Book Review: Engraved on The Heart

14 Nov

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.

Tara Johnson is a writer, singer, speaker and passionate lover of stories. She makes her home in Arkansas with her husband and three children.

Connect with Tara online at her website ( or on any of these social media platforms:


My Impressions:

Civil War-era Savannah came alive within the pages of Engraved on The Heart by Tara Johnson. Although I am a transplanted Georgian (36 years now), I did not know much about that city’s involvement during the war, but this new-to-me author had it spot on. How do I know? I was recommending this book to a friend who happened to teach Georgia History to 8th graders for years. Everything she mentioned about Savannah, I responded with “that’s in the book!”. With its heartfelt message, engaging characters, and historical accuracy, this book is a recommended read for fans of historical romance fiction.

As the book opens, the South is on the verge of seceding from the Union. Sentiments are high with hopes of a glorious future for the old South. But main character, Keziah Montgomery chafes at the old ways and old ideas. Her views on abolition, plus her gender, are disregarded. As her parents work to get her married off, the war begins and everything changes for Keziah.

I loved the history surrounding the Underground Railroad in Savannah that Johnson details. It made me want to visit this city’s historic sites again. Abolition was certainly not popular, but there were many who believed in freedom for all — that was encouraging and enlightening. Keziah and Micah Greyson are integral parts to the railroad, and the book brought new appreciation of the danger involved in such a clandestine undertaking. Keziah longs for freedom of her own — from family expectations and societal structures. Her gender and her misunderstood ailment bring huge limitations to what she could do. That was eye-opening as well. The message of value in God’s eyes is very relevant for modern readers. There’s plenty of romance, mystery, and suspense in Engraved on The Heart — it is the whole package and a recommended read!


Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Tyndale Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinion expressed are mine alone.)


%d bloggers like this: