Book Review of Christmas at Harmony Hill by Ann Gabhart
Gabhart's Christmas Shaker story is quite different from her other Shaker books. It is a romance, but it is of the love of a married couple separated by the Civil War. As I read, I thought how apropos this story is this Christmas season while we have so many service men and women separated from their loved ones. My husband served in Thailand twice during his Air Force days, and both times he was gone at Christmas, so I could identify with this young woman even more.
Heather Worth had traveled with her husband as a washerwoman for the first part of his time in the Union Army, but after growing big with their child, they both agreed the battlefield was not a place for a pregnant woman or a baby, so she would go back to Kentucky so her mother could help with the delivery. But, when Heather returns, all is not how she left it, and she ends up at Harmony Hill, a Shaker Village in central Kentucky, where she awaits the birth of her baby, and the return of her husband. Both take longer than she had hoped.
She is attended by the Shaker doctor and a woman who was her mother's aunt before joining the Shaker village. This aunt, Sophrena, is a minor character in some of the other Shaker books by this author, but you do not have to have read them to follow the story in this book, although I do recommend reading them for your own enjoyment! She has a more major role in this book, and helps everything to come to a satisfying ending for most of the characters.
While Heather is at Harmony Hill, Gideon is marching all over the Southern states, fighting while trying to stay alive to return to his wife and soon-to-be-born child. Will he survive and make it home? While Heather is praying for his safe return, he wonders if his wife will survive childbirth, and will they both live to reunite once more. You'll have to read the book to find out if they do.
And if you leave a comment today on this post and/or tomorrow on a guest post from Ann Gabhart, you will be entered into a drawing for a copy of this book. Drawing to be held the following Sunday, December 8, so I can mail it to you to read before Christmas! US mailing addresses only, so make sure to leave an email or other way to contact you if you are the winner.