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Jul 1, 2015
The InnocentThe Innocent by Ann H. Gabhart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ann Gabhart once again immerses us in the Shaker village of Harmony Hill. The Shakers were governed by a theology that valued peace and work ethic above all. While these are admirable goals for anyone's life, they took it to the extreme. Marriage was considered a sin and individually was discouraged. Like other cults and communes, there was both good and bad in their culture. Ann Gabhart does an excellent job of presenting her Shaker characters in an understandable, and even sympathetic, way.

Carlyn Kearney's husband doesn't return from the Civil War. He's listed as missing. Two years after the war, she must admit the truth. He's not coming home.

Mitchell Brodie is the town's sheriff. Unpleasant duty is part of his job. Evicting a widow from her home ranks at the top of that list. A beautiful young widow who tugs at his heart.

With no family and nowhere to go, Carlyn turns to the Shaker village for a roof over her head and food on her plate. She's content to work for her keep, even if the Shaker teaching doesn't match the Bible teaching of her youth. But there are dark corners within the village. Can Carlyn fit in and find her own peace? Or will she get caught up in the darkness?

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