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The Gifted, Shaker Series #5The Gifted, Shaker Series #5
Ann H. Gabhart
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Excerpt


It's 1849, and Jessamine Brady has been in the Shaker Village for half her life. Yet she still struggles to conform to the strict rules, entertaining dreams of the world outside. When she meets Tristan Cooper, she steps beyond the borders of the Shaker Village. Will Jessamine be able to survive the storms of the world? Or will she retreat back to the peace of Harmony Hill?

The thousands of loyal fans of Gabhart's Shaker novels will love this entrancing story of learning to trust the gifts God gives us and let him guide us through life.


     

 

 The Gifted Reading Group Guide: by Ann Gabhart


 

1. The Shakers celebrated gifts of all types. One of the most desired gifts among their community of believers was the gift to be simple. What do you think they meant by that?

 

 

2. Jessamine Brady loved her Shaker sisters and brothers, but she struggled with the Shaker rules. Why do you think that was so? Do you think she could have ever learned to control her curiosity about the world and become a proper Shaker sister?

 

 

3. Sister Sophrena often asked, “Whatever will we do with Sister Jessamine?” Why do you think Jessamine posed such a challenge for Sister Sophrena? Was it because she loved her too much?

 

 

4. Tristan Cooper agrees to court Laura Cleveland to please his mother and to shore up their dire financial situation. His mother says romantic love is not necessary for a happy and satisfying marriage. Do you agree? Do you think Tristan and Laura would have had any chance at happiness if they had ended up marrying?

 

 

5. Tristan pretended his loss of memory lasted longer than it did, and then he gave Brother Benjamin a fake name. Why do you think he did that? Do you think things might have turned out differently if Tristan hadn’t lied and had instead returned to White Oak Springs right away? Or do you believe he and Jessamine were fated to meet and would have met sooner or later either way?

 

 

6. Sister Sophrena had no regrets about joining with the Shakers. Yet she had sympathy for Jessamine and her struggles of wondering about the world. Why do you think that was?

 

 

7.  Jessamine had long carried a romanticized idea in her mind of “the prince who loved her mother,” that is, her father. Do you think that made it harder to accept the man her father was when he came to get her, or do you think it made it easier?

 

 

8.  Jessamine is such a complete innocent since she has had such limited exposure to the world. She is, at turns, fascinated and repelled by the actions of the people at White Oak Springs. Which things do you think she might have the most difficult time learning to accept in the world outside the Shaker village?

 

 

9. Sheldon Brady gave his infant daughter to his grandmother to raise. Do you think he was right to so completely desert Jessamine there and not plan to go back to see her until she was twelve? Do you think he was considering what was best for Jessamine or what was best for him? What do you think would have been best for Jessamine?

 

 


10. White Oak Springs, a spa for the well-to-do, and Harmony Hill, the Shaker village, existed in the same county. Both thrived with very different lifestyles for many years and then declined and disappeared from the scene. Why do you think that happened? What do you feel were the most dramatic differences between the two places?

 

 

11. Partly because of his experiences in the Mexican War, Tristan doubts the existence of God. Do you understand why he felt that way? Or do you feel being in a war might be an even greater reason to seek a closer relationship with God? What did make Tristan finally reach for belief?

 

 

12. Jessamine had a gift of words and a love of stories, but she seemed unable to channel those gifts into anything the Shakers could accept as good. They believed the beauty in anything, whether a chair, a rose, or words, was in its usefulness to the community of Believers and not in how it might be pleasing to the eye or mind. Do you believe Jessamine’s gift of words was from the Lord? Does he open up ways for us to use our diverse gifts for him?

 

 


 

 Complete Shaker Series; by Ann Gabhart

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Outsider, The: A Novel - eBook

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Fiction Home | More Reading Guides | Ann Gabhart
Discussion Question Index

A


 • Abigail: Jill Eileen Smith
 • Abigail's New Hope: Mary Ellis
 • Against All Odds: Irene Hannon
 • Against the Tide: Elizabeth Camden
 • Almost Forever: Deborah Raney

B


 • Blue Moon Promise: Colleen Coble
 • Blue Widow Brides: Maggie Brendan
 • Breach of Trust: DiAnn Mills
 • (The) Bridesmaid: Beverly Lewis
 • (The) Bridge: Karen Kingsbury
 • Brigid of Ireland: Cindy Thomson
 • Burn: Ted Dekker

