This book is about Lacey – a motherless woman who came to live with a preacher and his wife as a youngster. After her father re-married, her new stepmother didn’t want her living with them. Lacey has a strange relationship with her new “parents” and as an adult, her and the preacher seldom speak, but she’s extremely close to Miss Mona, the preacher’s wife. Miss Mona is kind and she teaches Lacey a lot about faith and Christianity. Lacey’s life changes for the worse when Miss Mona dies, leaving 20-year-old Lacey and Rachel (an abandoned baby who was left in a box on their doorstep a few years ago). Now Lacey feels forced to marry the preacher – who’s old enough to be her grandfather, since the church ladies believe it’s sinful for her to be living with the preacher as an unmarried woman. When the preacher is sucked into the peaceful, cult-like Shaker community, Lacey and Rachel feel they must live with the Shakers, too.
Also, Isaac, another “worldly” person, is part of the Shaker community. His wife died and he feels guilty for her death. The Shakers take him in and he finds himself attracted to Lacey.
I enjoyed this book, but, as I said in previous reviews, the Shakers still left me with an unsettled feeling, with their strange unBiblical beliefs. One of the Shaker characters kept “seeing” angels and she danced with them in the field and her Shaker brothers/sisters were mesmerized and amazed by her “angelic” ability. I sensed that this book did portray an accurate picture of the Shaker way of life and showed how hard, almost impossible it would be to convert to their way of life. This is a great read if you want to find out more about the Shakers and about how difficult it is to fall in love amidst ones that feel marriage is a sin. I thought the characters were well-developed and the story was enjoyable.
The author also did an awesome job in showing the love between a mother and her child. The Shakers don’t believe in families – everybody is a brother and sister to one another. Families are separated – for a mother to be separated from her child…well, just kind of hard to deal with and Ann really did a great job showing these familial-bond emotions.
Many thanks to Baker/Revell for providing me with a free review copy of this novel.