Ann H. Gabhart, The Outsider Reviews

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“The Outsider ”

★★★★☆

written by Harriet Klausner on 29/08/2008

The Outsider
Ann H. Gabhart
Revell, Aug 2008, $13.99
ISBN: 0800732391

In 1812 twenty-year-old Shaker Sister Gabrielle Hope has visions that enable her to see the future. Still she is steadfast to her commitment she and mom made in 1807 when they moved to Harmony Hill and adheres to her religious beliefs.

However, a kiss from visiting widower Dr. Brice Scott makes her wonder if the Shaker life of celibacy that she and her mother have vowed to follow is for her. As Brice's kind gentle words stir a passion of forbidden love inside her, she begins to reconsider her vows especially since the community separates moms and daughters leaving her no one to consult with about her feelings.

Using a potential taboo romance more as a mechanism than as the prime plot theme, Ann H. Gabhart provides a deep look at the Shaker Movement during the War of 1812. Well written, historical fans learn about the impact of celibacy on the Shakers including some who fail to adapt and commit suicide. Although none of the characters including Gabrielle display any deep passion about anything even death, which in fairness fits in some ways the Shaker society expectations of the flock, fans will enjoy this interesting War of 1812 tale.

Harriet Klausner

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