Following on the heels of the successful work "The Outsider, The Believer" is Gabhart's newest exploration of love and devotion in a quiet Shaker community.Following on the heels of the successful work "The Outsider, The Believer" is Gabhart's newest exploration of love and devotion in a quiet Shaker community.Read Less
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?Shakers got their name from their worship style. They sometimes get so stricken by a feeling from the spirit that their bodies shake or they whirl about in a sort of dance.? This author?s curiosity for this religious sect grew as she walked down some of the streets of a restored Shaker community about thirty miles from her home in Kentucky. The Shakers never turned away someone in need. They were generous with there food and providing a roof over the travelers head in exchange for hard work in the community.
?The worldly-joining of a man and women in marriage causes much strife. That is why we live a life of purity here at Harmony Hill without the sin of matrimony to cause problems among us.? This is the Shakers view of marriage.
Since they believed in taking a vow of celibacy the only way their community could grow was by taking outsiders into their group in hopes they would accept their ways and stay. Everyone had a story to tell about how they arrived at Harmony Hill. Ethan Boyd was six when he was found by Issachar, who saved his life and brought him into the Shaker community to be raised.
Elizabeth Duncan sought help from the Shaker village to escape matrimony. It was a safe place to bring her siblings since the Shakers thought matrimony was a sin. But the longer Elizabeth lived there she realized she wasn?t ready to live there forever and have everyone be your brother and sister. She wouldn?t see her real brother and sister for days because of the work details. .
The believer is a sequel to the Outsider! Again, Ann spins a tale that grabbed my heart strings when I saw the struggle these young ones were having living by the law?which was easy when their emotions didn?t get in the way! That?s what communal living was all about. No feelings. Everyone was the same. No heart felt conversations?everything was done in a group!! No one was on a one to one relationship with anyone else. That was forbidden. What was the truth? Ethan and Elizabeth were both in a desperate search of it. Their minds were not in harmony with their hearts.
This author captures the time period and the point of view of a soul awakening to what the real mission in life is for them. It wasn?t about a religion but a relationship with God and with each other?
Nora St. Laurent
Finding Hope Through Fiction
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