She longs for peace--for her land and her heart--but can it truly be found at Harmony Hill?
Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. When the war ends without further word, Carlyn finds herself penniless, in debt, and forced from her home. With nowhere else to go, she seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill.
The Shakers profess peace through simple living, but to Carlyn, the Shaker life seems anything but simple. When mysterious deaths disturb the peace of the village, Carlyn falls under intense scrutiny. Can a kind sheriff help her expose the true culprit?
Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites fans back to Harmony Hill for a story laced with intrigue, romance, and heart.
MY THOUGHTS-I am always intrigued by other cultures than the one I live in. Whether it be Amish, Mennonite, Shaker, or foreign or even different time periods. So when I was offered the chance to review this book here, by an author I enjoy, I went for it. Needless to say I had varied emotions while reading this one.
The story itself is interesting and the plot is a good one. A woman, Carlyn, is forced to leave her home after her husband goes missing in the Civil War. She doesn't know whether he is alive and missing, or dead and missing, but she chooses to live as if he were still alive out there somewhere. When push comes to shove though, she finds herself being put out of her home and decides to move in with the Shaker women at their nearby village. Carlyn doesn't believe as they do but it gives her a place to live without any bills to pay.
I enjoyed Carlyn, even though I didn't agree with her decisions, and the Sheriff was my personal favorite. Troubled and tormented by his past, Mitchell has compassion on the "widow" and tries to help out where he can. Of course it doesn't help that he just might have feelings for her as well:) With all that said, I do have to say that I will probably never read another book about Shakers. And it has nothing to do with the author's writing at all, but rather with the Shaker religion. I found myself amazed and rather bewildered by some of the things they teach. And yes, I went to research for myself about their faith after I got done with this book. For quite a bit into the book I had no clue who they were talking about when the sisters kept bringing up Mother Ann. I kind of had an idea in the back of my mind over who she was, but when I went and did my research, I was a bit weirded(is that a real word?) out. Her visions and prophecies are a mainstay of the Shaker religion, such as celibacy is essential for salvation, and she is also looked upon as being all the perfections of God in female form, as well as the "second coming of Christ"?? Sorry, but just too much for me that goes against Scripture.
So, while I found the plot to be good and I love this author's novels, I will make sure to only read the historical ones not dealing with the Shaker religion:) If you are open to reading ones like this, please pick up her book. It is quite interesting to see how they live and what they believe.
**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**