Item description for The Outsider (Shaker #1) by Ann H. Gabhart...
Overview When one of Gabrielle's visions comes to pass and a doctor is brought in to save the life of a young man, a chain of events that challenge Gabrielle's loyalty to the Shakers is set into motion. Original.
Publishers Description For as long as she can remember, Gabrielle Hope has had the gift of knowing--visions that warn of things to come. When she and her mother joined the Pleasant Hill Shaker community in 1807, the community embraced her gift. But Gabrielle fears this gift, for the visions are often ones of sorrow and tragedy. When one of these visions comes to pass, a local doctor must be brought in to save the life of a young man, setting into motion a chain of events that will challenge Gabrielle's loyalty to the Shakers. As she falls deeper into a forbidden love for this man of the world, Gabrielle must make a choice. Can she experience true happiness in this simple and chaste community? Or will she abandon her brothers and sisters for a life of the unknown? Soulful and filled with romance, "The Outsider" lets readers live within a bygone time among a unique and peculiar people. This tender and thought-provoking story will leave readers wanting more from this writer.
From Publishers Weekly Shaker romance might seem like an oxymoron, but Gabhart (Summer of Joy) pens an interesting if emotionally lukewarm historical tale that explores the fascinating world of a religious Shaker community. The predictable story line is less compelling than the details about the Shakers and their stringent religious beliefs, with celibacy key to the plot. Set amid the War of 1812, the point of view shifts between the two romantic leads. Twenty-year-old Sister Gabrielle Hope's spiritual visions enable her to see future events. Although she's committed to the Shaker community of Harmony Hill (based on Kentucky's real-life Pleasant Hill), a few words and a kiss from the widowed outsider Dr. Brice Scott cause her to question the life she and her mother have chosen. More uncertainty follows as the strict rules of the community separate mothers from their children. Disappointingly, the romance never tingles, and even the novel's darker scenes of suicide and military execution are emotionally flat. But fans of Beverly Lewis's Amish novels may find Gabhart's well-researched historical fiction to their liking. (Aug.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Awards and Recognitions The Outsider (Shaker #1) by Ann H. Gabhart has received the following awards and recognitions -
Christian Book Award - 2009 Finalist - Fiction category
Citations And Professional Reviews The Outsider (Shaker #1) by Ann H. Gabhart has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 06/01/2008 page 84
Publishers Weekly - 06/02/2008 page 31
Romantic Times - 08/01/2008 page 62
CBA Retailers - 08/01/2008 page 40
Christian Retailing - 08/25/2008 page 21
Foreword - 06/16/2008
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 6.32" Height: 0.9" Weight: 0.72 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 2008
Publisher Baker Publishing Group
Series Number 1
ISBN 0800732391 ISBN13 9780800732394
Availability 3 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 05:59.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Ann H. Gabhart
Hi, glad you could stop by to get to know me better. I'm a country girl, born and raised on a farm in the Outer Bluegrass region of Kentucky. I know you're thinking horse farm, but no, not out my way. Mostly cows on the farms around here. My grandfather did have a big old workhorse when I was a little girl. My family grew tobacco and corn. We had a few milk cows, some hogs and sheep, but mostly beef cattle. I grew up working on the farm and enjoying the woods and animals. My roots grow deep in the land, and I now live on a farm just a mile away from the farmhouse where I was born and raised.
I started writing when I was ten and have been writing ever since. My first published writing (personal experience pieces, youth stories, and poems) was in church periodicals such as HomeLife. My first novel, A Forbidden Yearning, was published by Warner Books in 1978 and was a historical romance about the settling of Kentucky. Since then I've published twenty novels for adults and young adults. All but my latest books are out of print now, but some of the other titles are still floating around out there in used bookstores or on Internet sites.
I'm married to Darrell Gabhart. We got married when we were both very young, but we defied the odds and are still married all these years later. Maybe because we went to church together and were committed to the Christian life. Darrell is a retired Records Manager, part time farmer, and bass singer for The Patriot Quartet, a Southern Gospel Quartet. They have some great projects out now and are traveling all over to share the gospel through their songs. They've sung in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Michigan, West Virginia, Louisiana, Florida (and other states I've probably forgotten) and of course, Kentucky. So check out their sound and their schedule on their website at www.patriotquartet.com and maybe they'll be singing at a place near you.
