The Innocent by Ann Gabhart is a 384 page novel in the Christian mystery romance genre. It is published by Revell and was released on July 7, 2015. To purchase your copy, click here.
Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. The war ends without further word. Now penniless, in debt, and forced from her home, Carlyn seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill, only to discover that they will not allow her to keep her beloved dog, an animal that has been her faithful companion since her husband went off to war. Sheriff Mitchell Brodie has pity on the lovely young woman and agrees to take the dog. Carlyn is just settling into life as a sister in the Shaker village when she receives a devastating letter confirming her worst fears. As she wrestles with whether to commit herself fully to the Shaker life, mysterious deaths begin to occur, and Carlyn comes under suspicion. Can Sheriff Mitchell help her expose the true culprit?
My Two Cents
The Innocent is a well-written novel that keeps the reader interested from the beginning. The story line displays well the dangers that can come when people abuse religion and power. I enjoyed the mystery that was added to the story line making this novel not your typical love story.
It is apparent that Gabhart has done her research both about the culture of the post-Civil War era and about the Shakers. The Innocent shows a side to the Civil War that is not often shown; the soldiers who were missing and the effect it had on their loved ones. Wives found themselves destitute with no way to collect on the pensions offered from the government. They had limited resources and limited options. This created an environment where women were not safe and could easily be taken advantage of.
There were many characters in this story and it added to the depth of the novel. A couple of the characters added tension to the novel which made the book hard to put down. I really enjoyed the relationship Carlyn had with her dog who was a wonderful companion to her.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It is a sweet story although a bit predictable.
Thank you to Revell Publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels–The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted–as well as Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.
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