Book Description from the publisher:
Can the power of love and the bond of family triumph in a community that cannot accept either?
With the threat of a cholera epidemic at their heels, Darcie and Walter Goodwin join the Shakers, whose villages seem immune to the disease. It's meant to be temporary, but when Walter is killed in a riverboat accident, destitute Darcie has little choice but to stay with the Shakers. To complicate matters, she is expecting a baby conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village. Marital relationships are considered sinful in this celibate community, putting Darcie in a unique--and lonely--position. Can the arrival of widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter offer Darcie the hope of happiness?
I enjoy every single one of Ann H. Gabhart's novels and her latest, "The Refuge," is no exception. This novel is filled with historical details of a community and religious group from so long ago, the Shakers. Darcie finds herself in such a predicament when she is told that her husband has been killed. They have joined in this group merely to escape the disease; however death still showed up before they thought it would be safe to go back and live their normal life. However, things take another twist as she discovers that she is pregnant. This does not align with the Shaker way of life as they do not even recognize that she and Walter were married and they could not live as man and wife in this community. This book is filled with characters who are all seeking for something in their lives - connections, feeling of longing, a place to call home. Darcie is a great main character and I really empathized with her and the predicament she finds herself in. Leatrice is another character I loved as my heart when out to this girl and she made me laugh out loud at times and at other times I found myself wanting to give her a big hug. This is a great story of healing and moving on, and finding answers in life. So many lives are intertwined and their stories and the connections they build with each other really shine through making this a great book. As Silas learns that home has more to do with the people you love instead of a place, healing and hope is a resounding theme.
*Thanks to the Revell Reads Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*