Friday, July 15, 2011
Title: THE BLESSED
Author: Ann H. Gabhart
Lacey is an orphaned sent to live with Preacher Palmer and his wife. Later a baby is abandoned on the preacher’s steps and his wife and Lacey took care of Rachel, until the preacher’s wife passed on. Then the preacher insisted that Lacey and he marry. Lacey didn’t want to, but it was the only way she’d be allowed to care for Rachel.
Isaac’s wife died and Isaac left the will to go on living. More often than not he slept on the mound of dirt where his wife was buried. Then he met a Shaker man who offered him food and a home, and even that he’d find a will to go on living.
When the preacher decided that marriage was sin, he, Lacey and Rachel went to live in the Shaker village. Lacey is torn apart when they take Rachel from her. But when Lacey finds herself attracted to another man in the Shaker community, she wonders—what will happen to love when Shaker’s don’t believe in marriage?
THE BLESSED is a novel about the Shakers that is rich in detail about this religion that I didn’t know much about before Ms. Gabhart started writing about them. I’ve heard of “Shaker brooms” but I didn’t know anything else about them. THE BLESSED is the fourth book in Ms. Gabhart’s Shaker series, but it easily stands alone. I did read one of the earlier books in the series, before this one.
I felt for Lacey and Rachel thought I can’t say I cared much for the preacher. He was a dirty old man, despite being in the Lord’s work—unfortunately, I knew other preachers that were like that. Lacey truly loved Rachel, and I wanted them both to find happiness. I also wanted Isaac to find a reason to live again. THE BLESSED is a book steeped in religious history that will be sure to delight historical fans. $14.99. 404 pages.