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The Shakeress [Kindle Edition]

Kimberley Heuston
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $7.95

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Book Description

A young Shakeress in the mid-1800s searches for her true self and for the way to meet her spiritual needs.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite its fascinating views of Shakers and other religious movements in the 1820s and '30s, this often intriguing first novel about a young woman's spiritual journey never quite kindles an emotional response. As the novel opens, 13-year-old Naomi's parents and baby brother have been killed in a fire, and she and her three younger siblings have been taken in by their intolerant, Bible-thumping aunt. Told she will be sent to work in a mill, Naomi runs away with her siblings to a Shaker community, known for welcoming orphans ("It was the right thing to do. She just knew it"). After a few years with the Shakers, Naomi's sister is sure she belongs to "the Community," but Naomi, now a gifted healer, hears a voice inside, saying, "It's time for you to go." The questions with which Naomi struggles as she tries to figure out how to become "the woman God meant [her] to be" are compelling, but the way she resolves them via personal communication with God is not. Her eventual decision to be baptized as a Mormon isn't presented in a way to involve readers. In the end, character development takes a backseat to protestations of faith and to cultural history. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8 Set between 1828 and 1835, this novel reads more like a history of the Shaker religion in America and the beginnings of the Mormon community in Ohio than a work of fiction. Naomi Hull, nearly 13; her sister; and two brothers have been orphaned and sent to live with their Aunt Thankful in Portsmouth, NH. When the austere woman tells Naomi that she is sending her to the mill to work, the girl decides that she and her siblings should leave and join a Shaker community. At this point, Heuston focuses on the beliefs and traditions of Shaker life, using poorly developed characters and a spare plot as vehicles to describe this culture. After a while, Naomi begins to wonder about life outside the community. She decides to make her way in the world and finds a position caring for a large family. It is only in this last third of the book that the story becomes somewhat engaging as Naomi meets Joseph Fairbanks, who is from a wealthy family and becomes smitten with her. Though she returns his feelings and they become engaged, she cannot make the commitment as she is constantly searching for a bigger purpose for her life. She becomes interested in the new Mormon faith, and her ultimate choice presents readers with a surprise. Jane Yolen's The Gift of Sarah Barker (Viking, 1981; o.p.) is far better fiction about the Shaker movement. -Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 460 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1886910561
  • Publisher: namelos (September 9, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002ZG8F1S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,890,943 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Mormon propaganda, that is. I read my children's books before they do and I'm thankful that I did in this case. While the book starts off innocent enough, toward the end of the book Mormon propaganda creeps into the story. This new religion sends out missionaries and they heal people in an amazing way. It's so amazing, that everyone converts except the main character's boy friend. If you're a Mormon, this will appeal to you. If you are a Christian, beware of the true intent of the author who is a LDS. It's not worth the read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Shakeress - right on! October 20, 2010
By B Allen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had read and enjoyed this book previously but this time I read it shortly after visiting the last surviving Shaker community at Sabbath Day Lake, Maine. There, we were able to review Shaker culture in its own habitat. The Shaker details in the book were right in line with what we saw and heard there and we enjoyed the way the author brought the culture to life. Great job!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed July 6, 2011
I thought that this would be a great book when I picked it up. It started off and had me hooked in the first couple sentences, but the more I continued, the more disappointed I became. Yes, it has some Shaker influences in it and that's understandable and interesting, but then it all ends up Mormon which was not what I was expecting and is suspiciously left off the description on the cover. The book is a novel, so the history given may or may not be accurate, but I wasn't reading it for accuracy of history. I was reading it for pleasure. I didn't think highly of the Mormon persuasion given protrayed in the last half of the book. This book will be going in the garbage.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating November 16, 2004
This was a fascinating look at the Shaker community and the early Mormon church, as well as the tribulations and hardships of life in the early 1820's. The plot moves very quickly. Naomi is not a particularly endearing character. It is difficult to become attached to a character who is not attached to anyone around her. Throughout the novel, Naomi leaves, leaves, and leaves again. This is not a particularly realistic portrayal of a single woman during the early 1800's. Still, this was a worthwhile read.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good October 18, 2004
Not enough is said about her baptism as a LDS member. Oh well, i really wasnt expecting much here anyways.
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