Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels–The Outsider, The Believer,The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted–as well as several other historical novels, including Scent of Lilacs, Orchard of Hope, Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Words Spoken True. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Find out more at www.annhgabhart.com.
The Civil War has ended, but Carlyn’s husband has not come home. She has no idea if Ambrose is dead or missing, and she is overcome with debt. When she loses their home, Carlyn has nowhere else to turn but the nearby Shaker community, Harmony Hill. Although the Shakers are known for their peaceful ways, Carlyn’s arrival seems to coincide with mysterious happenings and violent death. When the local sheriff investigates the happenings at Harmony Hill, his interest in Carlyn begins to turn personal.
While the Amish fiction genre is still going strong, there is comparatively little being written about the Shakers. I find them to be as interesting as the Amish, if not more so. The post-Civil War era is a fascinating era for historical fiction, and the rural Kentucky setting is one the author obviously knows well. The characters are believable and avoid the usual fictional stereotypes and cliches. Although this novel is a part of the Harmony Hill series, it works fine as a stand-alone novel. The mystery in the storyline is quite gripping, which, in my experience, is unusual in a Shaker novel. The story usually focuses on the peace and simple life found among the Shakers. I could not put this book down.
I do hope Ms. Gabhart continues to write about the Shakers. i can’t wait to read more in this series.
Available July 2015 at your favorite bookseller.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”