We have three children, Johnson, Tarasa, and Daniel who are all grown and married (to Leah, Gary, and Carrie) and they've given us nine wonderful grandchildren, Sarah, Austin, Fiona, Ashley, Katie, Jillian, John, Matt, and Raegan to spoil every chance we get. I tell everybody I'm my grandbabies' wind-up grandma toy. Of course now days I guess I should say push-button. Does anybody wind up anything except maybe a committee meeting at church anymore?
I've been going to the same small country church since I was seventeen and I used my memories of how it used to be in The Scent of Lilacs. I love small churches where everybody is like a big family and all ages interact with one another. My church was established in 1812 and I like thinking about all the people who have served the Lord there. The church has never had a big congregation while I've been a member, ranging anywhere from 20 to 80, but over the nearly 200 years of the church's existence, a lot of people have passed through the doors, made decisions for Christ, lived and loved and prayed. It makes me think of Hebrews and that great crowd of witnesses.
I like walking in the fields and woods, finding wildflowers and spotting birds and wildlife while trying to keep in shape. I'm crazy about dogs, with three of my own and several neighbor dogs who like to hang out in my yard or take walks with me. The one in the picture here is a big chocolate lab somebody gave me so that he would have a place to run. His official name is Coffee W. Crutcher, but we just call him Dub, short for W. Then we have Oscar, a great lab mix somebody dropped in a nearby town and who found us via the internet. He's a very good dog and enjoys his home out here on the farm. Last we have Lucy, one of a litter of pups the neighbor dog had in our garage and the grandkids couldn't stand to part with when we gave the others away. She thinks she's a beagle hound, but her legs are too short to catch anything.
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I felt as though the author was mostly derogetive towards the customs of the Shakers religious practices. I don't know much about their faith, but I know what it's like to be criticized and misunderstood about my own religion, which is Pentecostal. Now, the fact that the Shakers believed in commiting themselves wholely to God by practicing celebicy is probobly based on what Paul said in Corinthians,that it is better for man not to marry. I doubt that they ever considered marriage a sin, since any person would realize that that would destroy the human race. I also found it disrespectful, the way that she spoke of the Shakers dancing and catching the spirit by "rolling on the floor." It reminds me of the comments that are made of me and my own religion, by people who don't understand how the Holy Spirit can operate. it only makes sense that someone who has gave up earthly infilling, for full spiritual infilling, would become blessed in a mightier way by the Holy Ghost. The fact is the Shakers may have some erroneous beliefs, but it's questionable to me if it was truly a Sect of people who one would have to feel they were imprisoned, and trapped, and in need of being "rescued". It sounded like one could walk away in peace if one desired to do so.
Not for Readers that Care About History!!! Dec 25, 2009
Yes, for those readers who enjoy this genre of faith-based novels, it's nice to see the long and rich Shaker tradition as the subject. But I cannot agree that this book is well-researched, as others have commented. It reflects only the most superficial knowledge of the Shaker movement, and it seriously misrepresents most aspects of Shaker life. In the Shaker "west" during the period in which this story is set, the communities had barely begun to gather. Believers were scattered, living mostly in log houses, and only one or two frame structures had been completed by that time. Shaker life in the Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana did not immediately take on the "typical" Shaker characteristics associated with later times and with the Eastern communities. The author makes the serious error of taking Shaker "norms" from circa 1840s and/or from the more established and formal Eastern communities and projecting those "norms" onto a new Shaker settlement on the Kentucky frontier. Extremely misleading!!! Not to mention the silly sensationalism of the more unusual Shaker characteristics. I realize it's fiction. But sadly, most readers will believe they are learning accurate information about the Shakers of EARLY Kentucky, circa 1812. Definitely not the case! Anyone who cares to look into the abundant Shaker primary sources will find that truth is much more engaging than this sort of fiction.
WARNING! The "spirit" represented is NOT of God Nov 16, 2009
First, please believe that I am not questioning the author's salvation or anything like that, nor is it my intention to speak ill of the Shakers, for I know very little about them. I only address the book itself. There are some things in this book that prompt me to caution prospective buyers/readers. I read the book awhile ago, so I will speak of what I remember.
