Review (Christian Fiction): The Blessed by Ann H. Gabhart

The Blessed
by Ann H. Gabhart
Copyright 2011
Revell Books
416 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3454-1
Fiction/Historical Romance

From the publisher:
Trapped by obligation, one woman longs for the freedom of true love.

It is 1844 and Lacey Bishop's life is a tangled mess. When circumstances move Lacey to a nearby Shaker village, she is not prepared for the new life that awaits her. In the midst of her deep loneliness, Lacey works to fit in with this odd group. But everything shifts when she finds herself drawn to a Shaker man in a village where such relationships are forbidden.

Can Lacey ever find true happiness in this mysterious place?

My Review:
These days it's hard to find any kind of romance be it Christian, general market or otherwise, that has such an original and complex setting as Ann H. Gabart's Shakers series. Where Amish fiction seems to have flooded the market it's nice to pick up a "bonnet" book that doesn't quite fit the mold. I'm not the biggest fan of slower paced novels like this one but Ms. Gabhart definitely catches the oddities and strangeness of the Shaker religious sect.

That said, at times, it was a little too much for me. I found that since most of the book took place in a Shaker village with little interaction from the outside world or a secondary story line set in the surrounding town I got a little bored. Not much happens until the very end that held my attention for more than a few chapters at a time. I was a little frustrated that there seemed to be absolutely no happiness or pleasantness, not even a smile shared among the Shakers. I was also a little frustrated at the relationship between Rachel and Lacey. At one point in the novel it was mentioned that Rachel no longer wanted Lacey as her mother, which I understood, but all seemed to be forgotten and came together too easily for my taste by the end of the book.

Don't get me wrong I liked the book and it was a good conclusion to the series but after having read and loved The Seeker, book 3, I was a little let down by this one. For those readers who love multi-layered characters (you either love or hate those in this book!), different religious groups, or just plain ol' historical fiction you might want to give The Blessed a try!

“Available July 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

To learn more about the author visit:

* I received my complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my honest review.*



  1. What I found interesting about this book, after looking at it a second time, was how short the time period involved was. Six weeks after the death, was the wedding, and a few weeks later they were at the Shaker village. They were only there a few weeks before she left. As far as Rachael not wanting Lacey, I think that was more a child's pique at being abandoned, and of course she really wanted her, and was thrilled to learn that she was still wanted.

  2. I definitely did notice that it took place during such a short period of time but it still kind of dragged for me. I really liked this series and The Seeker was my favorite. :-) Thanks for stopping by Ruth!

    XOXO~ Renee


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