Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas at Harmony Hill by Ann H Gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart's new book is a Shaker Christmas story. Your not going to find many of these, much less this well written. I have read several of Ann's books, including one other with Shakers.

Heather is following the Union army. She is one of their washerwomen, because her husband is in this awful war. He is fighting and Heather is exhausted from the blood and death, but she wouldn't leave her husband if she didn't have to. It's not the least bit easy to leave Gideon to God's care and go home to have her baby, especially since her Father didn't approve of her union to a Yankee. However, her Mother's letters have kept her hope alive, and using all the faith she can muster Heather goes home. When she gets there, there are good things, and bad things. All things considered though, there is no way she can have her baby at home with her family. Her Mother left her a letter, and told her to go to her kin, Aunt Sophrena. One catch, Aunt Sophrena is Sister Sophrena; she is a Shaker.

With fervent prayers that she will be allowed to stay in the Shaker community, and that they will not take her child from her, Heather follows God and her Mother's advice and enters into a world unlike any other. Like the baby that was born to save us, Heather struggles to understand the Shaker ways of not having marriages and raising babies away from their parents. If God sends Gideon back home, she will not have to live here, possibly become a Shaker like her Aunt. However, if he perishes on the battlefield, Heather and her baby might not have any other option.

They keep their hands busy, "Hands to work, Hearts to God" as is the Shaker way. Thus while sewing, Heather prays and waits, and contemplates with Sister Aunt Sophrena about the joy and miracle of life, much like Mary might have done when carrying baby Jesus. Will Heather's simple trust in God and his plan for her life transform the Shakers, or will their ways change hers?

Christmas at Harmony Hill was very well written. Christ, forgiveness, dealing with our deepest pains, and great joy was all interwoven into this very nice short read.

Carol :)

A stirring story of healing, hope, and home at Christmas

She stared up at the Shaker buildings. They took in those in need. That was why she was riding into their village. But she couldn't stay here. Not forever. They divided families. She'd heard her grandmother speak harshly of the way Shakers didn't believe in marriage and had special houses where children were kept from their parents.

Heather put a hand over the swell of her baby inside her. Surely they wouldn't take a newborn from his mother's bosom. Heather's mother couldn't have imagined that happening or she'd have never told her to come . . .

It is 1864 and the nation is torn apart by civil war when Heather Worth discovers she is with child. With her husband at the front and nowhere else to turn, she seeks refuge in the Shaker village of Harmony Hill. Amid the tumult of the times, Heather yearns for the peace she sees in this strange community. But can this longing really be fulfilled amid these people with their peculiar beliefs about family?

As Christmas approaches, the joy of new life and the love that is born of forgiveness may hold the answer.

Join bestselling author Ann HGabhart for a peek into the world of the Shakers--and the world of the human heart.

Want to read some? Click HERE!

Where to Purchase

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The OutsiderThe BelieverThe SeekerThe Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as other historical novels, including Angel Sister,Small Town Girl, and Words Spoken True. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Find out more at
  1. Ann H. Gabhart
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    Ann H. Gabhart

    Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Angel SisterSmall Town Girl, and Words Spoken True, as well as several Shaker novels--The OutsiderThe BelieverThe SeekerThe Blessed, and The Gifted--and...
    Continue reading about Ann H. Gabhart


"Gabhart has created two protagonists to root for while poignantly capturing the anxious heartache combat soldiers and their wives have suffered throughout history. The novel's depiction of Shaker spirituality and communal lifestyle provides a fascinating glimpse into a vanished sect."  RT Book Reviews

Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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