Title: The Gifted
Author: Ann Gabhart
Note: I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. Follow my other reviews at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ and on twitter @lcjohnson1988
In the beginning of the book, the author gives the reader a brief history of a group that existed in the 18th century known as the Shakers. Basically, there was a woman who believed that she was Christ at his second coming in female form. Throughout the novel, the author shares different beliefs and practices the Shakers incorporated in their lives in 19th century in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio.
Jessamine is a young woman who was brought to the Shaker community when her great-grandmother died. Throughout her years with her “granny”, she knew she was loved by granny as well as God. Granny encourages Jessamine’s gifts of storytelling as well as tells her that she has the gift in her veins. As Jessamine grows older she wants to know more about her mother and father, but before she learns anything granny dies and Jessamine is taken to the community by the local preacher.
During one of her times of picking berries, Jessamine’s desire to know the world gets the better of her as she tries to sneak a peek through the forest. One of her sisters is with her and tries to continually pull Jessamine back away from the world when they stumble upon a young man lying on the ground. As they approach him it is evident he is badly hurt with a broken arm as well as an injury to the head he may have received from a gunshot they heard previously.
During his time in the village receiving care, Tristan is treated well though at first has problems remembering who he is. Why is Tristan anywhere near a community of Shakers anyway and who shot him? Tristan is finally well enough to leave, but he is torn because he is in love with Jessamine. Is that all there is to the story?
Laura is a well-bred southern lady who receives the attention of all gentlemen at a place made with all the comforts and beauty of the area. Mr. Green wants to have Laura all to himself. Laura’s father is set on having Tristan marry his daughter though they are not in love with each other. Is this a marriage of convenience or is there more to this arrangement than meets the eye? What do a buggy business and a lawyer have to do with the arrangement? Tristan feels the pull of love he feels for Jessamine and trying to meet the demands of his mother.
Sheldon Brady is a well known writer of romance who lost his wife during childbirth, but gave his daughter to his grandmother to raise. He leaves a letter for his daughter to read when she turns 12 years old. How does Jessamine get to read the letter while living with the Shakers? Where does she decide to live her life, with the Shakers or her father? Does she indeed have the gift of writing stories like her father or some other gift? There is more to this novel for readers to enjoy, so grab a copy a cold drink and enjoy!
My rating for this work of fiction is four stars.