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The Blessed (Shaker Series #4)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  227 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Bestselling novelist delivers a moving story set in an 1844 Shaker village in which a young mother and a widower encounter a crisis of faith and struggle to follow their hearts.
ebook, 304 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Fleming H. Revell Company (first published June 1st 2011)
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I’ve heard of the group of people who were known as the “Shakers” before. My curiosity was instantly aroused—who were the Shakers? While The Blessed is Ann Gabhart’s fourth Shaker book, it’s the first one I’ve read by her. The story inside this thick book was simply amazing. It’s not your typical romance, which I was very happy about. (It’s nice to take a break from the heated romances that are out on the market nowadays.) I just about devoured the book in my quest to find out more about the Sha ...more
Lacey Bishop has been living with Preacher Palmer and his wife since she was thirteen. Her father brought her to them so that she could help take care of the preachers sickly wife Miss Mona, while staying there a baby who they named Rachel was dropped on the preachers doorstep and Miss Mona and Lacey had raised her as their own. When Miss Mona dies the community thinks its improper for a twenty one year old girl to live under the same roof as the preacher. The preacher who is much older than Lac ...more
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 it was a little too much for me. I f
Jul 16, 2011 Molly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Molly by: Revell
I loved this book. There isn't one simple thing that is my favorite. I just loved the book in all it's entirety. Ann H. Gabhart has outdone herself with this Shaker novel. I enjoyed her other novels centering around Shakers, but, like I said, this is one that I loved the most. Her writing style is still the wonderful same, her characters still created with a powerful passion, but this novel about being truly blessed with what you have or don't have, was truly moving.

Lacey Bishop was a cast away
Jul 11, 2011 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like historical fiction
The Blessed adds to the author’s collection of novels dealing heavily with a Shaker theme. This is the first novel I’ve read by Gabhart, and the first that features Shaker characters.

I appreciated the author’s brief history of the society before reading the book. The Blessed takes place in the mid nineteenth century in a small rural community at the home of the local Baptist preacher and his ailing wife. As a teenager, Lacey Bishop was sent to be the hired girl for Miss Mona. During this time,
When I first started reading Ann H. Gabhart's books on The Shakers, I was intrigued. Then I was surprised that a cult like this existed way back then. Who says you can't learn anything from novels?

It is 1844 and The Blessed follows Lacey Bishop, who due to circumstances beyond her control, finds herself living in a Shaker village. The Shakers are an odd bunch. They believe marriage is a sin and that children should be separated from their parents (no matter the age). So they take Rachel, Lacey's
The Blessed is the fourth book in Gabhart’s Shaker Book Series and is well researched, as are all of the books in her Shaker series. Ann lives close to a restored Shaker village in Kentucky and has had the opportunity to see and walk through the same type of village written about in her books.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I am a HUGE fan of historical fiction because I learn something just about every time I sit down to read. For example, many people think that the Shakers and the Amish a
Ann Gabhart has done it again with "The Blessed", the 4th book in her series. At a glance this is a thick book, but once a reader becomes acquainted with Lacey and Isaac the pages fly by. You want to finish the story but not the friendships made with the characters. Gabhart's style of writing draws me in and I become emotionally invested with the characters. I laugh and cry with them. Situations become hopeless and I feel for them. She stays true to the Shakers and gives readers an interesting h ...more
Romancing the Book
Review by AmieLou: When I got the notice to review The Blessed by Ann H. Gabhart, I have to admit that I was overly excited to read a novel—said to be a romance—about the Shakers. For those who don’t know, the Shakers were a religious sect formed in the eighteenth century. I say “were” because the Shakers didn’t believe in marriage or sexual relations for any reason. They didn’t have families nor children born into their communities. Consequently,their beliefs died out with them. And so I was ve ...more
Abbie Riddle
This book is excellently written. I enjoyed it from the very first page.

Young Lacy Bishop's life was a web of sticky mess that had her tangled in obligations she wanted nothing to do with. Would the Shaker Village be a way out of this mess?

