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The Shakeress

3.23  ·  Rating Details ·  159 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
After Phoebe and her three siblings lose their parents and baby brother in a tragic fire, they are sent to live with an intolerant aunt, who wants to send Phoebe to work in a mill. The four children run away to the one place that will unquestioningly shelter them—a Shaker village. After a few years with the Shakers, Naomi’s sister is sure she belongs to “the Community,” bu ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 12th 2004 by Speak (first published April 4th 2002)
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I found The Shakeress to be a well written young adult novel which showed well the complexity and turmoil of life in the early 19th century. The main character, Naomi loses her parents and infant brother in a fire and goes with her three young siblings to live with relatives. When the children are threatened with separation, they run away to join the Shakers at Canterbury, New Hampshire where they are welcomed and offered a clean, safe home and a real place in the community. But Naomi feels she ...more
Jun 11, 2009 Brittny rated it really liked it
So I was at the library the other day with the kids and decided to pick up a book for me. I randomly chose this book from the shelf and headed home. To my surprise, it turns out this is written by a Mormon author and is written about the Shakers in the early 1800's and then eventually about the Mormons. I had to laugh that I picked up a book that involved our religion. I have to say it was interesting to read.
Sandra Strange
After twelve year old Naomi loses her parents in a fire, she must live with her penurious, cold, Calvinistic aunt, along with her older brother and younger siblings. Following a spiritual prompting, she and her family run away to live with the Shakers, where each makes a place. Naomi’s place is to apprentice with the village herbalist because she has learned herbs and midwifery from her mother. However, the Shaker way of life is not ultimately satisfying for her. She leaves the community to buil ...more
Hailey Kohler
The book The Shakeress by Kimberley Hueston was overall an okay book. At times, it was dry, but at the same time it had parts that were exciting. For example, when the main character Naomi moves in with the Shaker family, their everyday life was overall boring. Yet, when she decided to make her and her family run away from her aunt into the Shaker family was exciting. Also, the part when she once again ran away from the Shakers and fell in love with Joseph wasn't bad either.

