The Innocent: A Novel - eBook
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Publication Date: 2015
Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. The war ends without further word. Now penniless, in debt, and forced from her home, Carlyn seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill, only to discover that they will not allow her to keep her beloved dog, an animal that has been her faithful companion since her husband went off to war. Sheriff Mitchell Brodie has pity on the lovely young woman and agrees to take the dog. Carlyn is just settling into life as a sister in the Shaker village when she receives a devastating letter confirming her worst fears. As she wrestles with whether to commit herself fully to the Shaker life, mysterious deaths begin to occur, and Carlyn comes under suspicion. Can Sheriff Mitchell help her expose the true culprit?
Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites fans back to Harmony Hill for a story laced with intrigue, romance, and heart.
Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites fans back to Harmony Hill for a story laced with intrigue, romance, and heart.
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.
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dianaFlowW Columbia, SCAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Intriguing Historical Fiction!September 11, 2015dianaFlowW Columbia, SCAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5In the masterful prose she is so well known for, author Ann H. Gabhart has penned another fascinating story of the religious sect known as the Shakers during the post-Civil War era.
It has been two long, lonely years since Carlyn Kearney received news from the Union Army that her husband, Ambrose, was missing. In hopes that he might still be alive, Carlyn waits patiently, but finds herself penniless and at the mercy of the cruel and lascivious Curt Whitlow, the owner of her house. Curt arrives with Mitchell Brodie, the kind and handsome new sheriff in town, to force her from her home. With nowhere else to go Carlyn finds herself seeking refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill.
Under the strict tutelage of Sister Edna, Carlyn learns the strange ways of the Shakers. Marriage and other worldly ties and possessions are forbidden and considered a sin, and instead of living a simple life stringent rules must be learned and obeyed. Soon mysterious deaths disturb the peace of the Shaker village and Mitchell is determined to find the person responsible. Mitchell and Carlyn fight their growing attraction for one another as she is still a married woman...or is she? Will her beloved Ambrose make his way back home to her awaiting arms? And when she finds herself in terrible danger, will either man arrive in time to rescue her from the dark clutches of death?
I have read all of Ann H. Gabhart's books regarding the Shakers and they are truly mesmerizing! From their strange worship dances and furious stomping to the separation of families and earthly possessions, Ms. Gabhart's research and vast knowledge of the Shaker religion is impeccable. Except for the fact that they were a very hard working, devout people who believed in living simply, the Shakers were very much unlike the Amish in that they followed the teachings of Mother Ann and total celibacy. The Innocent is a spellbinding page-turner with everything one could ask for in a novel -- a bit of mystery, tenacious characters, a strong spiritual thread, and oh, I musn't forget the romance! A book you won't be able to put down until the climactic conclusion...be sure to order your copy today!
nkwbookreviewer5 Stars Out Of 5Fascinating Shaker Book that should be a MovieAugust 19, 2015nkwbookreviewerQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5For me it didn't take long to become emotionally invested in Carlyn Kearney and her massive dog, Asher. As I read through the trials and tribulations this post civil war woman endured, I kept thinking that this would make a great movie. It had a culture different than ours (Shaker), mystery, a good looking sheriff, a gun-toting lady, a touch of Civil War, a big old dog, romance, suspense, inspiration - something for everyone. I especially wanted to watch this book! The author took this reader on a sojourn to the Shaker Village that seemed real. She certainly knows her facts about the Shaker sect and Kentucky. The story was heavily sprinkled with scripture and a good inspirational message to "just pray". The seldom touched topic of Civil War soldiers that did not return home was broached as we find in the opening of the book Carlyn's husband is overdue to come home from the war. While I expected to like this book, I was surprised to find how absorbed I became in it; I truly loved it and its deep characters. The descriptive language and dialogue used by Ann Gabhart make for a smooth, enjoyable read. I am hoping more books from her and for a movie!
The Avid ReaderDunedin, FLAge: 45-54Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5A lovely Christian historical romance novel!August 13, 2015The Avid ReaderDunedin, FLAge: 45-54Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4The Innocent by Ann H. Gabhart is an historical Christian novel. It is September of 1865 and Carlyn Kearney has not heard from her husband in two years. He went off to fight in the Civil War and she did not hear from him after the summer of 1863. Carlyn is out of money and has no way to pay the lien on their property and home. Carlyn does not know what to do. She does not want to leave their home in case her husband, Ambrose comes back. Ambrose was listed as missing in action.
Sheriff Mitchell Brodie arrives one day with Curt Whitlow. Curt owns the lien on the property. He has offered to help Carlyn out in exchange for certain favors (we all know he means sex). Curt is married with a family of his own, but that does not stop his roving ways. Sheriff Brodie is very nice and polite to Carlyn. Carlyn greets them at the door with a shotgun and her dog, Asher. Asher has been her friend since the day he arrived starving on her doorstep. Asher does not like Curt and is very protective of Carlyn. Carlyn has one week to leave.
