Nurse Jesse Forbes first meets Wade Simmer when she rides out in 1902 to combat scarlet fever among rural families outside Harpersville, Tenn. Wade is considered somewhat dangerous: he is a loner and folks suspect he might be "The Looker," a man who has been breaking into homes and blindfolding and fondling women. Jesse finds that Wade is a charming, if mercurial man who seems dedicated to obtaining an education for Jody, a young black boy he has taken under his wing. Jesse returns to town to discover that her father, Dr. Hollis Forbes, has hired Louella Lindstrom to be a housekeeper and help care for Jesse's half-siblings, Susan and Todd. Louella, a "greedy, manipulating" woman, conceals her poisonous personality from Hollis, on whom she has designs. Jesse is outraged that a mere housekeeper has such aspirations--an intriguing contrast to the book's benevolence toward Jody's hopes. When Garlock's ( A Gentle Giving ) story stays with simple, small-town characters and events, like Jesse's nursing and Wade's hesitant courtship, it is fairly successful (the contrived "Looker" subplot aside).
I LOVE READING GARLOUCKS BOOKS, THEY ARE ALWAYS SO GOOD THAT YOU NEVER WANT TO STOP READING, TENDERNESS IS ONE OF THEM. I HATED WHEN I FINISHED IT, JUST WANTED TO HEAR MORE ABOUT WADE AND JESSE.
Very good book. Dorothy Garlock always is. A little more graphic then others of hers I read, but very good none the less.
Proadly wearing her nurses uniform and fesity as could be Jesse Forbes delivered babies and tended to the sick in the rural hills of Harpersville Tennessee. But her gentle courage was about to spell life or death for a young Rebel named Wade Simmer.
At the beginning, I thought this would be 5 stars; but the strangest thing happened! After a surprise shooting, one of the lead characters decided not to marry the other lead (while the injured party was still in dire straits)! The story seemed to fall apart -- in my estimation.
Why the couple split did not make sense; according to the character descriptions, this couple was rock solid. I was disappointed.
It is a very predictable story, but interesting because of the touches Dorothy Garlock adds to the characterizations of the main and supporting characters.
There's an interesting mystery regarding "the Looker." A man attacks women, strips and ties them - assaulting them with his eyes. I thought this was an interesting plot line and rather novel.
Jesse is a young nurse, working for her father, Dr. Forbes. She seems to specialize in home visits, taking care of the more mundane cases, leaving time for her father to concentrate on more seriously-involved patients.
Garlock makes the story believable because nurse and doctor can't save them all. What starts as a few kids sick in the hills of Tennessee (in 1902) turns into an epidemic of scarlet fever. During this time, Jesse meets an elusive character, Wade Simmer. Rumors swirl around him and some folks assume he's the "Looker."
While Jesse is in the hills for 7 days, Dr. Forbes decides to take on a full-time housekeeper. Unfortunately, Garlock makes her as black-as-sin! Mrs. Lindstrom charms the widowed doctor and he hopes to have someone to share his work-filled, lonely life.
Garlock does a fine job of describing a lifestyle long gone in America. She also turns a critical eye on the bigotry prevalent in some small towns at that time.