Sarranda's Heart

Sarrandas Heart

by Celia H. Miles

Martha O'Quinn (12/09/13): Shakespeare said, "What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted!" Thus a fitting description of Sarranda Boylett, heroine of Celia Miles' latest book, "Sarranda's Heart: A Love Story of Place." In spite of a series of life-changing events that would blemish the strongest heart a hundred times over, Sarranda continues to seek a better life, not only for herself, but for all those still suffering in the mountains of Western North Carolina. When a brief stay in the North results in less support and monies than hoped for, Sarranda returns to her mountains, and with the help of a young Irish girl and old friends, finds a way to provide a basic need for the younger generation, education. The end of the book leaves one wanting more: a second chance at love for Sarranda, for the success of her father's grist mill, prosperity for her son and his betrothed. This is a stand-alone book, but the prequel, "Sarranda," reinforces her strength and untainted heart. I highly recommend both books.
Rating: *****

Polly Davis (11/26/13): The author C. Miles has put her voice where her heart is in this vivid portrayal of characters living in the western North Carolina mountain during and after the Civil War. Her research shows accuracy in the times and the characters, and she gives both her mountains and her characters a sweetness and a hardiness that defines her love for both.
Rating: *****

Nancy Sales Cash (11/13/13):This book's word power really put me in its time and place - the Appalachian mountains just after the Civil War. I could also identify with Sarranda. Being a mountain girl too, and one who also left and came back, I was with her all the way through her voyage of the heart.
Rating: *****

Kaye Barley (11/05/13): What a beautiful story, perfectly written. Reading this slowly was an impossible task, I was just not able to put it down, and I gobbled it up far too quickly. Then, I went back and reread it slowly so I could savor the words, the mood, the loveliness of a very moving book. I felt as though this story was flowing directly from the author's heart onto the pages, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Rating: *****

Nancy Dillingham (10/17/13): Sarranda's Heart: A Love Story of Place is Celia's Miles' sequel to her luminous Civil War novel, Sarranda, an indelible portrait of a strong mountain woman whose spirit triumphs over personally loss and desecration of "the land of her heart."

After the war, Sarranda Boylett leaves her beloved western North Carolina home in Greene Valley. But now, in the 1880s, she is returning, with Lily, an Irish serving girl, from an "easeful and secure position" in a Massachusetts town, to her roots with dreams of a "lavender night with a stranger" and her beloved grandfather's grist mill that she hopes to get up and running again, and of helping her people recover from the devastation of the war. Sarranda muses at the beginning of Sarranda's Heart: "Now I, a southern mountain woman, was in the North, preparing to return home as a soldier of a different sort, an emissary sent to serve my people, not to shoot the enemy."

As one would expect, Sarranda and Lily meet with many obstacles, but with luck and pluck--and a lot of good humor--they successfully start a school, and Sarranda gets her grandfather's grist mill started up again.

This book is a page-turner. Miles writes with verve and energy, infusing her novel with all the warmth, passion and compassion that her vibrant heroine embodies.

Visit Celia Miles' website for more info and more books.
Rating: *****

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