Gift Guide

Believer, The: A Novel


Elizabeth Duncan has nowhere to turn. In charge of her younger brother and sister after their parents die, her options are limited. When she hears that the Shaker community in the next county takes in orphans, she presents herself and her siblings at Harmony Hill. Despite the hard work and strange new beliefs around her, Elizabeth is relieved to have a roof overhead and food to eat. But when she feels a strong attachment to a handsome young Believer named Ethan, life gets complicated. Ethan has never looked on ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (78) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $1.99   
  • Used (65) from $1.99   
The Believer: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49 price
(Save 30%)$14.99 List Price


Elizabeth Duncan has nowhere to turn. In charge of her younger brother and sister after their parents die, her options are limited. When she hears that the Shaker community in the next county takes in orphans, she presents herself and her siblings at Harmony Hill. Despite the hard work and strange new beliefs around her, Elizabeth is relieved to have a roof overhead and food to eat. But when she feels a strong attachment to a handsome young Believer named Ethan, life gets complicated. Ethan has never looked on the opposite sex as anything but sisters, but he can't shake the new feelings that Elizabeth has awakened in him. Will Elizabeth be forced to leave the village to keep Ethan from stumbling? Or will Ethan's love for her change their lives forever?

Following on the heels of the successful book The Outsider, The Believer is Ann H. Gabhart's newest exploration of love and devotion in this quiet Shaker community.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A Shaker romance sounds like a nonstarter idea for a novel, since the Shakers, a socially revolutionary religious sect, practiced celibacy. But therein lies the tension in this historical romance, Gabhart's second Shaker outing (after The Outsider). Raised by Shakers since the age of six, when he ran away from his river rat father, Ethan Boyd is a Believer-someone who has signed a covenant to join the Shakers. But he's thrown into emotional turmoil when Elizabeth Duncan and her two younger siblings, following the sudden death of their father, seek refuge in 1833 at Harmony Hill, the Shaker community in Kentucky where Ethan lives. Elizabeth is also escaping from a predatory landlord with designs on her. A number of supporting characters are well drawn, including Elizabeth's siblings Payton and Hannah and the kind Shaker, Issachar, Ethan's benefactor. Other characters are more like caricatures-Elizabeth's landlord is an Oilcan Harry, mustache-twirling kind of villain. On balance, the book rings with researched authenticity and will appeal to Amish romance fans. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800733629
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/2009
  • Series: Shaker Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 823,919
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Living just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village in Kentucky, Ann H. Gabhart has walked the same paths that her characters might have walked in generations past. Her thorough research provides a convincing and colorful backdrop for her Shaker novels. Gabhart is also the author of Orchard of Hope and Summer of Joy.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012


    A very interesting read. I had no idea how the Shakers lived.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2009

    Historical romance about Shakers is a terrific read

    The Believer by Ann Gabhart is the second novel by the author about the Shaker community in 19th century Kentucky. Elizabeth Duncan's world has crashed around her. Her father died suddenly, leaving her to care for her brother and sister alone, with no way of providing for them, except for the sinister offer of marriage from their landlord. Her father had talked often of a Shaker community a couple of days journey away, about the peace he found there and how they would take in anyone asking for help. Rather than marry the odious landlord, Elizabeth and her siblings travel to Harmony Hill seeking shelter and safety through the winter. Before she even sets foot in the small town, Ethan, a member of the community, is struck by her beauty. Despite both of their attempts, circumstances continue to force them together making it more and more difficult to disguise the growing feelings inside that run contrary to everything the Shakers believe in. I was unfamiliar with the Shakers, but Gabhart portrays their communal lifestyle with an even hand. The community makes beautiful furniture and is well-known for their seeds and herbal medicines. Their fierce devotion to celibacy and isolation from the world made them vulnerable to Pharisaical leaders. Gabhart really makes this entire community come to life, but the true star of the book is Elizabeth and Ethan's romance. Elizabeth makes some unexpected choices that make this book stand far above most historical romances. I really loved this terrific book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sharkers are Nothing Like the Amish

    "Shakers got their name from their worship style. They sometimes get so stricken by a feeling from the spirit that their bodies shake or they whirl about in a sort of dance." This author's curiosity for this religious sect grew as she walked down some of the streets of a restored Shaker community about thirty miles from her home in Kentucky. The Shakers never turned away someone in need. They were generous with there food and providing a roof over the travelers head in exchange for hard work in the community.

    "The worldly-joining of a man and women in marriage causes much strife. That is why we live a life of purity here at Harmony Hill without the sin of matrimony to cause problems among us." This is the Shakers view of marriage.

    Since they believed in taking a vow of celibacy the only way their community could grow was by taking outsiders into their group in hopes they would accept their ways and stay. Everyone had a story to tell about how they arrived at Harmony Hill. Ethan Boyd was six when he was found by Issachar, who saved his life and brought him into the Shaker community to be raised.

    Elizabeth Duncan sought help from the Shaker village to escape matrimony. It was a safe place to bring her siblings since the Shakers thought matrimony was a sin. But the longer Elizabeth lived there she realized she wasn't ready to live there forever and have everyone be your brother and sister. She wouldn't see her real brother and sister for days because of the work details. .

    The believer is a sequel to the Outsider! Again, Ann spins a tale that grabbed my heart strings when I saw the struggle these young ones were having living by the law-which was easy when their emotions didn't get in the way! That's what communal living was all about. No feelings. Everyone was the same. No heart felt conversations-everything was done in a group!! No one was on a one to one relationship with anyone else. That was forbidden. What was the truth? Ethan and Elizabeth were both in a desperate search of it. Their minds were not in harmony with their hearts.

    This author captures the time period and the point of view of a soul awakening to what the real mission in life is for them. It wasn't about a religion but a relationship with God and with each other?

    Nora St. Laurent
    Finding Hope Through Fiction

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Shaker Sequel

    I will admit I was a bit wary when I picked up this book initially. I had several problems with the first book in the series. This was not because of the storyline or the style of writing. Instead it was due mainly to the belief of the Shakers themselves which I found to be contradicting with the Bible actually said. It felt to me that the core beliefs of the Shakers sounded like they were not really Christians. However in this book, there is more emphasis on the characters, storyline, and romance as opposed to the faith of the sect. Therefore I enjoyed this book very much. Ethan and Elizabeth were both characters I really enjoyed reading about and wish there was more of their background story. Both of them were struggling with the Shaker faith: Ethan wondering if he should leave the faith and Elizabeth if she can truly adapt to this new and strict lifestyle.

    I still cannot understand the Shakers attitude towards young children. It baffles me as to how they expect a child who has been living in the "outside world" for years to suddenly adapt to their strict and somber way of life. Elizabeth's young sister was constantly referred to having a demon in her simply because of her adventurous spirit, which any child would have, and because of her curly hair! It also sadden me that they expected her to give up relationships with her sister and brother almost immediately. It was as if these people had forgotten what being a child was like. However it was still truly interesting to learn more about their lifestyle and it was reassuring to see that they accepted that it was not for everyone. This Shaker sect does not seem to be as harsh or judging as the sect in the previous book. While they still tried to maintain a sense of strict order, they were open to accepting the Duncans and did their best to protect them from harm.

    The ending of the story is a bit predictable but I still enjoyed the story overall. The author takes a subject matter that is not normally known to most people. Many readers are not very familiar with the Shakers so this series is a great way to introduce their history. The stories so far have been historically researched and very well written. I'm interested in learning more about this subject and hope that there will be future books in the series.

    One more note: I've seen this book classified as an Amish book purely because the girl on the cover looks like she's wearing a kapp. This is NOT an Amish book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)