Only One Way Home by Deborah Heal
I am totally hooked on this author’s books, part science fiction, part fantasy, part romance, part historical fiction.
FIELD RESEARCH SITE: Golconda, Illinois.
GOAL: Trace client’s Frailey ancestors—back to Scotland if possible—and get home in time for dinner.
NOTE TO SELF: Do NOT fall in love with Matthias Frailey even though he is . . . was quite wonderful. Remember, idiot, he’s been dead for over 175 years.
Professor Merrideth Randall’s latest after-hours genealogy consulting gig takes her and friends Abby and John to the small southern Illinois town of Golconda on the Ohio River. She expects to have to research the old-fashioned way at the courthouse. But thankfully, her client’s ancestor Matthias Frailey once hung out in Golconda’s ancient Ferry House inn, and that means Beautiful Houses, Merrideth’s time-rewinding software, will work after all.
It doesn’t take Merrideth and her friends long to time-surf back to find out what they need to know about Matthias Frailey and his family. But when they become eyewitnesses to the arrival of the Cherokee on the Golconda Ferry on December 3, 1838, they cannot tear their eyes away from the tragedy that unfolds—nor from Matthias Frailey’s heroic response to it. The people are herded down Main Street on their Trail of Tears, bound for the Oklahoma Country, while the townsfolk only watch, or even cheer. But not Matthias Frailey. He does what he can to help them, especially a very spirited—and very pregnant—woman named White Dove who insists on walking so others may ride in the wagons.
Spending so much time inside Matthias’ head, Merrideth has no doubt that he is the kind, selfless man he appears to be. It’s impossible not to fall a little in love with him—despite the fact that he has been dead for over 175 years. Meanwhile, in the here and now, handsome Golconda historian Nick Landis is doggedly pursuing her. And back home her McKendree College colleague Brett Garrison keeps calling while he waits for her return. But are they—or any man—worthy of her trust? Too bad there isn’t a way to time-surf in their heads. Now that would be a dating tool she could really put to good use.
About Deborah Heal:
Deborah Heal, the author of the Time and Again History Mystery Trilogy and the Rewinding Time Series, which have been described as “Back to the Future meets virtual reality with a dash of Seventh Heaven thrown in,” was born not far from the setting of her novel Every Hill and Mountain and grew up just down the road from the settings of Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy.
Today she lives with her husband in Monroe County, Illinois, not far from the setting of Once Again. She enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. She has three grown children, five grandchildren, and two canine buddies Digger and Scout, a.k.a. Dr. Bob in Unclaimed Legacy.
Her interest in the Trail of Tears stems from her Cherokee ancestors who thankfully remained safe in North Carolina when the soldiers came.
Review by Butifnot:
If anyone told me I would be interested in Illinois history I would have said they were crazy, but here I am waiting for the next book in this series which will come out this fall.
Deborah has such a great way of drawing you into her historical novel that you don’t realize you are a history buff until you want to know what happens next.
Her well researched novels are fascinating and will hold the attention of readers of any age. I love the links on her website that give additional historical information about the time period she writes about. Be sure to go read them after you finish the book.
If you are looking for a historical novel with just a touch of romance this is for you. But…it’s squeaky clean so you can feel safe letting your teens read it too.
By P. Glans:
Wouldn’t it be grand if when doing one family’s research you could actually see your ancestors in action, living their lives, making decisions which will affect their future generations?
I loved, loved, loved this book … All the characters were well defined and extremely well written, the storyline is believable, Have tissues nearby, the Trail of Tears is not America’s shining moment, it is heart breaking to know what these poor souls had to endure because of politics in Washington, DC. It was so heart warming to know there were people who did what they could to help along the way.
I am totally hooked on this author’s books, part science fiction, part fantasy, part romance, part historical fiction. This book has it at. Well done Ms. Heal, well done!!!!