As a young girl Lacy Bishop is sent to live with Mona and Preacher Palmer. There words of truth are spoken into her life and the scripture becomes her strong foundation. However, Mona dies just as Lacy is becoming a young woman and she and the orphaned girl (a
I can't help vacillating in my thoughts on this book, but the bottom line is I simply didn't like it. Some parts were interesting, like the whole odd Shaker culture and the era the novel was written in. Some parts were very dull and I found myself skimming a lot. I finally decided I couldn't finish the story even though I ended up reading to page 216 or so. It was too drawn out and the pacing lagged. Plus, it was kind of depressing. I'm thinking this is just not an author I plan to read. I start ...more
This book is about Lacey - a motherless woman who came to live with a preacher and his wife as a youngster. After her father re-married, her new stepmother didn't want her living with them. Lacey has a strange relationship with her new "parents" and as an adult, her and the preacher seldom speak, but she's extremely close to Miss Mona, the preacher's wife. Miss Mona is kind and she teaches Lacey a lot about faith and Christianity. Lacey's life changes for the worse when Miss Mona dies, leaving 2 ...more
Interesting historical romance centered around the Shaker faith and tradition. I enjoyed it!
Jul 11, 2011 Jolene rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Christian Fiction
Lacey Bishop hasn't had an easy life and things get even more difficult when she marries Pastor Elwood Palmer in order to continue caring for Rachel. Though she did not give birth to Rachel, Lacey considers Rachel to be her daughter and would do anything to stay with her. As tensions in the parsonage mount, a move to the Shaker community, where all marital relationships are dissolved, seems like a relief. Unfortunately, the Shakers also believe in dissolving parent-child relationships. Lacey is ...more
Shari Larsen
This story takes place in Kentucky, in 1844. Estranged from her own family at the age of 16, Lacey Bishop goes to work for the preacher and his wife, and also cares for their little girl, Rachel, who was left at their doorstep when she was an infant.

Lacey is pretty content with her life, helping Mona, the preachers wife, and helping to raise Rachel. But her life takes a radical turn when Mona dies after a long illness, and the preacher convinces that the only decent thing to do is to marry him.
The Blessed is my first introduction into the world of the Shakers. Not what I expected, but author Ann H. Gabhart kept my interest throughout the complete book! Ann, as an accomplished writer, brought out characters that you can relate to in this historical romance. The sorrow, pain, joy, compassion, and love is palpable in each of the specific characters. The love between mother and daughter is so tender and joyful.

The secret, forbidden love interests were heartbreaking at one point and exciti
Author: Ann H. Gabhart
Publisher: Revell
July 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3454-1
Genre: Inspirational/historical/shakers

Lacey is an orphaned sent to live with Preacher Palmer and his wife. Later a baby is abandoned on the preacher’s steps and his wife and Lacey took care of Rachel, until the preacher’s wife passed on. Then the preacher insisted that Lacey and he marry. Lacey didn’t want to, but it was the only way she’d be allowed to care for Rachel.

Isaac’s wife died and Isaac left the
Before I picked up this novel, I thought that the Shakers were pretty much the same as the Amish, only with more enthusiastic worship services. I had never studied or researched anything about them. So, before I started reading, I went to the place I go on the Web when I want semi-useful information: Wikipedia.

Wow, was I wrong about the Shakers (and my apologies to the Amish). One thing in particular that was especially surprising to me was that the Shakers thought that marriage was evil and liv
THE BLESSED was a difficult read for me. First, let me say I am not a fan of Amish-themed books. But the plot sounded interesting enough that I wanted to give it a try. I should know by now that no matter the plot, I just don’t care for this style of book. This is my fault. Nothing against the writer. The other thing that made this book difficult to read is I didn’t feel it was labeled correctly. Historical – yes, Romance – no. I have a hard time when books are categorized as romance books but t ...more
Clockstein Lockstein
The Blessed by Ann Gabhart is the fourth book in her Shaker series. The story covers two people, Lacey and Isaac, each trapped between a rock and a hard place, and living life without hope. Lacey's family was shattered with the death of her mother, and after her father married an abusive woman, she was sent to help out Preacher Palmer's family in another town. Lacey grew to see his wife, Miss Mona, as a mother figure, and when an infant girl was dropped off at their doorstep, the two women raise ...more
I was very interested in reading this book because I wanted to learn more about the Shakers. However, I found it very hard to get into this book. I found it depressing, what with Isaac at a loss after losing his wife and Lacey not wanting to be married to the preacher but not having a choice. But on the other hand, this just shows how proficient the author is at setting the tone of helplessness that the two main authors are facing when we meet them. The Shaker village seems to be the only answer ...more
This was an interesting read. The first thing to realize is that every happy ever after Shaker romance HAS to end outside of the community, so I knew that going in. In previous novels, love has been greater than the Shaker faith. This was different. The major character, Lacey, doesn't go to the Shaker village by choice. And she disagrees with much of their beliefs, challenging them with Biblical text. Small things, such as stepping first with the right foot, Lacey accepts but she cannot help but ...more
Prior to reading this book, the only thing I associated with the 'Shakers' was their craftsmanship and furniture. Little did I know they were what most would consider a religious cult. With marriage considered a 'sin' and children separated from their parents, it is no wonder this 'religious' group self destructed. Since celibacy does not support the normal progression of nature to mate and produce offspring, the Shaker movement was short lived.

