Last Updated on Monday, 30 July 2012 09:58 Posted by Clash Sunday, 05 August 2012 09:30
Reviewed by *Katie McCurdy for Legacy of a Writer
Some dreams were meant to come true
Jessamine Brady has been in the Shaker Village for half her young 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?
Ann Gabhart has done another fabulous job with the fourth book in her Shaker Series, The Gifted. I've only read one other book from the series, The Blessed, and while that one was good, I enjoyed The Gifted even more. And I never expected the bit of suspense and action that happened near the end—nice bonus that kept me glued to the pages.
Dear, sweet Jessamine was such a beautiful character—both inwardly and outwardly. She had such an innocence and complete joy about her, I easily feel in love with her. Her quiet submission to the Shakers and her desire to obey God above all was so admirable. And seeing the world through her eyes, when she leaves the Shakers, gives you a different, new perspective of things we take for granted.
I can’t imagine being a Shaker. From Jessamine’s exuberant point-of-view, you really saw how they took the joy out of God’s creation. They never marveled at the beauty He has created. To me, that was just as bad as their strict celibacy rule. The Shakers beliefs are so…out there! I mean, I kept marveling how the Shakers (false) doctrine was based on one woman who ‘claimed’ she had a vision from the Lord.
And talk about no privacy and a plethora of talebearers! As I read along about Jessamine’s life among them, I was beginning to feel smothered by them! Needless to say, I wouldn’t last 5 minutes as a Shaker. But it is still very interesting to read about. Gabhart goes into such detail about their life and beleifs! Her writing style is nice and puts you in the moment, though she does have a way of going down "rabbit trails", so to speak, which was a bit tedious at times. I confess to even skimming a few pages. But besides this fact, everything about the book was enjoyable—from the characters, to the plot, to the romance. Loved it all!
* I reviewed this book for Revell. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done.