Historical Fiction, Review

Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

I highly recommend this historical fiction set in the Civil War era! Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson is a 2019 Christy Award finalist in the First Novel category.

about the book

Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

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.

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my thoughts

Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson quote + review on Faithfully Bookish

This book fills my reader heart with satisfaction and remedies a deficiency which had previously gone unnoticed… I was way overdue for some Civil War fiction! It isn’t the epic scenes of war that I find appealing (although I’m not opposed to the literary experience of a well-executed battle, this story is focused elsewhere), it’s the extraordinary and everyday heroes and heroines who rise to the occasion, make difficult choices, and do good despite the conflict and turmoil surrounding them.

Keziah Montgomery is a painfully shy young woman who seems trapped in a glass tower by her overbearing and perpetually disappointed family members and her embarrassing and misunderstood medical condition. Childhood friend Micah Greyson reenters Keziah’s life like a ray of spring sunshine after a long, hard winter.

It’s impossible to not fall in love with Micah’s compassion for the downtrodden and oppressed. His desire to be Kizzie’s champion is tangible and oh, so swoony! This childhood friends to sweethearts romance and, be still my heart, precious terms of endearment have me walking through a fog of romantic contentedness.

What makes this book truly wonderful is the unapologetic representation of Keziah’s life experience in the South. Her eyes open to the world around her as she grows from a naive debutant into a courageous young woman brave enough to trust in God for her strength and wisdom as she stands up for herself and others. I highly recommend this story and eagerly anticipate this author’s future works!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.


about the author

Tara johnsonTara Johnson is a passionate lover of stories, Tara uses fiction, nonfiction, song, and laughter to share her testimony of how God led her into freedom after spending years living shackled as a people pleaser.

She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and makes her home in Arkansas with her husband and three children. Visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter.


similar titles

In His Eyes by Stephenia H. McGee A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz


Share some of your favorite aspects of Civil War fiction and unsung heroes (and heroines), reader friends!
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5 thoughts on “Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson”

  1. Wow!! This book looks like a great and captivating read. I will be checking to see if I can get this book.


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