The Healing Stream
Fans of the late Maeve Binchy will love The Healing Stream by Connie Monk, a prolific writer of romance. As in Binchy’s work, Monk’s novel is about country people, love, happiness and raising children; you know from the beginning everything will end well, and nobody is really evil, only misguided. The writing is smooth and assured.
The heroine is Tessa, orphaned young, raised by a grandmother whose death propels her into the care of an unknown aunt and uncle. Naomi and Richard live on a small farm in Devon; they have the kindly hearts of people committed to working the land and caring for livestock and Tessa falls quickly into their way of life. Then she meets a glamorous, unsteady man. The rest follows as you would expect — the pleasure of books like this is that you know what’s going to happen, and when it does you’re gratified to find you were right all along.
The second half of the book takes place in a bucolic Spain, which seems as timeless as the Devonshire of cows and muddy barnyards. In spite of constant references to the Great War, there is no real sense of history in any of this. The novel satisfies because of its universality, and its comforting sense that nobody is really ever lost.