Book Review: Engraved On The Heart by Tara Johnson

BONUS POST simply because this book has been on my mind since I finished it a few days ago.

Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines―until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path . . . as a conductor in the Underground Railroad.

Dr. Micah Greyson never hesitates to answer the call of duty, no matter how dangerous, until the enchanting Keziah walks back into his life and turns his well-ordered plans upside down. Torn between the life he has always known in Savannah and the fight for abolition, Micah struggles to discern God’s plan amid such turbulent times.

Battling an angry fiancé, a war-tattered brother, bounty hunters, and their own personal demons, Keziah and Micah must decide if true love is worth the price . . . and if they are strong enough to survive the unyielding pain of war.

This is Tara’s debut novel, and I’m really hoping she has something new coming down the pike. Her style and meaningful depth of writing make my heart so happy.

When I first started reading “Engraved on the Heart”, I was skeptical. Being a faithful resident of the South, I was defensive against the kind of light that was being shed on the Confederacy’s shortcomings that I prefer not to dwell upon. However, Tara had a way of tugging me into the story and look objectively (something I’m still learning to do as I write my manuscript, also set around the Civil War period).

What I loved most about this story, though, was the delicate way Tara wove story with history. She took the dark and dirty and gave it hope. I love that. I find that Christian books don’t go to the darkest parts like they should, but that was not the case for this book. Both my heart and my morals were invested in the story by the time I read the first few chapters.

Keziah reminded me so much of myself, with her timidity yet strong desire to do the right thing. I loved watching her grow and change for the better through the duration of this novel. Tara did a wonderful job developing a character that functioned on her own, apart from the love interest. Speaking of which, Micah is a total sweetheart. I wish I could put him in a jar and carry him around in my pocket. That’s all I’ll say about him, you should just read for yourself!

In conclusion, this novel is amazing and you should buy it! Support a debut author and join me in encouraging her to release another book soon!

What are you currently reading?


13 thoughts on “Book Review: Engraved On The Heart by Tara Johnson

  1. One of my little sisters’ is named Keziah! I love Civil war books from the South’s perspective 😉 Have you ever read any of G. A. Henty’s books (I may have asked you this at the conference). He as an amazing book called True To The Flag from England’s POV on the American Revolution.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been meaning to get through that list of authors I have!! I will DEFINITELY look him up and see about getting that book! Have you ever read any Shelby Foote? He has great books about the Civil War and their battles! His book “Shiloh” is amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love books that leave you thinking way after you’ve read them. Red Sky Over America by Tamera Lynn is a great civil war book that had this affect on me. It shows all angles of people being strongly against, for neutral, against but not willing to break the law. It may cry tears of grief, anger, and even joy. A very emotional book that truly impacted me. Right now. I am reading from review, A Secret to Die For, by Lisa Harris :).
    Way off the subject…by any chance did they say where next year’s ACFW conference will be at?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I LOVE Tamera. I met her at conference. She is the most amazing person and I can’t wait to read her book! She pitched to the same agent, actually!

      It’s going to be in San Antonio, Texas! Lovely town ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OMG, I am stoked!! San Antonio is my hometown! I was wondering if there were any writing conferences in my area and this popped up on Google. When I checked the ACFW website it didn’t show, so I was afraid to get my hopes up lol. You just made my year 😁. Hopefully I’ll meet you? So cool you got to meet Tamera. It’s going to be hard for me to focus during the conference because I’ll be wanting to looked for all my favorite authors ;). 💕

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! It was you who sent me the book and said it sounded like something I might like! But yes… the title… so familiar. Oh well, just an opportunity for something better to take its place!!


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