Trapped by obligation, one woman longs for the freedom of true love.
It is 1844 and Lacey Bishop's life is a tangled mess. When circumstances move Lacey to a nearby Shaker village, she is not prepared for the new life that awaits her. In the midst of her deep loneliness, Lacey works to fit in with this odd group. But everything shifts when she finds herself drawn to a Shaker man in a village where such relationships are forbidden.
Can Lacey ever find true happiness in this mysterious place?
I didn't know much about the Shakers before I read this book and found myself morbidly fascinated by their very different way of worshiping -- and their unique interpretation of the scriptures. At times appalled, amazed, dumbfounded and confused, The Blessed fast became a compelling read.
Gabhart has created intriguing characters -- both hero and heroine are so vulnerable and earnest in their quest to find the Lord and understand His hand in their lives. And what bleak lives they are leading when we first meet them! So much loss and devastating circumstances.
I love Lacey's strength. Her stubbornness and spunk. She never lets go of her heart's desire despite the harsh realities in her life. Gabhart did a fantastic job of portraying that emotion and creating a unique bond between reader and heroine.
And Isaac -- in a way he's not as strong as Lacey. Or at least he thinks he isn't but he's honest about his reasons for being in the Shaker Village. It's his inability to understand the magnitude of forgiveness that has him fettered and I was moved by his journey towards understanding.
Gabhart has done her research and it shows -- especially in the dialogue. I love reading a historical book that carries me back in time and makes me feel like I belong to that other world. The Blessed is an amazing and thought-provoking read that you won't want to miss this summer!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
Giveaway: If you would like a chance to win your own copy of The Blessed by Ann H. Gabhart, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Draw will be held on Sunday July 10. Offer open to international readers.