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The Outsider: A Novel

The Outsider: A Novel

3.9 74
by Ann H. Gabhart

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For as long as she can remember, Gabrielle Hope has had the gift of knowing--visions that warn of things to come. When she and her mother joined the Pleasant Hill Shaker community in 1807, the community embraced her gift. But Gabrielle fears this gift, for the visions are often ones of sorrow and tragedy. When one of these visions comes to pass, a local doctor must be


For as long as she can remember, Gabrielle Hope has had the gift of knowing--visions that warn of things to come. When she and her mother joined the Pleasant Hill Shaker community in 1807, the community embraced her gift. But Gabrielle fears this gift, for the visions are often ones of sorrow and tragedy. When one of these visions comes to pass, a local doctor must be brought in to save the life of a young man, setting into motion a chain of events that will challenge Gabrielle's loyalty to the Shakers. As she falls deeper into a forbidden love for this man of the world, Gabrielle must make a choice. Can she experience true happiness in this simple and chaste community? Or will she abandon her brothers and sisters for a life of the unknown?
Soulful and filled with romance, The Outsider lets readers live within a bygone time among a unique and peculiar people. This tender and thought-provoking story will leave readers wanting more from this writer.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

"Shaker romance" might seem like an oxymoron, but Gabhart (Summer of Joy) pens an interesting if emotionally lukewarm historical tale that explores the fascinating world of a religious Shaker community. The predictable story line is less compelling than the details about the Shakers and their stringent religious beliefs, with celibacy key to the plot. Set amid the War of 1812, the point of view shifts between the two romantic leads. Twenty-year-old Sister Gabrielle Hope's spiritual visions enable her to see future events. Although she's committed to the Shaker community of Harmony Hill (based on Kentucky's real-life Pleasant Hill), a few words and a kiss from the widowed outsider Dr. Brice Scott cause her to question the life she and her mother have chosen. More uncertainty follows as the strict rules of the community separate mothers from their children. Disappointingly, the romance never tingles, and even the novel's darker scenes of suicide and military execution are emotionally flat. But fans of Beverly Lewis's Amish novels may find Gabhart's well-researched historical fiction to their liking. (Aug.)

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Library Journal

Set in Kentucky in the early 1800s, this novel centers on Gabrielle Hope, whose family falls apart following the death of her brother. She and her mother join a Shaker community, but her loyalty to the Shakers and their chaste way of life is challenged when she meets an outsider, a doctor brought in to save the life of a young man. The author of Orchard of Hope and Summer of Joy offers a glimpse of a bygone era in which the Shakers lived together in chastity and faith. With an appealing heroine and an intriguing plot, Gabhart's latest novel deserves a place in all public libraries. The writer lives in Kentucky.

—Tamara Butler

Product Details

Baker Publishing Group
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Shaker Series
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Meet the Author

Ann H. Gabhart is the author of The Scent of Lilacs, Orchard of Hope, and Summer of Joy. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.
A. H. Gabhart is the author of Murder at the Courthouse and Murder Comes by Mail. As Ann H. Gabhart, she is the bestselling author of many novels, including Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Love Comes Home, several Shaker novels such as The Outsider, The Believer, and The Innocent, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. Ann grew up in a small Kentucky town much like Hidden Springs, and today she and her husband live on a farm nearby. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

