Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Blessed by Ann H. Gabhart

Lacey Bishop is in a heap of trouble. She’s a young woman who, for several years, has lived with a Kentucky pastor’s family. Rejected by her father, Lacey earns her keep by taking care of the pastor’s wife and an abandoned child. When the pastor’s wife dies, Lacey “does what has to be done.” She up and marries the pastor so that she can continue to care for the child. Through a troubling series of events, Lacey and her new family finally join the Shaker community.

Isaac Kingston is a widower, shunned and vilified by his former wife’s family. He encounters a Shaker man who invites him to the Shaker life, also. Isaac is attracted to Lacey, even though she’s legally married to the preacher. This isn’t supposed to happen among the Shakers because they believe romance, marriage, and having children are sinful.

Conflict, intrigue, romance, deception, forgiveness, redemption---all figure in this engaging story. In some of the earlier Shaker books, the story seemed to bog down in the middle. Not this one, though. The characters are compelling, and the story moves at a pleasing pace.

The author lives near one of the now-deserted Shaker villages, and she has thoroughly researched their living habits and their beliefs. Not only does she tell a great story and create fascinating characters; she also educates the reader about Shaker life and beliefs.

The Blessed is the fourth novel in Gabhart’s Shaker series. And---based on this story, I think the Shaker series has a bright future.

Read the first two chapters on Ann's website.

See my reviews of the first three Shaker books.

Purchase the book on

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this author's copy at no charge from Revell Books. 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.”

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