Tuesday, July 26, 2011
THE BLESSED by Ann H. Gabhart - Book Review
Trapped by obligation, one woman longs for the freedom of true love.
It is 1844 and Lacey Bishop's life is a tangled mess. When circumstances move Lacey to a nearby Shaker village, she is not prepared for the new life that awaits her. In the midst of her deep loneliness, Lacey works to fit in with this odd group. But everything shifts when she finds herself drawn to a Shaker man in a village where such relationships are forbidden.
Can Lacey ever find true happiness in this mysterious place?
My Review: The fourth in Ann H. Gabhart's series, this book unfolds more of the Shakers religious beliefs and lifestyle. Living just 30 miles from a restored Shaker village in Kentucky gives the author a rreal sense of what life in the community would have been like in the 1800's. She includes an historical note at the beginning of the book in order to place readers in the time and setting of her novel.
It is clear that this is a well researched rendering, and the characters come to life from page one. I loved the character of Lacey, and rooted for her as she faced challenges and dilemmas. The idea of a traditional family was particularly challenging. What is the true way? Lacey had been raised to believe one way, but those beliefs are then challenged by the Shakers. The theme running through the book is "What does it mean to be blessed?" How could she bring the feelings of her heart in line with the strange ways of the Shakers? The author leaves us with this dilemma until the end. That is what keeps readers turning the pages!
Each of the Shaker books is stand-alone, but once you've read one, you will be longing for more!
About the author:
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".