elements. Wonderful writing, unique premise, interesting setting and characters. But its reliance on things that I would rather not see in inspirational fiction put me off. Please note that I am in the minority among other reviewers. It has an overall 4-star rating on Amazon, with over 50% of reviewers giving it 5-stars. Please make sure to read their reviews to make your own judgment.

  • I really enjoyed the setting and getting to know the residents of Ballyhaven—some good, others not so good, but most (with the exception of Finn, the novel’s villain) fiercely loyal to one another. However, for as much as I liked the characters, setting, and plot, there’s one thing I didn’t enjoy at all: the romance. The novel is much more sensual than I was expecting.

  • More of Him says:

    This book is unlike any I have read before and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have read other books based in WWII but never one based in Ireland. I actually did not know that it was Ireland chose to be a neutral country until this book. I really enjoyed the historical aspects of this book.

  • I love reading books set in the World War II era, and I was really excited about reading this book. Especially since it is set in Ireland, a neutral country, which is different than most World War II books. But sadly, I was disappointed with the book.

  • I eagerly awaited this novel and we quickly get thrust into the action of World War II and of neutral Ireland which is a plus since I was afraid it’d be slow. The plot is creative and the front cover eye-catching, however I quickly ran into some problems that kept me from enjoying the book to its full potential.

  • I was hooked on this book from the first page. Ms. Dickson masterfully creates her characters within the confines of the story that takes place during war torn Ireland during WW II.

  • Grounded Hearts is one of the best I’ve read in the genre in a long while. Ms. Dickson paints Ireland with the brush of seasoned artist. I could feel the cool mud of the bog pulling at my feet and see the mist heavy in the air. Her eye for detail is clear in every line of prose.

  • Once I dug into the plot, I discovered the sweetness was merely a mask, and a flimsy one at that. The majority of the story ended up being crude and sensual.

  • Grounded Hearts is a book about trust, friendship, and compassion.

  • Moments says:

    I love reading historical fiction books set during the World War II and “Grounded Hearts” was a perfect read for me! 

  • I must be drawn to WWII novels. But this is the first time I’ve read about it from the point of view of Ireland! Funny how you don’t think about who else was affected (the whole world) when the drama was being played out in Germany (or is that just me?) This was an easy read and I’m a fan of a good happy ending so I was satisfied there.

  • Mixed feelings. Dickson is an excellent writer and it’s rare that I get to read a WWII book that doesn’t involve the Holocaust, so that was enjoyable as well. But the male characters seemed pretty foolish and unappealing, even the priest, while the women were strong.

  • Grounded Hearts was a book like nothing I have read before! I have never read a book based in Ireland during WWII and it was SO INTERESTING!

  • This World War II novel puts things into a different perspective because it takes place in Ireland. Sometimes we seem to forget that World War II literally affected the world. While there were some good aspects in this book, there were things in this book that wasn’t necessary. There should not be so much sensuality in a Christian fiction book. Also, the men were a bit weak and silly.

  • This book brings you to tears, and causes you to laugh. It has such unique characters, that each become a point in your mind through the book. I am hoping to read more from this author. She did a fantastic job of writing a historical fiction novel. Fans of Judith Pella’s Daughters of Fortune Series will enjoy this World War II based novel.

  • Filled with wonderful details of historic happenings, and characters like Nan and Dutch that quickly steal your heart, I felt like I was transported back into the world of Hitler, and emotions so strong that they become the reader’s emotions. Ms. Dickson is definitely an author I recommend.

  • Iola Goulton says:

    But if you’re the kind of reader who’s looking for fresh well-written fiction with an original plot, a little suspense, a little romance, and a lot of Irish humour, then you’ll enjoy Grounded Hearts.

  • The story drew me and kept me reading. I especially enjoyed the scenes of life in Ireland during the war and the characters who are part of Nan’s life. It’s a romance, and an unusually sweet one, a historical novel and a story of faith. I am hoping that there

  • As a reader, you will encounter so many moments of conflict, but this type of suspense will make it impossible for you to put this book down. You will be on the edge of your seat hoping Dutch will not be caught…hoping Nan will not go to jail…wondering what will become of the other characters in this town. Every emotion is touched on, and every aspect of a person’s character is revealed.

  • I found myself turning page after page with increasing speed, needing to find out if Nan was able to stay out of trouble.  I liked this aspect of the story much more than expected.

  • Dela Cruz says:

    I feel like these newer “Christian” books sound more and more like regular stories that are out in the world.

  • Overall, this is a decent World War II romance. If you like romance novels or history then this might be an interesting read to you. Grounded Hearts is a beautiful story of hope, trust, letting go and faith during an extremely difficult time. This historical story will touch your heart. It shines a light on those that fought and died during World War II.

  • The adventure Nan and Dutch had trying to get him across the border to Northern Ireland was funny at times. I also liked how Nan steps out of her comfort zone and finds there is more to life when you just take a little risk.

  • I enjoyed how the novel got right to the point in the first chapter. I liked Nan O’Neil. Her character was written really well. Ms. Dickson wrote her very well. I enjoyed getting to know her and how seemingly shy she seemed but really wasn’t. 

