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, and now the war has ended without further word. Penniless, in debt, and forced from her home, Carlyn seeks refuge at the... Read More
Thankfully, Sheriff Mitchell Brodie has pity on the lovely young woman and agrees to take the dog. Carlyn is just settling into life as a sister in the Shaker village when she receives a devastating letter confirming her worst fears - her husband is dead. As she wrestles with whether to commit herself fully to the Shaker life, mysterious deaths begin to occur, and Carlyn comes under suspicion. Can Sheriff Mitchell help her expose the true culprit?
- Store Only: Yes
- Product type: Book
- Format: Softcover
- Release Date: Jun 2, 2015
- UPC: 9780800723415
- Volumes/Discs: 1
- Pages: 400
- Publish Date: Jul 7, 2015
- Language: English
- Audience Age Maximum: 0
- Audience Age Minimum: 0
- BISAC: "FIC042030"
- ISBN: 0800723414
Customer ReviewsWrite your own review
- Review from Rambles of a SAHM by Fitzysmom on 8/6/2015
Prepare to have your heart broken for the awful situation that Carlyn Kearney finds herself in. Her beloved husband went off to fight in the Civil War. The war has since ended and the men have come home, except for her husband. He's considered missing and presumed dead. But with no definitive word on his condition Carlyn is left in a state of limbo.
Meanwhile the mortgage is due on her home and she has no way to pay it. Her only alternative seems to be to join the Shakers at Harmony Hill. While she doesn't adhere to their odd beliefs she knows she'll have food and shelter and be relatively safe until her husband comes home. Much to her dismay several very treacherous events happen that leave the whole village unsettled.
I have enjoyed several of Gabhart's Harmony Hill novels and this one is no exception. I appreciate the peek into the mysterious Shaker community. The author does a wonderful job of presenting the beliefs of these people without pandering to them. What they believe is strange and she makes no bones about it.
Carlyn Kearney is forced to face the worst nightmare of any married woman. When do you give up hope? When is it okay to move on? I loved Carlyn's faith in the Providence of God. She didn't always understand what was happening and had many doubts but in the end she relied on God.
When I closed the last page of the book I was left with a deep sense of gratitude for the provision that God continues to provide His children. Gabhart did a marvelous job of juxtaposing the Shakers with the believers in Christ without disparaging either group. I will be eagerly awaiting her next book.
I recieved a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
- Starts Slow, But Finishes Strong by Claudia on 7/1/2015
Page 140, that is where this book came alive for me. Prior to that point, it was a pleasant read, but not compelling in any way. From that point, and through the remaining 242 pages, I could not put the book down. I am so glad that I had agreed to review the novel, otherwise I may not have continued reading, and I truly would have missed out.
While I have read a number of Amish fiction novels, this is the first Shaker novel I have read. I will be looking for other Shaker novels by Gabhart. I know that there are at least five more from which to choose. While I have visited the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill near Danville, Kentucky several times, I learned a great deal more about the Shakers while reading The Innocent. I did do an internet search on some of the information included in the text, and found it to be accurate every time.
Carlyn Kearney, Gabhart’s main character, grew up under her pastor father’s legalistic thumb, cushioned only slightly by her mother’s teaching of God’s grace and love. After marrying Ambrose, Carlyn blossomed as she came to understand the joy of the Lord. That joy was difficult to sustain, however, due to Ambrose’s uncertain fate two years after the end of the Civil War. Being unable to support herself, let alone pay her debts, Carlyn seeks shelter and peace within the boundaries of the Shaker village of Harmony Hill. While thankful for food and shelter, Carlyn does not readily fit into the Shaker way of life. Sheriff Mitchell Brodie cannot deny his attraction to Carlyn, but respects her faithfulness to her husband even though the townsfolk assume that she is indeed a widow. He longs to insure her safety as every instinct within him is on alert to something being very wrong in the Shaker village. It is at that page 140 mark that Carlyn herself becomes aware of dangerous undercurrents among the sisters and brethren.
One thing I really appreciate about Christian fiction is the lessons that one can take away. I hope that in the darkest and most difficult times, the times when hope seems lost or when my body is exhausted, I will remember the echo of Carlyn’s mother’s admonishment to, “Pray anyway.” When looking for the answers I desire, the good I want to come, I hope I recall her saying, “Assuredly. God is love. But he sees the whole woven fabric of our lives and not simply the few threads we are trying to twine together at the moment. Good and bad weave into the pattern of our lives. Together they make us strong and able to endure whatever must be endured.” God equips us in many ways, some easier than others.
I recommend this book to those who have the time and patience to allow the author to develop her characters before increasing the tension that drives the reader forward. It is my belief that readers will find it worth the wait; I certainly did. I thank Revell Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for providing The Innocent for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
- Keep Praying by Jeanette on 6/13/2015
"Keep praying." When you feel like giving up......keep praying. When you are hopeless and scared...keep praying. This book had such a powerful message. Keep praying. Carlyn continued to pray even when it was difficult to do so. She couldn't give up. There were many times she wanted to but she refused to. During those trying times, she would hear her mother's voice in her head telling her to continue to have faith and pray.
It is very rare to find a character in a book like Carlyn. She was loyal even when it wasn't easy for her to be. Her relationships with her husband, her Quacker sister and her dog were warm and loving. She could have been a very bitter woman due to her upbringing....her situation with her husband, her struggles...Curt Whitlow's demands..Sister Edna....but Carlyn survived and was better for it. Mitchell saw Carlyn's strengths and was drawn to her very early in their relationship. Carlyn and Mitchell were respectful of each other's choices. Mitchell was willing to wait until Carlyn was ready to move forward.
I loved this book! Interesting storyline and historical information about Shakers.