After much prayer Carlyn decides to go to the nearby Shaker village of Harmony Hill. Carlyn is accepted into the village, but not Asher. Carlyn asks Sheriff Brodie to watch Asher for her and give him a good home. Carlyn tries to fit into life at the village, but it is very different. They all have to dress the same way, no violence, a lot of work, many rules, and they are always being watched. Sister Edna is assigned to be Carlyns teacher or guide. Sister Edna seems to resent Carlyn (for her looks) and is always finding fault. One day Carlyn overhears an argument between Brother Henry Stratton and Curt Whitlow. The next night their barn with the horses is on fire and Brother Henry cannot be found. Sheriff Brodie sets out to find out who set fire to the barn and who wanted Brother Henry dead (poor man is found under a hay bale). Then Curt Whitlow is missing (and assumed guilty). When Sister Edna is found at the bottom of some steps during the night by Carlyn, Carlyn is accused of pushing her. What is going on in this village? Sheriff Brodie has his work cut out for him. Mitchell Brodie is also having feelings for Carlyn. He would like to get to know her better, but he is unable to with her in the village (Shakers are against marriage). Can Mitchell keep her safe and find a way to get to know her better? Does Carlyn have feelings for Mitchell?
Read The Innocent to find out who is messing with the Shaker village and the fate of Carlyn and Mitchell. I give The Innocent 4 out of 5 stars. I liked it, but I admit to not loving it. It is heavy in scripture (a tad preachy). I enjoyed the mystery in the story (I cannot help it if I like mysteries). I found pleasure in how the story ended. Ann H. Gabhart is a good storyteller. I have read books of hers before, and I will definitely will read more of them in the future. She has a good understanding of the Shaker culture and put it together very nicely into this book (there are others as well).
I received a complimentary copy of The Innocent from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
Fitzysmom5 Stars Out Of 5Review from Rambles of a SAHMAugust 6, 2015FitzysmomQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Prepare to have your heart broken for the awful situation that Carlyn Kearney finds herself in. Her beloved husband went off to fight in the Civil War. The war has since ended and the men have come home, except for her husband. He's considered missing and presumed dead. But with no definitive word on his condition Carlyn is left in a state of limbo.
Meanwhile the mortgage is due on her home and she has no way to pay it. Her only alternative seems to be to join the Shakers at Harmony Hill. While she doesn't adhere to their odd beliefs she knows she'll have food and shelter and be relatively safe until her husband comes home. Much to her dismay several very treacherous events happen that leave the whole village unsettled.
I have enjoyed several of Gabhart's Harmony Hill novels and this one is no exception. I appreciate the peek into the mysterious Shaker community. The author does a wonderful job of presenting the beliefs of these people without pandering to them. What they believe is strange and she makes no bones about it.
Carlyn Kearney is forced to face the worst nightmare of any married woman. When do you give up hope? When is it okay to move on? I loved Carlyn's faith in the Providence of God. She didn't always understand what was happening and had many doubts but in the end she relied on God.
When I closed the last page of the book I was left with a deep sense of gratitude for the provision that God continues to provide His children. Gabhart did a marvelous job of juxtaposing the Shakers with the believers in Christ without disparaging either group. I will be eagerly awaiting her next book.
I recieved a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
KavRCanadaGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Fantastic readJuly 28, 2015KavRCanadaGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 0My emotions were engaged from the very first page. Carlyn's predicament is heartbreaking and infuriating and so typical of the times. A woman with very little rights facing a bleak, unfathomable future. Thank goodness for the nearby Shaker village which will happily take her in -- in exchange for her body and soul.
As in all of Gabhart's Shaker books, the details of this Christian sect both fascinate and appall me. A people rich in the wisdom of the gospel in so many ways yet they also hold to some glaring biblical misconceptions.
Carlyn has a mind of her own and her clashes with an older Shaker sister are invigorating and often humorous because it's just not in her nature to accept without understanding. And there is a lot that Carlyn doesn't understand. Like why marriage should be considered sinful. And why she's considered to be the one at fault if her God-given beauty should catch a brother's eye. Though she tries to be subservient and blend in, her keen intelligence pushes her to challenge the Shaker way of living.
Trying to fit in at Harmony Hill is difficult enough but when Carlyn uncovers a mystery among the Shakers she unwittingly becomes embroiled in something sinister. I love the unexpected suspense twist to this story. Especially since it brings Mitchell and Carlyn together.
And the mammoth dog -- Asher -- wins best heroic dog in a historical romance as far as I'm concerned. He's my true hero though I'll admit Mitchell comes in at a close second. :-)
This book has it all -- intrigue, romance, and plenty of action. A spellbinding read.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
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