Tuesday’s Tale

The Innocent

The Innocent is a book about the Shaker religion by Ann H. Gabhart.

Carlyn Kearney has been living in limbo for two years; the Union Army declared her husband, Ambrose, Missing in Action in June of 1863. She and her dog, Asher, have been trying to keep the home fires burning, but it was getting harder and harder. She has no money coming in and no way to make any, either. The day her landlord, Curt Whitlow, shows up with Sheriff Mitchell Brodie to evict her, Carlyn knows she has to find some way to stay alive.

Carlyn decides to ask for help at the nearby Shaker Village of Harmony Hill. She is heartbroken when she is told she can’t keep her dog and in desperation asks the sheriff to care for Asher.

As Carlyn tries to come to terms with the unusual life of the Shakers, a series of mysterious deaths upset the peaceful village. As a newcomer and a seemingly unwilling inhabitant, Carlyn falls under suspicion.

Sheriff Brodie has his hands full investigating the murder and trying to find Asher (who disappears the night after Carlyn goes to the Shaker Village), when Carlyn disappears, too.

Will Sheriff Brodie find Carolyn and Asher? Is Carlyn guilty of murder? Will she become a Shaker?

Ann Gabhart has written several books about the Shakers at Harmony Hill. This is the second of her Shaker books I have read. She imbues each of her stories with rich narrative and eloquent narrative while allowing the reader to become more and more familiar with the Shaker lifestyle.

I received this book from the author, Ann Gabhart, and the publisher, Revell (A division of Baker Publishing) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review The  Innocent.

For more information about Ann Gabhart, you can visit her at:  http://www.annhgabhart.com/

For more information about Revell, visit: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/revell


Friday’s Fiction

Another Christmas story to enjoy!

Christmas at Harmony Hill: A Shaker Story by Ann H. Gabhart begins with Heather Worth on the Civil War battlefield with her husband, Gideon.

Heather marries her true love and is condemned for it by her father.  In desperation, she follows her husband onto the battlefield as a washerwoman.

As winter sets in, Heather realizes she cannot continue as a washerwoman. She would be unable to survive the cold and her pregnancy, which she has successfully hidden, will soon be revealed. Heather decides to return home, even though she dreads her father’s censure. She knows her mother will never turn her away, especially in her delicate condition. Unknown to Heather, her mother and brother had passed away while she was on the battlefield.

Heather’s trip home is arduous and cold, but she survives, only to have her father threaten to kill her if she comes a foot closer to their house. Discouraged, she hides in the family’s barn and sets out in the early morning to find her Aunt Sophrena and the Shaker Village she lives in at Harmony Hill.

Heather and the Shaker’s endure many adjustments to each other as Heather seeks refuge there. Heather also becomes much closer to the Lord and her Aunt, as Christmas and her due date draw closer.

Christmas at Harmony Hill is a captivatingly written story, revealing many insights of the Shaker religion, one I knew very little about.