Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Seeker

by Ann Gabhart

Revell Publishers

Charlotte Vance is a southern belle that has everything she ever wanted. Money, position, a beautiful plantation full of servants, and a fiance that fulfills all her dreams. But that loving fiance lets her down when instead of marrying her, he joins the Shaker community. As if that wasn't bad enough, her politician father brings home a wife young enough to be Charlotte's sister, and that is more than she can bear. Frustrated by how her life is spinning out of control, she follows her fiance to the Shaker village to try to win him back. With the Civil War at it's beginning, Charlotte feels she is safe at Harmony Hill with the strange Shakers. But when a newspaper artist's correspondence keep her from fully committing to the Believers' way, she is torn between the safety and peace of "hands to work" and "hearts to God". Will she ever find her way?

The Civil War background of this story is a hard one to cover. So much can be said for the battles fought brother against brother, yet Gabhart condenses everything perfectly to get the main story across to us. It is the perfect blend of story line, characters, morality, and the natural curiosity that arrests us all in a life we do not know and may never understand. While the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing seem to be strange to us, they are a real people from the past. The recognition they receive in this Shaker series by Gabhart (despite the allowances she gave for the sake of fiction novels) is a tribute to the people that once were right here in our nation's history.

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