The heroine, Gabrielle, has a "gift of knowing" or in other words, the ability to see visions of future happenings. Also, a "spirit" sometimes comes upon her, causing her to do things she has no contol over. She dreads these occasions and is afraid when the spirit comes, and the visions she sees are usually of dark and tragic happenings. At the very end of the book, when she frees herself from the community, she is relieved to find that she no longer has "visitations" from the spirit. Also, in the Shaker meetings, people start screaming and shaking violently and stomping on invisible "things", obviously demons. There is chaos as the Shakers whirl about violently in an attempt to rid themselves of sin and evil spirits. There is no particular feeling of spiritual victory or redemption.
I am a Christian; I am also filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues (spoken of in the book of Acts), and all my life I have attended Pentacostal churches. People speaking in tongues, giving prophesies, being slain in the spirit, being filled with laughter, and sometimes shaking uncontrollably are all things that I have seen/heard about, and these occurences were totally of God and there was nothing dark about them. Powerful? Yes. Unexplainable by human knowledge? Yes. But the Holy Spirit is NOT a spirit of fear, darkness, tragedy, and suffering. Rather, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God that brings hope, peace, joy, healing, and redemption. In my own life, I can say with utter confidence I have NEVER been more filled with joy, more filled with God's peace, and more emboldened to share the testimony of Jesus Christ then when the Holy Spirit moves in my heart. Therefore I can also say that the spirit represented in this book is DEFINATELY NOT the Holy Spirit and therefore must be demonic. I did not read the whole book because quite frankly I was told not to by the Holy Spirit. I read the last page or so to see if Gabrielle was freed from the spirit that plagued her. This was another puzzle for me, because she was, so that made me think that the author intended the spirit to be not of God, since at the "happy ending" the girl is spiritually freed. So then I have to wonder, why would anybody want to write/read a love story in which the heroine is basically demon-possessed for most of the book? Honestly, People of God, we can do better than this! I was so surprised that no one mentioned these things, even though some of the other reviews did comment on the unbiblical basis of the Shakers' beliefs.
Again, I'm not questioning the author's salvation. God alone knows her heart. I DO question the wisdom in writing something so dark. Just because demons and cults exist does NOT mean that it is right or healthy for a Christian to dwell on them or take them to heart under the cover of a good story. Honestly, I now feel wary of other books by this author.
Fantastic! Sep 6, 2009
I thought The Outsider by Ann H. Gabhart was fantastic. It was a page turner. You never knew from one chapter to the next what was coming, and the ending was a real surprise! The book delved into the history of the Shaker society which made the book very interesting because each page, almost, had something to share about a society that has long since past away but it is still a part of our country's early history. Gabhart did a fantastic job of portraying the society as they really were complete with the good and bad about the society. The story is about a forbidden love because the Shakers, as other societies of its sort, did not believe in marriage so you never really knew all the way through the book how it would end. Each page, of course, you wanted her to choose romance with the handsome doctor, but she was a devote Shaker and one that was greatly respected in that society as one of their visionaries. The book takes you into the inside of the Shaker community and shows you how it really was to live, belong and devote your life to the community instead of to self. I have read lots of Amish books, for the same reason because I want to see into a community that existed a long time ago, and was different from normal society. There are many Amish books, so this book was really refreshing in that you can learn about the Shaker society. Enjoy!
Interesting and Enlightening Aug 10, 2009
Ann Gabhart's tale of a young woman in an early Shaker community provides a startling peek into the beautifully crafted buildings of the Shaker settlements of the early nineteenth century.
While many Shaker teachings seem similiar to mainstream, biblical Christianity, I had no idea of the dark underside of this religion/cult that has all but died out completely in recent years. The tension of Shaker's firm beliefs against marriage and family provide an immediate sympathy with the choices that are laid before Gabrielle, to shut herself off to the love and relationship of others in favor of a sought-after but always illusive "peace," or to surrender to the pull of love, both of God and of a man.
Her inner struggle to find the answers and make the hard decisions will keep you reading from the first page to the last word.