Charlotte Vance is a young woman who knows what she wants. But when the man she planned to marry joins the Shakers–a religious group that does not marry–she is left dumbfounded. And when her father brings home a new wife who is young enough to be Charlotte’s sister, it is more than she can bear. With the country–and her own household–on the brink of civil war, this pampered gentlewoman hatches a plan to avoid her new stepmother and win back her man by joining the Shaker community at Harmony Hill. Little does she know that this decision will lead her down a road toward unforeseen peace–and a very unexpected love.
Ann Gabhart’s series on the Shakers (not to be confused with the Amish) provides a fascinating insight into a community committed to celibacy, good works and austerity. I enjoyed the first two books in the series, The Outsider and The Believer but her latest novel, The Seeker tops them all. I don’t read many “bonnet books” but Ann’s stories are well worth reading and infused with much more than a sweet story. Detailed descriptions of the life of a Southern belle, the Shaker ways and the horrors of the Civil War battlefields make for an multi-faceted and moving read. Ann’s characterisation is excellent as Charlotte transforms from the belle of the ball to a devout novitiate, while retaining her independent spirit and Adam’s perspective on love and life is turned upside down as he observes the horrors of war. Both the romance and faith elements are woven in seamlessly, resulting in an engaging and substantial end to this interesting series.
Available July 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
With thanks to Revell for my review copy
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