Saturday 29 June 2019

Book Review: The Refuge

From The Back:

Can the power of love and the bond of family triumph in a community that cannot accept either?
With the threat of a cholera epidemic at their heels, Darcie and Walter Goodwin join the Shakers, whose villages seem immune to the disease. It's meant to be temporary, but when Walter is killed in a riverboat accident, destitute Darcie has little choice but to stay with the Shakers. To complicate matters, she is expecting a baby conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village. Marital relationships are considered sinful in this celibate community, putting Darcie in a unique--and lonely--position. Can the arrival of widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter offer Darcie the hope of happiness?

My Reflections:

Ann Gabhart can always be counted on to pen masterfully written stories that are completely unique and absolutely fantastic!
I love her Shaker series, such a fascinating group of people. I for one would be so much like one of the characters (Sister Mona) rebellious of all those rules and seriously grumpy with people dictating my every move! She was just a child though and troubled from so much abandonment.  

Darcie finds herself amongst the Shaker people quite by circumstance and not by choice. She and her late husband Walter flee from their home to outsmart Cholera, Walter parishes from an accident and Darcy finds herself in the family way. Imagine being pregnant in a community where the bond of matrimony is seen as a sin! Yikes. 
How on earth did the founder "Mother Ann" ever come up with that one? She was after all a mother and wife? It really fascinates me how people end up in these situations. It most likely stems from my childhood as I too found myself in a cult out of circumstances. The whole thing is truly a bit of a novelty to me because of my past. Luckily for me, it all worked out in the end. 

The plot moves along a nice gentle speed. I loved learning the ways of these people and their many rules and strict rituals. I sure wish a Shaker was my cleaning lady!
Many people seem to end up in places like these with little other options. It is good that the Shaker people will return everything the converts relinquish if they leave the community. I found it wonderful to see how the story progressed and the characters converge. I can't let too many secrets out but, Oh, dear Silas and his reckless schemes to help his son in law Flynn and granddaughter little Leatrice. He made such a mess of things, then the ending purely perfect! 

I could go on and on about this one but let's just say if you are interested in the Shakers, their "faith" and want a lovely story to go along with it this book is absolutely for you!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Ann H. Gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as other historical novels, including Angel Sister, These...
Continue reading about Ann H. Gabhart

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