The Blessed by Ann H. Gabhart was my first exposure to the group of people known as the Shakers. I have to say that I found their ideas and way of life pretty strange, but those oddities were an important part of this story set in the mid-19th century.
Isaac Kingston has lost his beloved wife Ella, and the guilt he carries over her death is so strong that he considers ending his own life. Lacey Bishop has had her share of struggles in her young life, and things get much more complicated for her after the death of her “surrogate mother” who taught her so much about God and the Bible.
Through very different sets of circumstances, Isaac and Ella both find themselves moving into a Shaker village, surrounded by strange people with unusual ideas about living, loving and worshiping. They both are hesitant to become Believers and sign the Covenant required for official status as members of the community. In the midst of their reluctance, both become more confident in what they believe and find a strong measure of healing and freedom from their past and present trials.
This is the fourth book in Ann Gabhart’s Shaker Series but easily functions as a stand-alone title. The story was very interesting and engaging, although it seemed to have something of a slow start. There were many intriguing characters who added richness to the story, although at times the cultural/historical information seemed to overshadow them. I did enjoy the book and would be glad to read another by this author.
Available July 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
This book was provided to me free of charge from Revell for my honest review.