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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Outsider

The Outsider by Ann H. Gabhart
Publisher: Revell Books
Genre: Historical, Inspirational
Length: Full
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by: Gloxina

She thought she was content--until a love from the outside world turned hers upside down.

Gabrielle Hope and her mother joined the Harmony Hill Shaker community in 1807. The community promised stability and devotion that Gabrielle wholeheartedly embraced. But when a local doctor must be brought into Harmony Hill from the outside, he sets into motion a chain of events that will challenge Gabrielle's loyalty to the Shakers.

As she falls deeper into a forbidden love for this man of the world, Gabrielle must make a choice. Can she experience true happiness in this simple and chaste community? Or will she abandon her brothers and sisters for a life of the unknown?

Soulful and filled with romance, The Outsider lets you live within a bygone time among a unique and peculiar people. This tender and thought-provoking story will stay with you long after you finish the final chapter.

Gabrielle Hope and her Mother join the Shaker Community when her Dad leaves them to work elsewhere. They receive notice that he is dead, but he is not.

From picture on front of book, I thought this was about the Amish. I was totally surprised to discover the Shakers are nothing like the Amish. I thought maybe I would not enjoy the book but decided to read it anyway. After getting through the beginning and learning something about the Shakers, the book took off and I could not put it down. It was definitely unique being I knew nothing about Shakers or had even heard about them.

The doctor, Brice, who is an outsider comes to aid when a fire breaks out in the barn. He tends to a young boy, Nathan, who is in love with Gabrielle. But for reasons within the Shakers Community, he cannot tell her. Events begin to enfold which cause Nathan to leave the Shakers and Brice to try and get Gabrielle to leave as well. But Brice does not push Gabrielle because of events in his past he has to deal with. Yet he continues to love her from afar and hope someday she will come to him.

As the book begins to take off, don't expect to get much sleep. Several nights I was up all night reading. The struggles with death hit the community and Gabrielle has a lot to deal with and finds it harder and harder. But this is the beginning of her eyes being opened to the fact there is more to the world than her little corner.

There were some very sad moments that make you want to weep and other moments when you want to cheer Gabrielle to make the right decisions. You feel for each of the characters and amaze at their strength.

All in all this was a book I wasn't sure I would read but glad I did. It is a book I highly recommend. Pick it up: you'll be in for a lot of surprises.