Another heart-warming novel from Ann H. Gabhart: "The Innocent"

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about the book....

She longs for peace--for her land and her heart--but can it truly be found at Harmony Hill?

Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. When the war ends without further word, Carlyn finds herself penniless, in debt, and forced from her home. With nowhere else to go, she seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill.

The Shakers profess peace through simple living, but to Carlyn, the Shaker life seems anything but simple. When mysterious deaths disturb the peace of the village, Carlyn falls under intense scrutiny. Can a kind sheriff help her expose the true culprit?

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites fans back to Harmony Hill for a story laced with intrigue, romance, and heart.

my review....

With an engaging plot that is sure to warm your heart, Ann H. Gabhart's latest addition to her Shaker novels was probably my favourite Shaker book to date. Carlyn is one of those characters who seizes your sympathy from the first page as she struggles to survive in the years after her husband has been proclaimed missing - including fending off the unwanted advances of a frightening man. I honestly don't know what would be worse - to know your spouse is dead, or to be told they are missing and then to just wonder as years go by, all while trying to eke out an existence. As Carlyn moves into the Shaker village, an ominous feeling begins to build in the story until you aren't sure who is good and who is seeking her harm. So much about the Shakers seemed good hearted, and yet they were so very confused in their beliefs! I can't imagine embracing a belief system that preaches that marriage is wrong and evil, and involves elders whose job is to simply stay up in their rooms and watch who is and isn't obeying the rules. In this day and age it seems bizarre, but for the time this novel is written in I can certainly see why people in desperate situations, with no where else to turn, would embrace the simplicity of the Shaker lifestyle. I really enjoyed encountering their belief system through the eyes of Carlyn, someone who wasn't afraid to ask the hard questions, even when they led to hard consequences.  The novel moves at a moderate pace throughout, with plenty of twists and surprising events to keep me engrossed in the book from start to finish.

Fans of Gabhart will be pleased to not only find another Shaker novel, but one that has been deftly woven together. I recommend this book and award it a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

 about the author....

Ann H. Gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author ofAngel SisterSmall Town Girl, and Words Spoken True, as well as several Shaker novels--The OutsiderThe BelieverThe SeekerThe Blessed, and The Gifted--and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at

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