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Outsider 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
TLJo More than 1 year ago
It's a good, quick read. Pretty predictable but I enjoyed the historical aspect.
Brinia More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. I loved the characters, storyline, and the message. The only think I would have changed is for the end of the book to be extended. I think there should be a sequel.
PrairieKerri More than 1 year ago
This book was very well written. An interesting look into the history of the Shaker community that eventually died out due to their strict view that matrimony was a sin. This book had it all...history, religion, and characters that were easy to identify with. This book took me less than two days to read through...will be looking from more from this author!
Laurie_Carlson More than 1 year ago
The Outsider by Ann H. Gabhart This book is about the Shakers. It is about a young woman by the name of Gabrielle, is the main character, in the prime of her life at the young age of 20. She had no choice but to join the Shakers because her mother decided to join with her other daughter, Becca, age 7, after her husband who was missing was pronounced dead. I also wanted to learn more about the Shakers since my knowledge of their religion was almost none. The most interesting thing I learned was the Kitchen is called the "Bitery"! The Shakers families all live apart from each other, even if they are married. There is a building for adult women, men, girls, and boys. Even if they are married, they live apart in separate buildings, and the parents are away from each other and their children. A Doctor who is an Outsider is needed by the community. Gabrielle, only supposed to be looking down at Outsider's, made eye contact with the young doctor. This starts to put doubts in her mind as to whether or not she wants to remain a Shaker or not. She goes through quite an ordeal. Ann H. Gabhart's style of writing is so smooth, consistent, and easy to read, you become so immersed in her stories. This is one novel that is sure to stay with you. Laurie Carlson
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TBCN More than 1 year ago
Quickly looking at The Outside's, book cover, one might think this is a sweet Amish story, where people are wearing a little different kind of dress. The Shakers are not even close to the Amish religion-in any stretch of the imagination. I'd never heard about Shakers before reading this. The author, Ann H. Gabhart, lives just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village in Kentucky. She has walked the same paths her characters might have walked. Ann shares fascinating details woven into this compelling story.. Definition: "The Shakers, a religious sect, practiced celibacy and took pains to separate the sexes in their day-to-day activities as they concentrated their energy on perfecting their lives through work and worship." Through Gabrielle's eye, you'll get an inside look into the nitty-gritty of every day life of one Shaker community, in Kentucky. Gabrielle, the main character, who's lived in this community since she was small, gives you a glimpse from the inside-out, through her experiences inside the community and how she viewed the outside world. On the flip side through Brice Scott, the doctor who helps a hurting boy in their community; you get to experience what he learns about the Shakers from outsiders he runs across trying to learn about this sect. It was quite fascinating and in parts heart wrenching to see the whole scope of what the Shaker community was all about. Sister Mercy had all the answers for Gabrielle when she questioned about the communities ways, she says," You see, my child, the Believers have joined together in a family as a separate society from the world where all reasons for sin are removed from our lives. Everyone works for the good of all and without the strife of the individual marriage and family. But when someone comes among us from the world he brings evil thoughts and ideas with him. That evil can touch and disturb out inner calm!! I'll bet it does!! Reading about the Shaker ways disturbed by inner calm for sure, it will rattle you too. As I read through the pages, I saw the mind bending tactics the Elders in this sect used to keep people in the community. I realized, in a big way, it's only with Gods Grace and Love revealed to us through our personal relationship with Him, that has the power to penetrate the doctrine Gabrielle faced. The Shaker community is run by law and not grace or love. The bible says that the TRUTH will set you free-this passage had new meaning to me after reading this book. Also how I take God's Love and Grace for granted. God loves me and died for me just as I am, flaws and all. What a relief for me to experience-something the Shakers could not experience because they were trying to become perfect here on earth. This book was an eye opener-I learned so much about the Shakers, God and myself. What a winning combination. Nora St.Laurent Finding Hope Through Fiction www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
Looking at the cover of this book, one might think "Oh, it's another Amish book." Well then the reader is in for a surprise as the story is about another lesser known historical religious group, The Shakers. Gabrielle's story brings to life the daily life of the Shakers and gives the reader a glimpse of what life was like for someone who did not truly belong. It was interesting to see how they dealt with the outside world and how they tried to maintain a closed knit society. The story made it sound like the Shakers were not true Christians. Their beliefs incorporated practices that were not needed to become real believers of Christ. It's sad that they felt that they had to include these in order to live a fulfilled life. It was a heartbreaking way to live with mothers being separated from their children. Doing more research showed that many times it was the husband who originally chose this way of lifestyle and forced the rest of the family into joining. It's a subject well worth spending more time looking into. The story is well written. This is the author's first historical novel and a lot of research was done for the book. I learned a lot from it as I had only the basic understanding of Shakers from history class. I'll be looking forward to reading the next book in this series by Ann Gabhart
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 1812 twenty-year-old Shaker Sister Gabrielle Hope has visions that enable her to see the future. Still she is steadfast to her commitment she and mom made in 1807 when they moved to Harmony Hill and adheres to her religious beliefs.---------------- However, a kiss from visiting widower Dr. Brice Scott makes her wonder if the Shaker life of celibacy that she and her mother have vowed to follow is for her. As Brice¿s kind gentle words stir a passion of forbidden love inside her, she begins to reconsider her vows especially since the community separates moms and daughters leaving her no one to consult with about her feelings. -------------- Using a potential taboo romance more as a mechanism than as the prime plot theme, Ann H. Gabhart provides a deep look at the Shaker Movement during the War of 1812. Well written, historical fans learn about the impact of celibacy on the Shakers including some who fail to adapt and commit suicide. Although none of the characters including Gabrielle display any deep passion about anything even death, which in fairness fits in some ways the Shaker society expectations of the flock, fans will enjoy this interesting War of 1812 tale.-------------- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful historical novel set in the 1800's in a Shaker community located near Harrodsburg, Kentucky. The main character is a young Shaker woman who is completely happy living with her Shaker sisters and brethren, until an outsider intrudes on their lives and her thoughts. The Shaker culture and society are so realistic I felt like I was there, like I knew these people. There are a gazillion Amish novels out there, but this is the first Shaker book I've read and I really enjoyed it. The whole story doesn't unfold on the grounds of the Shaker farm, either. Readers are given a realistic glimpse of war during that era, and medical practices as well. I read this book in one sitting, and gladly gave up several hours' sleep to finish! The writing is exactly what I've come to expect from Ann Gabhart, smooth and beautiful. My eye just glides across the page while my mind builds pictures. If you like realistic, thoughtful characters, intelligent romance, and feeling like you've stepped a hundred years into the past, you're going to love this book.