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?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The novel is set in 1844 and was filled with such precise emotion to the point I could almost feel what the characters were feeling. Lacey especially had a big impact on me. As a mother I could feel her crushing pain and aching heart at being separated from her four-year-old daughter, Rachel. She was unhappy in the Shaker village but her arrival there was beyond her control. Lacey had no choice but to follow her preacher husband to the Shaker village after two people from their village came to speak to him and convinced him that he needed to repent and beg for forgiveness. She was terribly unhappy in her marriage as it was done strictly as a convenience and she has never been a proper wife to Reverend Elmer Palmer. Lacey longs to feel a man’s arms around her, someone to love her, to understand her and to take care of her the way every woman wants to be loved and cared for.
I also felt for Isaac Kingston because in a way, he and Lacey were both stuck in the same situation and both wanted the same things but their fight to achieve their goals was not an easy one. They just couldn’t understand the way of the Shakers. Both Isaac and Lacey arrived in the Shaker community of Harmony Hill under completely different circumstances.
Isaac carried an overwhelming amount of guilt after losing his wife, Ella, and this prevents him from moving forward in his life as quickly as the community around him believed he should. Isaac also felt he didn’t deserve to laugh or to enjoy himself. He shrouded himself in such feelings of doom and gloom and pulled those emotions even tighter around himself like pulling a belt tighter and tighter around his waist. He too was looking for love again but was undecided in his thinking. With the over-whelming guilt over Ella, stirring feelings for one of the women at the Shaker Village and the undeniable amount of guilt he feels prevents him from growing in his life and in his faith.
Both Lacey and Isaac were confused about the many rules and rituals of the Shaker society and often found themselves being called-out by one of the Elders for some wrongdoing. There were several scenes that were emotion inducing and prodded me toward the tissue box on the table beside me. The Shakers were a very odd and unique community of people.
Will Lacey and Isaac ever find happiness again?
There was great character development, the pacing was right on and there is a wonderful moral to this story but you’ll have to find that out on your own when you read the book. Don’t miss this incredible journey of love, understanding, faith and Lacey’s determination to find God’s truth and happiness.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".