Ann Gabhart’s latest historical Shaker novel “The Gifted” vividly details life in the Shaker village of Harmony Hill, Kentucky with Jessamine Brady as its central character. A resident of the village since her grandmother’s death when she was ten, Jessamine has become accustomed to their way of life and attempts to live up to their stringent standards. Unfortunately, at times her unfettered curiosity and abundant zest for life put her at odds with the strict group, especially when she rescues a young man from “the world”. When her circumstances change and she leaves the village, Jessamine has difficulty adjusting to her new way of life but she is thrilled to see Tristan again even though prior commitments may not allow them to act on their mutual attraction.

“The Gifted” is beautifully written and reveals a great deal about life among the Shakers. The legalism and deception of their beliefs is evident although related without judgment as an integral part of the story. Of particular interest was the restriction Jessamine felt while living among the Shakers and the guilt she experienced once free of their rules. Her story clearly illustrates the difference between following God or following a form of religion. I easily became involved with her story but wondered until the very end what her final choice would be – stay in “the world” or return to Harmony Hill. I knew the choice I wanted her to make but was afraid that she would not.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Bestselling author Ann Gabhart, most known for her critically acclaimed Shaker fiction, pours her personal experience and story-telling ability into The Gifted (July 2012). Set in 1849 Kentucky, this stand-alone novel follows Jessamine Brady who loves her Shaker brothers and sisters, but longs for life and love in the outside world.

Jessamine has been in the Shaker Village for half her 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?

The thousands of loyal fans of Gabhart’s Shaker novels will love this entrancing story of learning to trust the gifts God gives us and let him guide us through life.

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker and The Blessed. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in Kentucky.


Available July 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.