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Circle of Gold

Circle of Gold

by Karen Harper

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rebecca Blake, heroine of this appealing historical romance, is a child of the Kentucky mountains, gifted with a generous heart and a bold tongue. But in 1825, when she is 13, her mother dies, and her father, unable to care for her and her younger brother, relinquishes parental rights to entrust his children to the Shakers. Religious strictures chafe Rebecca initially, but she grows up to become a highly regarded member of the community. Enter Ramsey Sherborne, a British lord hoping to learn Shaker skills and then teach them to the poor back in his native Dorset. He persuades Rebecca to marry him, and so she trades the Shaker setting for British aristocracy. Rebecca's convictions are strong and deep, and her new title as Lady Sherborne doesn't alter her belief in social justice, not even when her sympathy for the commoners shocks the local gentry. However, Rebecca is to be uprooted yet again, her resilience unshaken. Harper ( Almost Forever ) has created a winning cast set in the midst of unusual locales. (June)
Library Journal - Library Journal
In early 19th-century Kentucky, 13-year-old Rebecca Blake feels a young girl's love for Adam Scott, who would rather tend sick animals than his father's distilling trade. After the death of her beloved mother, Rebecca is left by her keelboater father with a kindly Shaker sect, whose beliefs she tries to honor even though she can never fully embrace them. She is rejected by the community when she falls in love with Ramsey Sherborne, a titled British labor activist who is visiting the Shakers. As Lady Sherborne, Rebecca helps villagers on her husband's Dorset estate earn a living by preparing Shaker products. Then she loses her young husband, returns to Kentucky and is reunited with Adam. Harper, winner of a 1985 Romantic Times award, has carefully researched her setting and created likable characters, though their conversation is occasionally stilted. Worth adding to collections of romantic fiction.-- Kimberly Martin, Washington Univ. Law Lib., St. Louis
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
YA-- Life deals Rebecca Blake, a resourceful optimist from rural Kentucky, many harsh cards, but she copes as she moves from her beloved hills to the strict life of the Shakers and, ultimately, to elegant living among the rich in England. Never forgetting her humble origins, she brings hope to the British poor. Harper has written accurate, detailed historical fiction that encompasses many life styles; however, she is at her best in drawing believable characters, including the slightly crazy Widow Lang and Rebecca's prim mother-in-law, Lady Sherborne. YAs will particularly identify with the young woman's difficulties adjusting and slowly fitting into each new society. The three settings provides new locales, characters, and a different emphasis in the plot. A graceful cover depicts important items in Rebecca's 19th-century life: herb basket, roses, and a Shaker chair. An entertaining, romantic novel of a caring, spirited lady.-- Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA

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Penguin Publishing Group
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7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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