After a grizzly bear kills Antonia Valleau's trapper husband, she packs her few worldly possessions, leaves her home in the mountains of Montana, and treks to nearby Sweetwater Springs, seeking work to provide for her two young sons.
Reeling from the loss of his wife during childbirth, Erik Muth must find a nursing mother for his newborn daughter to survive. For their children's sake, Erik and Antonia wed, starting a new life together on his farm on the prairie. But it's no easy union. Antonia misunderstands Erik's quiet personality. He finds her independence disconcerting. Both hide secrets that challenge their growing intimacy.
When Indians steal livestock from farms around Sweetwater Springs to feed their starving tribe, the outraged townsfolk demand retaliation. Erik and Antonia must work together to prevent a massacre. Will a marriage forged in loss blossom into love?
©2015 Debra Holland (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
Healing Montana Sky was an extremely emotional story - more so than any of Debra's other books I've read - but the tale was engrossing and I didn't want it to end. It's very hard to compare it to others I've listened to as it's the first I've listened to that dealt with the loss of loved ones and of the process of moving on from the loss. Even while addressing the sorrow, the book did not leave me sad, but rather hopeful for a new tomorrow.
Some sections were admittedly difficult to read, but there were plenty of bright spots to offset the sadness. There was also much wisdom to be savored in the characters' thoughts and words. While there is much sorrow in the tale, there's also positivity and the threads of a bright future. I was not depressed at the end, but hopeful for a new tomorrow.
I would have to say Antonia. Natalie aced her accent while keeping Antonia's words clean and clear. I had feared I would have issues understanding Antonia when I transitioned from the kindle version, but I did not thanks to Natalie's voicing of Antonia's character.
Please know that I read the first half of this book and listened to the remainder; It was an easy transition and I thoroughly enjoyed both editions. As Natalie has for the previous books, she does a great job capturing the essence of each of the characters and seamlessly differentiating between them. She has a very pleasing voice and, under her care, the story flows smoothly and quickly keeping listeners spellbound.
There were two. The first was when Antonia opened a book at her first home. She could not read and had never held a book before. It made me feel so fortunate to be able to read.
Here's a very short snippet from that scene:
She stopped before the shelf of books and took one down. She'd never held a book before and reverently turned the pages, looking at the incomprehensible print and wishing she could understand the meaning of the words.
Henri drifted close to peer over her arm. "What's that?"
"A book. There be stories in here."
The second was when another rancher shared how he had coped and learned to love again after losing his wife as Erik had done. I felt it was a very moving scene with much wisdom shared. Here's a short snippet from that scene:
“The guilt passes?"
Jonah nodded, his eyes grave. "Mostly." He took off his hat and ran a hand through his shoulder-length blond hair. "Hard to be grieving one wife and yet developing love for another." He put his hat back on. "Confusing as all get-out."
Erik let out a slow breath, relieved to be understood. "Yes."
"You can treasure the memory of one and love the reality of the other.”
HEALING MONTANA SKY by Debra Holland is a realistic, emotionally intense installment in her Montana Sky series. It's always a treat to revisit Sweetwater Springs, Montana and the interesting array of characters who populate the area, many of whom I've become quite attached to, thanks to the previous books.
Yes! I love this story of how two people, both grieving deep loss are forced to become not only family to one another but also end up healing each other's broken hearts.
I rarely get emotional with a book. They are merely fun escapes for me, but this story almost had me in tears within the first few chapters and cheering out loud by the end of the book. This story was beautifully told!
I loved the way Natalie performed Antonia. It is difficult to make someone who is uneducated not sound stupid and Natalie did a wonderful job at endearing Antonia to the reader without causing the reader to pity her. You could tell how intelligent Antonia is even without growing up going to school.
As I said before, I almost cried in the first few chapters. It was very emotional and very sad. Debra brings you into the greif of loss without it being depressing. But the end of the book, though you could feel the hope and joy that only mending hearts could bring.
The deeper I get into this series the more I love it and don't want it to end. Debra has a wonderful ability to weave story after story to bring this wonderful Montana town to life! I love that Sweetwater Spring's citizens are not perfect, but they love the land and depend on each other to conquer the land and establish a place of love and life.
This is a woman's story, reminding us of the everyday hardships of a farmer's wife and a family's struggle for survival. Women sometimes died from childbirth leaving husbands without a wife and mother for newborn children. Neighbors relied on neighbors and Blackfoot Indians suffered on reservations, treaties broken. "Reading" this story shows how far our lives have come in a hundred years, especially for women. The female reader is perfect for this story and does an outstanding job with men's voices. I'm glad I chose this book from the audible sale. I probably wouldn't have chosen it otherwise. It was worth the price and my time.
I have so enjoyed this series. I wonder each time if the next book will be as good as the last. I have not been disappointed. The narrator makes the book come alive. She has an excellent grasp of dialect. Enough to make each Immigrants voice unique and authentic. Thank you ladies! Well done.
Antonia's husband was killed in the mountains and she made the trip with her two sons to Sweetwater to find work. Erik lost his wife in childbirth and needed someone to nurse his newborn daughter. They both needed healing from their loss. Love always win in the end. I have never enjoyed a series as I have enjoyed The Montana Sky ones!! Bravo to the author and Narriator.
I loved this story. It was heartbreaking, but life was harsh back in the early days of the west. The hero and heroine talk to each other, understand each other's grief, and work hard to create a new combined family together. So strong and inspiring.
Antonia is a determined woman. She is smart and willing to do whatever is necessary for her children and family.
Natalie Ross does a fantastic job on all the characters. It was amusing when the children were talking.
Bury the grief. Live for the family.
I've tried to listen to 2 of this authors books because I enjoy this type of story. One, Wild Montana Sky's, had an insipid weak woman as the main character that I had to stop listening to and the second, Healing Montana Sky's had a one of the worst narrations ever. Her French accent slipped between bad French, Irish and Scottish! Horrible. I may pick this book up in hard copy because I believe the story (although predictable) had potential. Thank heavens audible now does refunds!
Painfully beautiful the sorrow and healing of this book are both devastating to hear about yet pull you in so you can discover their happy ever after!
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