Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Visionist

The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing,
known as the Shakers, is a religious sect founded in 18th century England, a branch off of mainstream Protestantism.They were known as "Shaking Quakers" because of their ecstatic nature of their worship service.
The Kimball family lives on a small farm in rural Massachusetts. After a horrible fire, May (the mother) along with children Polly and Ben, find refuge in a nearby Shaker community called The City of Hope. Simon Pryor is the fire inspector on the case and after it is evident that many parties have interest in attaining this farmland, Simon must find both the truth and May Kimball to solve the mysteries that seem to appear as quickly as the Visions of the Shakers.
This novel is a story of hope, friendship and survival. It is easy to criticize the Shaker's way of life for the parts we do not understand but their discipline, advancement in medicine, and generosity to strangers is extraordinary in a time when life was difficult and people had little means to survive. Aside from the celibacy (because how on earth could they continue long term without generations to follow in their footsteps?) the Shakers had strong values, worked hard and created successful communities. There is nothing more interesting to me than reading a novel and learning something completely new. This author is an excellent writer. It is thorough and clear. With great characters and a twisting plot I highly recommend this unique read!!

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