The Blessed

Lacey Bishop and Isaac Kingston have both lived lives that were hard.  The 1840's was not an easy time to live in, but having sorrow filled lives, made gave them something in common.  However they were not supposed to be looking for commonalities in each other, they were supposed to view each other as Brother and Sister.  Life in the Shaker Village is hard for Lacey, and for Isaac, all the rules about every aspect of life makes Lacey feel smothered.  And the Shaker's taking Rachel from her has Lacey trying to figure out how she can get her little girl (not by birth, but my love) back, before little Rachel's spirit is completely destroyed.  A book that will make you think about some of the things that people in a Shaker Village faced.  Especially people who were not there of their own choice.  While the Shaker religion is not a religion I enjoy reading about, Ann Gabhart's excellent writing skills make you feel the challenges that Lacey and Isaac both faced.  I give this book a 4 star rating!    CBR

This book was provided for review purposes only by Revell publishing and is available July 2011 where you favorite Revell books are sold, Revell is a division of Baker Publishing. 

Bestselling Author Ann Gabhart Writes A Novel of Forbidden Love

In the Shaker Village of Harmony Hill

“Let the child go, Lacey. Right now! We’ve come into this community to leave things of the world behind and do as they say” said Preacher Palmer. “But she needs me.” She spoke barely above a whisper. “She needs discipline. And so do you...” he said.

There is an intrigue and enigma with the Shakers and their way of life. Award-winning author Ann Gabhart weaves a heartrending novel of the Shakers in her latest Shaker novel, The Blessed (ISBN: 978-08007-3454-1, $14.99, 416 pages, July 2011). It is a time of spiritual revival in the mid-1840’s when the Shakers worship services received many spiritual messages from Mother Ann and other Shaker leaders. Harmony Hill was a place offering a different way of life from the world. This village was a place where the people were dedicated to community, hard work, practicing their worship, and engaging in long hours of worship each week.

It is 1844. In her twenty years, Lacey Bishop has endured hard times including the death of her mother and her father’s remarriage to a woman with no love for his children. When she was thirteen, Lacey went to live with the preacher and his wife. Upon the sudden death of the preacher’s wife, difficult times return for Lacey. The preacher convinces Lacey to marry him so she can continue to act as a mother to the little girl who was left on the preacher’s doorstop. But Lacey never expected he would decide to take all of them to a Shaker village. At the village her marriage is still legal to the outside world but living in a Shaker community, they believed marriage is a sin. Lacey finds herself drawn to Isaac Kingston, a man who came to the Shakers after his young bride died. Confused and her heart torn between right and wrong, Lacey must choose what to do. Discover how the Shakers lived in The Blessed and if truth, love and forgiveness become reality for Lacey.

Ann Gabhart
is the award-winning, bestselling author of several books about the Shakers, including The Believer, The Outsider and The Seeker. Living just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village and one mile from the place she was born in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, she has walked the same paths that her characters might have walked in generations past. For more information about Ann visit her website at www.annhgabhart.com

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"When you step into the world of Ann Gabhart's The Blessed, you'll find it inhabited by a truly delightful cast of characters. Theirs is a multileveled love story . . . between a man and a woman, yes, but also between a woman and a child not her own. Certainly, a tender and inspiring read."--Ann Tatlock, award-winning novelist

"Ann H. Gabhart takes us on a remarkable journey into the lives of the Shakers and their community. With a compelling style, she weaves a story of love, compassion, and a young woman's determination to find God's truth. From cover to cover, The Blessed captivates and challenges--an absolutely wonderful read."--Judith Miller, author of A Bond Never Broken

"A heartwarming story of second chances, The Blessed takes readers on an unforgettable journey of love, self-sacrifice, and learning to trust God in seemingly impossible circumstances. Skillful research and a well-woven story make for a genuine page-turner!"--Lorna Seilstad, author of the Lake Manawa Summers series

"A thoughtful exploration of a young woman's coming of age in a Shaker Community, The Blessed is a satisfying, joyful read."--Jan Watson, author of the award-winning Troublesome Creek series

"Readers will love The Blessed . . . Ann H. Gabhart weaves a tender story of forbidden longing and loyalty, and her deep understanding of the Shaker historical setting rings true."--Marta Perry, author of Sarah's Gift

"Ann Gabhart has written a fine and fair rendering of the Shaker ways and how the beliefs of this communal society touched the lives of those within the community and those without. As someone interested in the history of communal societies, I often wondered how the Shakers saw their world and faith and how their neighbors might have responded. Ann has shown us through distinctive and fallible characters how easily one can be led astray by doctrine not infused with God's grace."--Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author of The Daughter's Walk

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