Saturday, July 7, 2012


The Gifted: A Novel

By:            Ann Gabhart
ISBN:        978-0-8007-3455-8
Pub Date: July 2012

Synopsis . . . 
Bestselling author Ann Gabhart, most known for her critically acclaimed Shaker fiction, pours her personal experience and story-telling ability into The Gifted (July 2012). Set in 1849 Kentucky, this stand-alone novel follows Jessamine Brady who loves her Shaker brothers and sisters, but longs for life and love in the outside world.

Jessamine has been in the Shaker Village for half her life, but in spite of how she loves her sisters there, she struggles to conform to the strict rules. Instead she entertains dreams of the world outside. When Tristan Cooper seems to step out of those dreams to entice her into the forbidden realm beyond the Shaker Village, her life turns upside down. Will Jessamine be able to survive the storms of the world? Or will she retreat back to the peace of Harmony Hill?

The thousands of loyal fans of Gabhart's Shaker novels will love this entrancing story of learning to trust the gifts God gives us and let him guide us through life.

About the Author . . .           
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker and The Blessed. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky.


Jessamine was left with Granny when her mother died soon after childbirth.  Raised the first ten years of her life in a secluded cabin in the woods, she was taken to the Shakers at Harmony Hill when Granny stopped breathing one day.    At the beginning of the novel, she has been with them for nine years absorbing their teaching, but as she approaches the time to sign her Covenant, she has more questions of which the Shakers do not approve.  

When she finds an injured man and brings him back to Harmony Hill for his wounds to be treated, she can't stop thinking about the handsome stranger.  His presence only adds to her confusion regarding the teachings she has received.  When he leaves the community, she thinks she will never see him again.  But when Sister Sophrena  finds the letter that was meant to be given to Jessamine on her 12th birthday, everything begins to change.  Soon, Jessamine has to make a choice between the quiet, simple Shaker community and the world in which she has never lived.

When this novel came up for review, I practically jumped through the laptop trying to get it.  I have been fascinated by the Shakers ever since my childhood in Kentucky when we visited the Shaker Village at South Union.  The market has not been flooded with fictional novels about the Shakers as it has been with the Amish, so this was exciting news.  This was the first of Ms. Gabhart's novels that I have had the chance to read, but I loved it.  Her knowledge of the Shakers is phenomenal.  Occasionally the dialogue seemed a little uneven and stilted, but then again, 9 years with the Shakers might have caused a person to sound like that.  It was a very well written novel and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or has enjoyed the Amish fiction but needs a break from that subject.

4 very happy stars

“Available July 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.



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