Review of “The Refuge” by Ann Gabhart

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Susan Karsten here, with a book review!

Set mostly within a Shaker (cult) community over a century ago, The Refuge is a wonderful story with a fascinating setting. Gabhart draws readers into the past, and you feel almost as if you are there!  The relatable characters include a widow, who was stranded within the Shaker community when her husband died,  and is expecting a baby! Shakers did not believe in male/female married relationships. In fact, they believed in celibacy, even for married people. (Now you know one reason the Shaker cult died out.)

So, the couple went to live in the community in order to escape a cholera epidemic. They weren’t planning to stay there long-term. When they moved there, they each had to sleeep in dormitories with others of their own gender. They couldn’t fraternize with each other, even though married! (By the way, none of these details are spoilers, you’ll learn all this way early in the book.)

I won’t tell you anything more about the plot, but you will really enjoy this one! It’s so well written, and I believe it represents some of the best work in the Christian historical fiction genre published this year. It far exceeded my expectations.

{This is my first post for over six months, so I hope you like it!  Also, check out my own book, “A Match for Melissa”. It’s available on Amazon!}

 

All the best! Susan

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