  • In Grounded Hearts, author Jeanne M. Dickenson has crafted a novel that readers of historical fiction and especially of WWII fiction will absolutely love. Dickenson has created characters that readers will immediately fall in love with and a story that will entice and enthrall. The story progresses in a way that readers will want to keep reading and not set the novel down. Well-written, engaging, and filled with history and romance, this is a story that readers will enjoy.

  • There were a lot of romantic moments, as Nan and Dutch were very attracted to each other and would be drawn to each other but kept resisting it. I also liked the strong sense of culture and history.

  • Book by Book says:

    In her debut novel, Jeanne M. Dickson beautifully depicts a setting I haven’t seen in the World-War-II novels I’ve read: Ireland. I so enjoyed being swept up in the history of this country during the war and getting to see a bit of the experience of neutrality in Grounded Hearts. And with interesting characters set against this history, Dickson’s story comes to life with charm, suspense, and romance.

  • Seriously, what can be better than a story about a midwife, a pilot, with a setting in World War II Ireland?! World War II is my favorite era. Be sure to check out this story!

  • I found myself feeling a spectrum of emotions, I found myself laughing, holding my breath, and crying. This book really touched me. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction Historical Romance, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more from Jeanne M. Dickson, she is a must-read author.

  • I was so eager to read this book, the premise sounded amazing and it is set in Ireland so how could you go wrong? Well unfortunately it didn’t quite live up to what I was hoping. While the story line had a lot of promise it just fell pretty flat to me.

  • Book Reviews says:

    This book has a great premise, and it is an interesting part of World War II that I haven’t read about recently. I liked the idea of the book a great deal.

  • Grounded Hearts is equally parts fascinating and frustrating for me. I adored the feisty spirit of the women, particularly a couple of scenes toward the end. The setting and its place in history has me itching to learn more and the intrigue/suspense kept me turning the pages. Especially when the innuendos and sensuality got a bit much for me. I needed some deeper emotional ties between characters, and I ached to find one ‘religious’ person in the story who truly seemed to love and honor my Jesus. Still, Grounded Hearts has gotten high marks from reviewers I trust – and it’s also gotten low marks from other reviewers I trust – so this seems to be a book on which you will need to decide for yourself!

  • This book is a good, clean, solid romance by worldly standards. I mean, there is a remark about a man’s “third leg” and many mentions of desire.

    Having said that, I think that people who read Christian fiction regularly will see this as being outside the norm for the genre and I have to take that into account.

  • Noveltea says:

    This book held so, so much promise. It had a perfect story to tell, and the characters intrigued me and drew me in right away. The setting was amazing. The world building was fantastic. The reactions realistic. The plot didn’t glue me to the page, but it did hold me there with high expectations of what was going to come next.

  • There was a lot about this book that made me excited to read it. The first is that it is a story set in Ireland. Having family that were from Ireland, I’m always looking for books that help me grow in my knowledge of Ireland and it’s history. Historical fiction is a fun way to learn about history! The second is the opening sentence on the back of the book: “In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral.” I never knew that somehow! I guess so much emphasis in school is put on the other countries, so I never knew this about Ireland. Right away, it told me that history was to be found within these pages.

  • Grounded Hearts by Jeanne M. Dickson was a well written and heart warming story detailing an aspect of WWII that is not usually present in WWII novels. Ireland is not typically a setting used or discussed in the WWII books I read, and it was very interesting to see the decisions this Irish community had to make concerning aiding an RAF pilot when they secretly were in support of his mission.

  • I am really stating to love this genre and I love this cover (totally sucked me in). The characters in this WWII story are vibrant and the setting of Ireland is beautiful and makes the story all the more interesting to me. The main characters, Nan and Dutch, are great together and I was pleasantly enthralled with their story as it went along.

  • I love stories set in WWII, so I was thrilled to read this one! While the historical aspect of the story was wonderful, I didn’t care for all the focus on the physical side of the main characters relationship. Jeanne writes well though, so I would try another of her books.

  • I really enjoyed this story…well wrote and fun to read.

    I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys reading Historical Fiction, especially World War II history.

  • Overall, this was an engaging, clean historical romance that I would recommend to any fan of the genre.

    I look forward to reading more of Dickson’s work in the future.

  • I loved this book and the characters. It was unlike any other book I’ve read and it was interesting to think how this really could have happened. Nan is not looking for love, but she finds it, and she also finds her courage, strength and faith throughout all of this mess as well.

  • Unfortunately, I really can’t recommend this one. The story sounded good, but as soon as I started reading I realized that it wasn’t quite as advertised. I thought it would be a clean Christian historical romance.

  • This was a story I wasn’t sure at first but I did fall in love with the story. The history was fun to read about. There was some romance in this story as well. Overall a well written story that you will want to read about.

  • I don’t know what it is about that time that draws me in, but I especially loves the stories of brave women who risked their lives to make sure others were safe. I haven’t ever read any WWII fiction set in Ireland so this was a new piece of the war for me. I found it fascinating to imagine myself in Nan’s shoes and how I would have responded if I were the one with a pilot on my doorstep. I enjoyed seeing the relationship grow between Nan and Dutch as the story progressed and Nan processing her feelings about her husband’s death and what happened to him

  • The amazing race for the border is amazing as well. And how hard is it for an Irish midwife to marry a flyboy if he’s incarcerated? Grab a book and start reading!

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