Title: The Refuge
Author: Ann H Gabhart
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: Apr 30, 2019
Length: 400 pages
About the Book:
When Darcie and Walter Goodwin hear of a new cholera epidemic sweeping the area, they join the Shakers whose villages seem immune to the disease. It’s meant to be a temporary stay, but Walter is killed in a riverboat accident. With no family and no money, Darcie has little choice but to stay with the Shakers. To complicate matters, she is expecting a baby conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village. Marital relationships are considered sinful in this celibate community, putting Darcie in a unique–and lonely–position. Can the arrival of widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter offer Darcie the hope of happiness . . . and family?
Ann H. Gabhart returns to the enigmatic world of the Shakers in this emotional exploration of the power of love and the bond of family.
One of the amazing things about historical fiction is that it takes the reader to an entirely different place and time and gives them a glimpse of what life may have been like. Instead of discovering history through a textbook, you see it through the eyes of characters, giving it a more real and personal value. I only wish that the author would have shared some of her research in an author’s note to help separate some of the truth from fiction in this novel, but it was evident that she had a solid understanding of the ways of the Shakers and it flowed throughout the pages.
I have always been intrigued by the Shakers. I grew up a short distance away from a living history museum that allows you to walk through the village and take a peek inside the historical lives of people. There is one home they now have dedicated to teaching about the Shakers. Speaking with some of the reenactors awakened an interest to learn more, and so I knew that after reading the description of this novel it was one I would have to pick up. Not unsurprising, but I read it in a single day. Darcie was an easy character to connect with and continue to build a deeper bond with as the story progressed. Being able to concur with her mindset only made the story come to life more and the pages continue to turn.
I devoured every moment of this novel. I’m currently sitting in a book fog wondering why it had to come to an end because I’m not ready to exit their world and return to my own. I highly, highly recommend to historical fiction fans!
*I received a copy of this book from Revell. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.