Could you imagine falling in love at first sight?
Jessamine Brady is taken to the Shaker village after her grandmother dies, when she was still a child. Now, she’s almost 21 – the age where most young Shakers sign a covenant to become an official member of the religious sect. Jessamine feels that something is missing in her life, and she struggles with her choice of signing the covenant. She’s a writer and writing stories and idle words are not allowed in the Shaker village. She loves to dance and enjoys gazing at God’s wonders, but, the Shakers allow little time for idleness. Jessamine’s life changes drastically when her and another Shaker sister find a handsome wounded man in the woods. Once they bring the wounded man back to their village, it’s discovered that he’s lost his memory, however, he manages to give them a fake name, Philip Rose. Jessamine soon finds his name is Tristan Cooper, and she longs to be with him, learn more about him, and to love him.
Jessamine struggles with the deep attraction she shares with Tristan. However, the Shakers feel that marriage is a sin, which is why they live secluded lives, with the sexes in separate dormitory-type rooms. The men and women only see one another during their eating and worship times, and even then, the sexes remain separate. They also dance and shake during worship, trying to stomp the devil out of their lives.
Tristan also struggles with his attraction to Jessamine. After all, he’s engaged to another – his mother is “forcing” him to marry privileged Laura so that their union will allow Laura’s father to save Tristan’s family from financial ruin.
I really enjoyed this book. The story is written in an intriguing way and it also only covers the span of a few days. Could you imagine falling in love at first sight? I felt that Jessamine and Tristan fell in love extremely quickly since they barely had time together in the Shaker village. Although they do spend time together later in the book, I still think they fell in love fast, but the story was written in a way that their love was believable and strong. This was a good read that’ll teach you a lot about Shaker life. Many thanks to Baker/Revell for providing me with a free review copy.