Due to a separate set of unfortunate circumstances,
I did enjoy The Blessed; I did get drawn into it, I have to say that much. Isaac and Lacey shared a sweet romance, and the mother/daughter relationship between Lacey and Rachel was tenderly beautiful. I must admit, I did relish in the two main characters’ “rebellious”—or whatever they called it—natures. Not the fact that they rebelled against rules, but the fact that they stood up to the Shakers and looked them straight in the eye as they challenged their strange beliefs. There was plenty of dr ...more
I knew absolutely nothing about the Shaker history, so I was drawn into this book early on. It held my interest throughout. It is a beautifully written story that comes alive in Kentucky during the 1800's.

In the Shaker community marital unions are dissolved as well as parent - child relationships. There seemed to be no happiness or pleasantness --- they just existed.

Preacher Palmer wasn't as "saintly" as some imagined. Lacey Bishop felt the wrongness of marrying the Preacher from the beginning,
Lacey Bishop's life is in tatters. Alone in the world, she goes to work for a preacher and his wife, and so remains in their employ until the wife passes, her dear Miss Mona. Having no where else to go, she stays with the preacher and the little girl, Rachel that had been left on his doorstep years before. When the women in the parish raise a protest about the improper living conditions of a 20-year-old single girl living with the widowed preacher, Lacey is convinced that she has no other recour ...more
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 peo ...more
Isaac Kingston lost his wife to fever. Isaac has no where to go. He sold everything his owned to try and cure his wife, only to lose her in the end. Isaac finds his way into an Amish village. It is here that Isaac finds a home.

Lacey Bishop lost her mother when she was young. Lacey is a grown woman at twenty. Lacey is married off to Preacher Palmer. It is not a match made in heaven. Preacher Palmer has a mean temper. Lacey becomes friends with Isaac. The more time that they spend together, the s
Lacey Bishop was taken in by Preacher Elwood Palmer to care for his wife Mona and later baby Rachel when she was left on their doorstep. When Mona died the ladies of the Ebenezer Church didn't think it was right that Lacey and Rachel live with Preacher Palmer unless they were married. Lacey didn't love him, really didn't even care for him but she did love Rachel and she knew that if she didn't marry Preacher Palmer she would lose Rachel. They agreed to be married and Lacey would have some time b ...more
Diane A Brown
A Dose of “Shakerism”

If you desire to learn about the Shaker ways, The Blessed will give you a deep insight into their way of life, beliefs and their views of the outside world.

Set in the mid 1840’s you are introduced to Isaac, a troubled young man. Coming from a broken home the death of his father weighs heavy on his shoulders. He also bares the burden of his wife’s recent death. Distraught and wanting his sorrow to end he encounters a kind Shaker brother who invites him to find peace in their
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Aug 19, 2015 01:03PM  
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Ann H. Gabhart grew up on a farm in Kentucky. By the time she was ten she knew she wanted to be a writer. She's published over twenty novels. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. She still lives on a farm not far from where she grew up. She loves playing with her grandkids, walking with her dog, reading and, of course, writing. Her Shaker books, set in her fictional Shak ...more
More about Ann H. Gabhart...

Other Books in the Series

Shaker Series (5 books)
  • The Outsider (Shaker Series, #1)
  • The Believer (Shaker Series, #2)
  • The Seeker (Shaker Series, #3)
  • The Gifted (Shaker Series #5)
Angel Sister Words Spoken True The Outsider (Shaker Series, #1) The Scent of Lilacs (The Heart of Hollyhill #1) Small Town Girl

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