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Quickly looking at The Outside?s, book cover, one might think this is a sweet Amish story, where people are wearing a little different kind of dress. The Shakers are not even close to the Amish religion?in any stretch of the imagination. I?d never heard about Shakers before reading this. The author, Ann H. Gabhart, lives just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village in Kentucky. She has walked the same paths her characters might have walked. Ann shares fascinating details woven into this compelling story..
Definition: ?The Shakers, a religious sect, practiced celibacy and took pains to separate the sexes in their day-to-day activities as they concentrated their energy on perfecting their lives through work and worship.?
Through Gabrielle?s eye, you?ll get an inside look into the nitty-gritty of every day life of one Shaker community, in Kentucky. Gabrielle, the main character, who?s lived in this community since she was small, gives you a glimpse from the inside-out, through her experiences inside the community and how she viewed the outside world.
On the flip side through Brice Scott, the doctor who helps a hurting boy in their community; you get to experience what he learns about the Shakers from outsiders he runs across trying to learn about this sect. It was quite fascinating and in parts heart wrenching to see the whole scope of what the Shaker community was all about.
Sister Mercy had all the answers for Gabrielle when she questioned about the communities ways, she says,? You see, my child, the Believers have joined together in a family as a separate society from the world where all reasons for sin are removed from our lives. Everyone works for the good of all and without the strife of the individual marriage and family. But when someone comes among us from the world he brings evil thoughts and ideas with him. That evil can touch and disturb out inner calm!! I?ll bet it does!! Reading about the Shaker ways disturbed by inner calm for sure, it will rattle you too.
As I read through the pages, I saw the mind bending tactics the Elders in this sect used to keep people in the community. I realized, in a big way, it?s only with Gods Grace and Love revealed to us through our personal relationship with Him, that has the power to penetrate the doctrine Gabrielle faced.
The Shaker community is run by law and not grace or love. The bible says that the TRUTH will set you free?this passage had new meaning to me after reading this book. Also how I take God?s Love and Grace for granted. God loves me and died for me just as I am, flaws and all. What a relief for me to experience?something the Shakers could not experience because they were trying to become perfect here on earth. This book was an eye opener?I learned so much about the Shakers, God and myself. What a winning combination.
Finding Hope Through Fiction
Mar 5, 2009
Good but slow
This wasn't a bad book but I thought it was a little slow, too much descriptive writing & not enough conversation. The one thing I did like about the book is that it made me aware of the Shaker religion as opposed to Amish so I further researched it on the internet. It wasn't the best book I've ever read of this genre but as I rated it, average.
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