The book has a drama
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kerstin Olcott
Jan 05, 2011 Kerstin Olcott rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A young girl searches for spiritual peace and a sense of belonging during the 19th century. She joins a shaker community with her family and eventually comes in contact with the Mormon church. A nice read with some lovely descriptions, definitely worth reading if you have a few hours. The historical references were interesting and the characters have several shining moments that really draw you to them. I wish Naomi's journey into mormonism had been expanded upon a little more. There are places ...more
Sep 07, 2008 Ezra rated it it was amazing
This book was simply incredible. It had so much great factors of writing that I read it all in one day. It was about a girl who loses her mother, father and baby brother in a fire. She had to make choices for the rest of her family as well as herself. I read this book as if I was watching a movie because I was able to picture each point. The author wrote this book as fiction and like I've said before with my other great reviewed books it seemed as if it was non-fiction because of the realism. I ...more
Mar 05, 2008 Kirsti rated it liked it
An open look at the spiritual facets of life from the perspective of a young 1800s American girl. I like the different roads the author takes her protagonist as she discovers what is important in life. I especially liked that Naomi (the main character) leaves the man she loves because she knows they can't be married without heartache. Naomi yearns for a more spiritual life while her fiance, who isn't bad, just not interested in the spiritual part of life, is content with life without knowing God ...more
Angie Taylor
May 22, 2008 Angie Taylor rated it really liked it
Recommended to Angie by: Lisa Shamlian
This is a great historical fiction book about the early 1800's. It is a story about a girl named Naomi who loses her parents and youngest brother in a fire. She and her remaining siblings decide to go love with a Shaker community in stead of living with their emotional abusive Aunt who took them in after their parents died. This story deals with Naomi's decision to live with the Shakers and then also with her decision to leave the Shaker community and see what else is in the world. Historically ...more
Aug 22, 2013 Jill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Not knowing anything about the Shaker community before reading this book, I found it interesting. I enjoyed learning more about the Shakers and how they live. I had a hard time identifying with the main character though. I felt like the author just skimmed the surface of any real emotion. I didn't feel like the love story was believable. What did he see in her? It seemed like the first time he saw her, he was already in love. I wanted to know more about what happened to her parents and brother a ...more
Samantha97 Stowell
May 20, 2009 Samantha97 Stowell rated it really liked it
This is a story about a girl who has some tough choices to make after her parents die in a fire. Set in the 1800's she learns her unkind aunt is going to send her to work in a mill. In order to escape this she talks her older brother and two younger siblings into going to live with the shakers. They live there for 4 years before she decides this is not the life she would choose for herself. I was surprised when she comes across the Mormons, I wasn't expecting that but it was an interesting twist ...more
Mrs. Riding
This nice piece of historical fiction was well written and an enjoyable read. The story begins with Phoebe and her three siblings living with their aunt after a fire destroys their home and kills their parents and youngest brother. The arrangement doesn't work out, so the four children join a Shaker community. I loved how the author explored the difficult feelings of family lost and a yearning for something better. The ending was disappointing.
Jul 14, 2008 Queeey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was interesting. I wasn't expecting a book about Mormons so it took be a little bit by surprise. (I seem to have a knack lately of picking up books and reading them and then discovering they were written by an LDS author.) I wonder what non-LDS reactions are to this book. I don't think it is offensive but it is a little bit bold in sharing the Gospel. I don't think I explained that very well. If anyone else reads it I'd like to know what they think.
Dec 27, 2008 Jenny rated it liked it
Shelves: teen, historical
Naomi and her 3 siblings lost their parents and baby brother in a fire. Now they live with bitter Aunt Thankful and she wants to send Naomi to work in the mills. Naomi and her family flee to the Shaker community to stay together. Even though men and women live seperately, the children have food, training, and love. But the Shaker life isn't enough for Naomi. Now with her healing skills, she has taken a job in a frontier village as the only doctor.
Nov 29, 2009 Jann rated it liked it
This is a very slim novel---more of a novelette. I would highly recommend it for young adults, and even children who like to read historical fiction. It will give them a good feeling for the Shaker lifestyle, as well as early Mormon history. The author is known to me. She taught my son. I think she has done a good job crafting an interesting story. I wouldn't, however, recommend the book to adult readers who like a "heftier" read.
Jul 26, 2012 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: early-america
This book did a great job telling about Shaker life and the main character's attempts to understand her inner religious life. She became a healer and those parts were well-written and interesting, as was the dilemma she deals with about celibacy and having a family. The end has a twist and I didn't really like how it all played out because it seemed a little forced to me. But overall it's an interesting book and well-researched about the time and place: 1830's Vermont.
Apr 15, 2009 Annick rated it really liked it
This was interesting. I wasn't expecting a book about Mormons so it took be a little bit by surprise. I wonder what non-LDS reactions are to this book. I don't think it is offensive but it is a little bit bold in sharing the Gospel.
This book started out as an interesting view of an orphan who is taken in by Shakers, then from out of left field it became about Mormons?!?
I've copied some other's reviews because they said what I was thinking.
Sep 13, 2015 Faith rated it liked it
I enjoyed getting a glimpse into the Shaker's community and appreciated the historical aspects of the book. I did not, however, connect emotionally with the main character, Naomi. Other than the first time she left with her siblings to go to the shakers community, I never really felt or understood any internal motivation for why she did the things she did. I didn't feel moved by her belief and drive for any other decisions she made. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable read.
Apr 21, 2009 Marsha rated it liked it
I thought this was a random pick off the library shelf but I realize now that I had seen the title before here on goodreads because Annick had read it and I had even added it to my to read list. This book is similar to any novel you might by at a Church Bookstore but I was surprised find it on the library shelf. Actually it was featured on it's own, facing out so the person browsing could see the cover. I hope readers will want to learn more about Joseph Smith after reading this book.
Oct 02, 2008 Ann rated it it was ok
This book started out as an interesting view of an orphan who is taken in by Shakers, then from out of left field it became about Mormons?!?
Mar 26, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of my ancestors were Shakers,so this was an interesting read for me. I love to read of women with strong character and perseverance.
May 14, 2008 Jacqui rated it it was ok
I am sorry, but I thought this book was incredibly boring and I didn't care what happened to any of the characters. Blah.
Sep 30, 2010 Chrisanne rated it did not like it
Shelves: historical, religious
A little Soulless and stiff. Perhaps because of the Shaker angle.
Sara K
May 19, 2008 Sara K rated it really liked it
This was also was avery good book and I learned alot, but the ending was not very strong.
Jul 06, 2009 Therisdons rated it liked it
This was an easy read, but interesting since I have Shaker ancestors.
Mar 28, 2008 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, I found the thought process peaceful and refreshing...
Jan 18, 2013 Amelia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
I don't think the title matches the book.
Fair. Glad I nipped it from the school library, and didn't have to spend money on it.
Jul 17, 2009 Starry rated it it was ok
It was, in all, a fairly boring book. =/
Mar 01, 2010 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I happened upon this book in the Young Adult section of the Mountain View library. I was first drawn to it because I enjoy historical fiction, and I am intrigued by the Shakers. When I read that the author was born in Provo and is teaching in Salt Lake, I thought, "Oh, another Mormon author!" I expected it to be non-Mormon literature written by a Mormon, but it is indeed Mormon literature - something I wasn't expecting to find at my local library!

I enjoyed the book about a strong female charact
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Kimberley Heuston was born in Provo, Utah and grew up in New York City. As a child, her family frequently visited St. Johnsbury, which became the setting for The Shakeress. She teaches school in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she lives with her four children.

Kimberley is also known as Kimberley Sorenson and Kimberley Burton Heuston.
More about Kimberley Heuston...

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