C


 • (The) Calling: Suzanne Woods Fisher
 • (The) Chance: Karen Kingsbury
 • Chasing Mona Lisa: Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey
 • Chasing the Sun: Tracie Peterson
 • Choices of the Heart: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate: Diana Wallis Taylor
 • Critical Care: Candace Calvert
 • Crossing Oceans: Gina Holmes

D


 • (The) Dance: Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley
 • Deadline: Randy Alcorn
 • Deadly Devotion: Sandra Orchard
 • Deadly Ties: Vicki Hinze
 • Deception: Randy Alcorn
 • (The) Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow: Olivia Newport
 • (The) Discovery: Dan Walsh
 •  Dolled Up to Die: Lorena McCourtney
 • Demon: A Memoir: Tosca Lee
 • Digitalis: Ronie Kendig
 • Dogwood: Chris Fabry
 • Double Minds: Terri Blackstock
 • Dying to Read: Lorena McCourtney

 F


 • Fair Is the Rose: Liz Curtis Higgs
 • Freefall: Kristen Heitzmann
 • Frontiersman's Daughter: Laura Frantz

G


 • Gift of Grace: Amy Clipston
 • Gone South: Meg Mosley
 • Grace: Shelley Shepard Gray

H


 • Havah; The Story of Eve: Tosca Lee
 • Heart's Safe Passage: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Highland Sanctuary: Jennifer Hudson Taylor
 • Hope of Refuge: Cindy Woodsmall

I


 • Intervention: Terri Blackstock
 • Into the Whirlwind: Elizabeth Camden
 • Invisible: Ginny Yttrup
 • Iscariot: Tosca Lee

J


 • (The) Jewel of His Heart: Maggie Brendan
 • June Bug: Chris Fabry

 K


 • Katie's Way: Marta Perry
 • Killer Among Us: Lynette Eason

L


 • Lady in the Mist: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Lady of Bolton Hill: Elizabeth Camden
 • Lady of Milkweed Manor: Julie Klassen
 • (A) Lasting Impression: Tamera Alexander
 • Leah's Choice: Marta Perry
 • The Lesson: Suzanne Woods Fisher
 • Lethal Remedy: Richard Mabry
 • Life in Defiance: MaryLu Tyndall
 • Like Dandelion Dust: Karen Kingsbury
 • Lonestar Sanctuary: Colleen Coble
 • Lonestar Secrets: Colleen Coble
 • Love Amid the Ashes: Mesu Andrews
 • Love at Any Cost: By Julie Lessman
 • Love Calls: Lorna Sielstad
 • Love in a Broken Vessel: Mesu Andrews

M

 • Making Waves: Lorna Sielstad
 • (A) Memory Between Us: Sarah Sundin
 • Moon in the Mango Tree: Pamela Ewen
 • Moonlight Masquerade: Ruth Axtell
 • (A) Most Peculiar Circumstance: Jen Turano
 • My Heart Remembers: Kim Vogel Sawyer

N


 • Naomi's Gift: Amy Clipston
 • Never Far From Home: Mary Ellis
 • Nightshade: by Ronie Kendig
 • No Place for a Lady: Maggie Brendan
 • (A) Noble Groom: Jody Hedlund

O


P


 • Paper Roses, by Amanda Cabot
 • Plain Jayne, by Hillary Manton Lodge
 • Preacher's Bride: Jody Hedlund
 • Promise of an Angel: Ruth Reid


R


 • Rebekah: by Jill Eileen Smith
 • Redeeming Love: Francine Rivers
 • Redemption: Karen Kingsbury & Gary Smalley
 • (A) Reluctant Queen: Joan Wolf
 • Remember to Forget: Deborah Raney
 • Remembered: Tamera Alexander

S


 • Sarah's Gift: Marta Perry
 • Shadows of the Past: Patricia Bradley
 • Simple Choices: Nancy Mehl
 • Simple Deceit: Nancy Mehl
 • Slow Moon Rising: Eva Marie Everson
 • Someone to Blame: Susanne Lakin
 • A Sound Among the Trees: Susan Meissner
 • The Sweetest Thing: Elizabeth Musser

T


 • Tailor Made Bride: Karen Witemeyer
 • That Certain Summer: Irene Hannon