This book, Christmas at Harmony Hill is my first Shaker Story.
Ann H. Gabhart writes Shaker stories and this is her first Christmas one. I enjoyed her mix of history (Civil War is going on), the romance (a young couple is separated by the war), and the family drama.
In this story a young woman who has been on the front lines of the war with her husband, decides to return home to deliver her baby. Upon arriving home she must face terrible news and a unwelcome response from her family. As a result she turns to an aunt she does not know, who lives in a Shaker community for help.
I found the Shaker story line very intriguing. Their beliefs were completely new to me, and were more than fascinating. As I read about their customs and why they do what they do, it made me think about why we do what we do. I also pondered how their beliefs differed so much from biblical teaching and my own faith.
I enjoyed the story line of Gideon and Heather, their relationship was quite deep for such a young couple. Their faith in their relationship and their closeness was very tender and sincere.
This was a very interesting story that I enjoyed very much. I hope to get a chance to read more novels by Ms. Gabhart.
Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
A little more about the book :
A stirring story of healing, hope, and home at Christmas
She stared up at the Shaker buildings. They took in those in need. That was why she was riding into their village. But she couldn't stay here. Not forever. They divided families. She'd heard her grandmother speak harshly of the way Shakers didn't believe in marriage and had special houses where children were kept from their parents.
Heather put a hand over the swell of her baby inside her. Surely they wouldn't take a newborn from his mother's bosom. Heather's mother couldn't have imagined that happening or she'd have never told her to come . . .
It is 1864 and the nation is torn apart by civil war when Heather Worth discovers she is with child. With her husband at the front and nowhere else to turn, she seeks refuge in the Shaker village of Harmony Hill. Amid the tumult of the times, Heather yearns for the peace she sees in this strange community. But can this longing really be fulfilled amid these people with their peculiar beliefs about family?
As Christmas approaches, the joy of new life and the love that is born of forgiveness may hold the answer.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.