Dr. Margo Devaull came to Dominic Zanelli's mountain retreat confident that she could help this Vietnam veteran overcome the torment that kept him apart from the world. But her training as a psychologist had not prepared her for the tragic, explosive contradictions brewing inside him. For here was a sensitive artist who could be gentle - and a man whose eyes flashed with violence and pain when he told her to leave and never come back. Yet Margo did come back, slowly gain his trust, and awaken the sleeping needs of his heart. Only by reliving her own wounded past and helping Zane confront a terrible memory from the war could she set them both free - and save their last chance for love.
©1989 Sandra Lee Smith (P)2013 Sandra Lee Smith
Realism ups the emotional ante to the highest threshold in "Love's Miracles". This is far more a genuine mainstream psychological drama than a genre romance. The attention to detail, the slow rate of the healing process, the relapses, the reality based ethical conflicts, and the traumatized past of both the hero and heroine combine to make this story a tour de force. This is not a fluffy genre romance. It is the first Vietnam era story I’ve ever been able to finish – not that I have started that many. To be frank, I did give up on reading the book but I liked it enough to buy and listen to the audible version. I just thought that if I didn’t have to read it, it would be more ‘out there in the world’ and not so much inside my head. It worked. The reader’s great ability to bring the story to life and make the emotions live in the characters' souls gave the story an interpetation I could finally experience. Audio books are very, very different than reading the same story.
I have not read any other Vietnam era book so I will compare it to Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms”. Both books have very realistic combat scenes and both seem to deal with the problems of identity and an entire generation. Hemingway had the lost generation. Zane in this book, like many vets my age and in my generation, came back from the war not lost but rather invisible and wanting to become lost. Lost in their own world. Lost in love. Lost in drugs. “Love’s Miracles” really does speak to a whole generation.
I liked the scene where the heroine has to confront her fear of the dark and how the power of love overcomes this lifelong fear. Love performs many miracles in this story.
War is a hell that can reverberate for a lifetime – baring a miracle.
I think this book is better listened to than read. The emotions emanating from the spoken words by this fine reader surrounded me in a way reading would not have. It’s like the difference between scratching your own back and having someone else do it for you. It always fees better when someone else does it. I’m so glad that I purchased this audible book. This is a book that speaks to a generation in a voice of compassion and love and hope. I would not have wanted to miss it.
I must add one caveat: this book went from being a resounding 5-star experience to becoming a potential 3-star disappointment in the Epilogue when I missed hearing one word! That one word is Zanelli and if you don’t hear it, as I didn’t, the ending of “Love’s Miracles” moves far closer to being emotionally like “A Farewell to Arms” ending than to the satisfying love story it really is. Don't miss 'Zanelli'.
I love audiobooks because of their flexibility, and this one packed in a very compelling, emotional story. It's definitely one of the books I'd recommend.
Sandra Leesmith does an amazing job with these characters, getting us into their heads so you feel Zane's craving for isolation and understand the passion that drives Margo to help war veterans at all costs - Zane in particular. The romance is crackling, too, but stays fairly clean.
The climax near the end was my favorite, but I won't spoil it for you. Let's just say you won't know what's coming next and you should prepare to become emotionally involved. :)
I've enjoyed the other books I've read/heard from this author, but this was by far my favorite!
I loved the story and the narrator's voice was very soothing. Perfect for the car!
I thought it was a good story, good pacing and and exceptional narration. As a member of the ACFW and a pre-published writer I admire writers who persevere to become published. Sandra has bright career ahead of her and this book is worth the purchase in audiobook form. Interesting story that had me from the first chapter.
Similar to Collen Coble's Lonestar Series. The recording was just as professional and appealing to listen. While most of us are not fully in Coble's realm as a writer, Sandra has found the bread crumbs and employed them as I wish and work towards having my own follow. In some ways I found it similar to Karen Kingsbury's ABOVE THE LINE series as well. We all aim to work towards becoming as competent as the master writers we admire. Sanda has a bright future continuing on the path she is following.
Emotion. I enjoy both reading and listening to audio books. The audio versions often add something I might rush through in reading. They slow down my pace and frankly that is a beneficial plus.
No. Multiple sittings just based on free time. I enjoy audio books that way. Able to start, stop and quickly get back into the stories recalling what came before and looking forward to what is ahead.
Keep an eye and ear out for Sandra's future work. She is worth the time to follow and enjoy. I sure did.
I loved how the characters are strong. This book takes place in 1989 but it could just as easily taken place in present time.
Margo and Dominic are both great characters. They have depth and a backstory. I love how what happened in there past is what brought them together.
This book is very predictable but when all is revealed it is a very emotional part that you can't help but feeling for all the characters involved.
The cover to me didn't quite hint enough at the pain and depth of character that I found the story to have. Wounded heroes are totally my reader binge of choice but I found this one exceptionally deep and moving, and felt I learned a lot about the personal torments experienced by veterans of war and the psychology meant to help them. All without ever overshadowing the slow-burning love story.
I can't say because it would be an absolute spoiler but I will see, hear, and feel that scene for a long time.
Rachel can really deliver the emotion of the dialogue and scenes. It took me a long time to get accustomed to her voice, and there were quite a few places I could hear her inhale between the lines which was a little distracting at times but after about five chapters, I got very attuned to her reading and enjoyed it to the end. Her performance in the climax and last third of the novel were very powerful.
The moment I realized what Zane had to do. His secret and the source of his deepest pain, shame, and withdrawal. But there were so many, like when Margo made the choice to stand up for what she knew to be right in spite of the overwhelming evidence and conjecture she was making the wrong choice.
I typically read and listen to Christian fiction almost exclusively unless a general market book comes recommended to me as this one did. I found the occasional use of language and scene and character appropriate sensuality gave depth and authenticity to the story. Overall I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Love's Miracles and will explore other works by this author and narrator.
Writer, Regency lover, historic novel aficionado.
Perhaps. I know, a vague answer, but here's why: the main character seems nagging at times. She's a psychologist trying to push someone into therapy and if she were pushing me, I'd probably deck her. Once the story got past that, though, I found it very enjoyable, although I think we could have come to the ending a bit sooner.
The mother, actually. Good head on her shoulders. Compassionate, a great mom.
Betina, the mother. Rachel did a fabulous French accent.
I'm not sure I can answer that.
I have to say that the narrator's voice was a bit annoying at first. It seemed rather dull, but as I got further into the story, I got used to it and it didn't bother me any more.
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