“Christmas at Harmony Hill” is Ann Gabhart’s Christmas novella with the same setting as her Shaker series. The story primarily features Heather Worth, a young bride during the Civil War who has been able to stay with her husband Gabriel by working as washerwoman for the Yankee troops. As her pregnancy reaches its end, Gabriel sends her home to be with her family because the battlefield is no place for a baby to be born. Heather arrives home to devastating news and finds herself unwelcome to stay. A letter from her mother directs her to Harmony Hill, a Shaker village where she can find help from her Aunt Sophrena. Heather’s arrival seems to be a sign from the Lord to Sophrena who has recently found herself struggling with the restrictions of the Shaker practices.
“Christmas at Harmony Hill” is a short, easily read story that is packed to the brim with historical facts about both the Shakers and the Civil War. More important, it relates those facts through the reactions and emotions of people who experienced that history which makes it much more personal. Through Heather and Sophrena’s experiences, the author tactfully manages to illustrate some of the errors in the Shaker beliefs without obvious finger pointing. It was however, quite interesting to learn more about the Shakers and the story behind their beliefs.
A warm and uplifting tale, “Christmas at Harmony Hill” is a story of forgiveness and reconciliation as well as the importance of family. This is one more book to be added to my Christmas book box.
This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
She stared up at the Shaker buildings. They took in those in need. That was why she was riding into their village. But she couldn’t stay here. Not forever. They divided families. She’d heard her grandmother speak harshly of the way Shakers didn’t believe in marriage and had special houses where children were kept from their parents.
Heather put a hand over the swell of her baby inside her. Surely they wouldn’t take a newborn from his mother’s bosom. Heather’s mother couldn’t have imagined that happening or she’d have never told her to come . . .
A stirring story of healing, hope, and home at Christmas
It is 1864 and the nation is torn apart by civil war when Heather Worth discovers she is with child. With her husband at the front and nowhere else to turn, she seeks refuge in the Shaker village of Harmony Hill. Amid the tumult of the times, Heather yearns for the peace she sees in this strange community. But can this longing really be fulfilled amid these people with their peculiar beliefs about family?
As Christmas approaches, the joy of new life and the love that is born of forgiveness may hold the answer.
Join bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart for a peek into the world of the Shakers–and the world of the human heart.
Read an excerpt of Christmas at Harmony Hill HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels–The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted–as well as other historical novels, including Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Words Spoken True. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Find out more at www.annhgabhart.com.