Sister Gabrielle Hope is our main character is this book. She is 19-years-old and about to come of age where she has to decide if the Shaker community is where she wants to stay. The Shakers do not make others believe as they do, but they ask to be free to believe and practice their beliefs. Those that stay within the community must be in complete obedience to the Shaker rules. They must learn to shut out the world and those outsiders from the world. Each believer is given a gift(s) by the Eternal Father. Gabrielle's gifts are the gift of knowing (visions; to be able see into the future) and the gift of song; however, she wishes to have the gifts of Joy and Love. She is well educated and therefore she is used to teach the younger sisters in the community.
One day a mishap happens among the community causing them to have need of a doctor from the outside. This doctor, Bryce Scott, is believed to be God's and the devil's workman, both at the same time. Doc. Scott is full of worldly thoughts so the community believes. He brings forth doubts and questions where Gabrielle is concerned. He seeks to convince Gabrielle the shaker life isn't for her. Will he ever be able to fully convince her? He will never take her against her will.
The Doctor has a mighty effect on Gabrielle. He is a mystery to her. Will he be able to convince her to leave the believers and go away with him? Can she truly have inner peace and joy? Gabrielle seeks to know the truth and know what she really believes. However, the believers believe in celibacy. How can it feel so right yet be so wrong to be in the Outsiders arms and be kissed by him? Can she truly be happy and content to stay at Harmony Hill? Could she ever leave the believers?
I guess you'll just have to get a copy of the book and read for yourself. It is an outstanding book on the Shaker life and beliefs. Ann Gabhart has definitely done her research on the Shakers and their beliefs and way of life. I have read many Amish books, but thought I'd broaden my horizons and review this audio book. If you want to learn what the Shakers believed this would be a good fun non-fiction way to some historical truths.
A copy of this audio book was provided for review by
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