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Outsider, The: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Ann H. Gabhart
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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

From 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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Inside Flap

The harsh clang of the meetinghouse bell shattered the peace of the night. At the sound, Gabrielle jerked upright in her narrow bed. She had not been asleep, but instead had been lying very still with her eyes wide open staring out at the grainy darkness and listening to the soft breathing of the sleeping girls around her. She had matched her own breaths with theirs in hopes of bringing quiet harmony back to her thoughts, but the gift of knowing kept nipping at the corners of her mind. Visions of men with blackened faces, corn melting, and shadows of the world flitting among the trees had troubled her thoughts all day, but it was all too vague for understanding. All she knew for sure was the sense of dread awake and growing inside her. Usually when the gift of knowing came to her it wasn't shrouded in so much mystery. Rather it was clear, as clear as her image in a still pool. But this time a handful of pebbles had dropped in to cloud the pool. Earlier she had gone to her quiet place in the woods to pray for it was often while she prayed that the knowing filled her mind, but the vision had stayed dark and murky.
The bell kept tolling the alarm as Gabrielle quickly rose from her bed. Around her the younger sisters were waking and jumping out of bed to see what might be happening. Outside one of the brothers was shouting, "Fire!"

Product Details

  • File Size: 389 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0800732391
  • Publisher: Revell (August 1, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B8568XO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,393 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Outsider August 10, 2008
The Outsider is a beautiful historical novel - by Kentuckian Ann Gabhart - set in the 1800's in a Shaker community - Pleasant Hill - located near Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Just this alone made me want to read this novel. I live less than 10 miles from the restored Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill and have spent many hours roaming the surrounding hillsides.

In this book, the main character is a young Shaker woman - Gabrielle - who is completely happy living with her Shaker brothers and sisters , living the life of purity and hardwork. That is until an outsider - Dr. Brice Scott - intrudes on their lives and makes his way into her thoughts, and eventually her heart. The Shaker culture and society are so realistic I felt like I was there, like I knew these people. Living so near a restored Shaker village, I have grown up reading and researching the Shaker culture, so this book is very true to the life these religious people lead.

Because the entire story doesn't happen just on the grounds of the Shaker village, readers are given a realistic view of war during this time and historical medical information, in addition to the treatment of strangers to the Shaker village. There are also other glimpses into this disciplined lifestyle, from the demanding hard work to the fanatical religious servies.

This book was a fascinating read and Mrs. Gabhart's flowing prose seemed to leap off the pages and jump straight into your heart. Gabrielle's transformation from the quiet, shy girl into the beautiful young woman is presented with sobering details and fleeting views from the past.

I recommend this book, not only as a work of historical fiction surrounding the lives of the Shakers, but as a delightful work of pure unadultered literature. The Outsider is a worthy find among the multitude of fiction and genre books being released today.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too much blood for my taste July 20, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought overall this book was a good value and well worth the read. I read pretty much every genre, so I'm not really picky, and the fact that this FREE kindle book had almost no errors was amazing. The quality of the writing was excellent, and I enjoyed the novel setting and characters (I'd never heard of the Shakers before). The reason I marked the title down to three stars is because about halfway through the book the storyline changes from an emphasis on the main character, the Shaker girl with the gift of sight, to her love interest, including many many pages about the graphic nature of war. The many scenes of people being scalped, shot, tomahawked, and otherwise bleeding all over the snow were unexpected and quite unwelcome. I personally stay away from this kind of violence in books, and would have never read it had I known. So for me personally this was not the best choice, but if you have the stomach for that sort of stuff, then I think overall you will enjoy the unique storyline because it is well written.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! September 6, 2009
I thought The Outsider by Ann H. Gabhart was fantastic. It was a page turner. You never knew from one chapter to the next what was coming, and the ending was a real surprise! The book delved into the history of the Shaker society which made the book very interesting because each page, almost, had something to share about a society that has long since past away but it is still a part of our country's early history. Gabhart did a fantastic job of portraying the society as they really were complete with the good and bad about the society. The story is about a forbidden love because the Shakers, as other societies of its sort, did not believe in marriage so you never really knew all the way through the book how it would end. Each page, of course, you wanted her to choose romance with the handsome doctor, but she was a devote Shaker and one that was greatly respected in that society as one of their visionaries. The book takes you into the inside of the Shaker community and shows you how it really was to live, belong and devote your life to the community instead of to self. I have read lots of Amish books, for the same reason because I want to see into a community that existed a long time ago, and was different from normal society. There are many Amish books, so this book was really refreshing in that you can learn about the Shaker society. Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Delightful historical details November 22, 2008
By anita
I loved this book for the details it provides into the life of the Shakers. The plot was very predictable from the onset, and so disappointing from that aspect. But I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning about these people and the way they lived.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars deep look at the Shaker Movement August 30, 2008
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
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite
I like this author very much and I believe this is the seventh book I have read of hers. This was my least favorite of all. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully well written book. Could not stop reading till finished.
This book keep you interested from start to finish. Had love, sadness, faith, trust,and real life all in one.
Wonderfully written, Wish there were more books like this one.
Published 2 months ago by Brenda
4.0 out of 5 stars Wowed Me
I have heard of The Shakers but knew very little of the religion. The author did an amazing job of introducing me to this religion. Read more
Published 4 months ago by CristiAk
5.0 out of 5 stars It really reached down into my soul
Life in the Shaker community of Harmony Hill had seemed so settled for Gabrielle Hope – she had embraced the community’s love and their beliefs, making them part of the very fabric... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kurt A. Johnson
2.0 out of 5 stars The series
It was very dull and didn't have much story line. The series is all like this. too much about the church but no story line.
Published 6 months ago by Jeanne Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Super!
Oh my such a wonderful book. I enjoyed the story from the first page, this writer brought you right into the story. Read more
Published 7 months ago by LindaZ
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
I enjoyed the book, for me it started a bit dry but I soon found I could not put it down.
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars love takes it all
Engaging and romantic story of faith. Interesting faith of the shakers. Going to entertain your mind and emotions due to twists and turns.
Published 8 months ago by What time is it
4.0 out of 5 stars Different
My first experience reading about Shakers but found the book really interesting. I would recommend this book if only for a quick look into that lifestyle.
Published 9 months ago by Doris J. Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thought provoking
I liked the way the characters were portrayed as people who may doubt God's plans for hem but choose to trust Him anyway.
Published 9 months ago by Rose M. Estigoy
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More About the Author

Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. She's published over twenty-five books for both adults and young adults. Scent of Lilacs, her first inspirational novel, was chosen as a Top Ten Christian Fiction Book by Booklist magazine. Her first Shaker book, The Outsider, was a finalist for ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year and was a Top Pick by Romantic Times Book Review Magazine. Ann writes about Kentucky history and small town life.

Ann lives on a farm in Kentucky not far from where she was born. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. Ann loves hiking on her farm with her grandkids and her dog, Oscar. See more about her books at

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