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.