Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ann H. Gabhart

Dear Readers,
The Outsider is a very different book for Ann. Her three books before this were all set in 1964. A very turbulent time to say the least. This time she takes on 1812 and a Shaker village.

Gabrielle Hope joined the Shaker community, with her mother, 5 years earlier. She is very content and happy with her life. She loves teaching the young sisters, she loves working with the other sisters and isn't worried about commiting matrimony. She doesn't really question the things that are done or why. She believes that Mother Ann was sent from God and they need to follow what she taught. That is until the night of the fire. Enter the handsome Doctor, Brice Scott. Suddenly everything Gabrielle believes and knows is turned upside down.

I enjoyed this story. It is a very simple, gentle love story. It starts just before the war of 1812. It uses that as part of the story and even points out a problem with the "lets be seperate from the world" thinking of the Shaker community. Including the Shaker community really makes this story different and interesting. I am sure there are other fiction books on the Shakers, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.

I knew very little about the Shakers going into this story, but I did learn a lot from this story. In fact I talked to someone who has studied the Shakers a bit and she said that the research on the community is very well done. The information included in the book reflects a lot of what went on in those communities. Let me tell you I would not have been able to survive in them for very long. To many rules and not enough fun. :-)

If you are looking for a light historical novel, this is a great choice.

Happy Reading

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