Gabhart has clearly done extensive research on the Shakers, and makes them come alive for readers, detailing their culture and strict rules that ultimately caused them to cease to be. Her characters’ self-doubts and longings are palpable.
Lacey Bishop knows her life is a mess, but it was not by her doing. She had been working for a preacher and his wife, helping with housework and caring for the child that was left on their doorstep. When the wife dies, the preacher tells Lacey the only way she can stay in his house is to marry him. But then he moves them to the Shaker village, where they believe marriage is a sin. Isaac Kingston is a lost soul who blames himself for his wife’s death. He finds himself at the Shaker village and believes he needs their rules to keep himself sane. Isaac and Lacey meet at the village and are attracted to each other, but do they have a chance to be happy together? (REVELL, Jul., 416 pp., $14.99)