The Outsider by Ann H. Gabhart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this story on two levels. The insight and history of the Shakers was well done. I appreciated that Ann Gabhart portrayed them fairly, without demonizing or trivializing their beliefs. While decidedly odd to our modern way of thinking, and most certainly not a Christian sect, the Shakers had some redeeming qualities. It is nice that they were not portrayed as just another crazy cult.
The second level is the story itself and young Gabrielle's struggle to become the woman God would have her be. It was easy to sympathize with a heroine who wanted nothing more than to do the right thing. And it was easy to empathize with the struggle since the right thing is often only clearly visible in our rear view mirror.
An enjoyable read and suitable for any age. I highly recommend this one.