Monday, September 9, 2013

Christmas at Harmony Hill by Ann H. Gabhart

The story opens in 1874, near the end of the Civil War. Heather Worth follows her husband's army unit (Union) for a while. But, when she becomes pregnant, she goes back home to her parents' home in central Kentucky. But, she's not welcomed at home. Her mother is dead, and her father won't take her in because he's a Confederate sympathizer. So, Heather does the only thing she knows to do. She goes to the nearby Shaker village and asks them to take her in temporarily. At least she hopes it will be temporary. Her husband is still fighting the Rebels, and she's afraid he might not come back to her. Her mother's last letter reminded her of an aunt who had gone to the Shakers years ago. Heather hoped to connect with her at Shaker village, especially now that her mother was dead.

But, the Shakers have peculiar ways. They don't believe in families living together. But, Heather has no other place to go. The baby comes during the Christmas holidays. Heather's thoughts often go to Mary, the mother of Jesus, how she must have felt as she gave birth to the Lord.

A Shaker Christmas novella---what a great idea.Whether you've read any of Gabhart's Shaker books before or not, you're sure to enjoy this one. The author lives near Pleasant Hill, a restored Shaker village that now is open to the public. In all of Gabhart's Shaker stories, you learn about Shaker beliefs and how the Shakers interacted with those who came to them for help. This will make a great Christmas gift for readers of historical fiction.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a 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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