- File Size: 855 KB
- Print Length: 514 pages
- Publisher: Clasid Consultants Publishing, Inc. (January 2, 2017)
- Publication Date: January 2, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01N9NRYMU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,278,107 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Annie's Story, Blessed With A Gift Kindle Edition
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From the first page, Annie's story will touch your heart. When I read the circumstances behind the wee baby's birth, I knew this was going to be an extraordinary saga, one that I wouldn't soon forget.
It's the year 1630, in what is known as Lynn, Massachusetts, a settlement near the Puritans in Salem. Born premature, Annie struggles to survive after her parents have succumbed to a deadly virus. When her parent's bodies are discovered, they find the baby lying near them wrapped in the MacLean plaid. The clan leader escapes with the baby and delivers her into her Granny's arms.
Granny, Mistress Blackbain, had combined the Catholicism of the MacKinnon clan with her own pagan rituals to create a spiritualism that held the power of the goddess and the spirit of God all rolled up into one. Her herbal remedies had been handed down from generation to generation of women in her family. Granny possessed the gift of healing and nothing would stop her from saving the last survivor of her family.
Annie, Granny's wee fairy-sprite survives by the miraculous intervention of Hannah, the priest's house woman who shares the mysterious and intimate details of her true identity with Granny as she suckles the premature Annie, along with her own baby, Jane.
Hannah's story is shocking but Granny recognizes the truth in her explanation. Granny, Annie, Father Ian, Hannah, and Jane form a tightknit family unit sworn to keep the truth from all who might inquire about Jane's parentage. The girls are raised as sisters and flourish under Granny's care.
There are many magical moments shared between the children, Iris the goat, and Granny as Annie and Jane continue to grow. The author writes some of the most endearing magic in these passages. All I could think about was the love that blossomed within this family. It filled me with joy.
Annie is a gift from the goddess herself, endowed with the ability to heal much like her own granny. She possesses the rare metaphysical ability to communicate with other beings and realms that mere mortals don't even acknowledge. There also exists a kindness in the child that you inherently know is filled with compassion and goodness for all. Yet, Annie lacks the ability to read and comprehend words. She misses the mark on cues and social situations. My heart ached for the tiny girl.
When illness strikes the Algonquin tribe, Granny nurses the daughter of the tribe back to health. This baby will grow to become a powerful shaman for the tribe. The lives of these characters are now destined to intertwine for eternity.
There are many lessons and themes in this novel. Much of American history is steeped in the horrors of religious persecution and the oppression of those who do not share the same beliefs. Annie's story is no different. She is persecuted for being different. Her kindness and compassion and many gifts were all she had to give. None of that seemed to matter; she was still scorned and misunderstood.
I won't lie. The more I read, the more emotionally vested I became in the story. The reality of the novel is that the author knows in another life she was Annie. As a Pagan Buddhist, those realities are not lost on me.
If you are looking for a story that you won't be able to forget, read Annie's story and experience the mystical realism of a life lived and shielded by the divine. There are plans for a sequel to this story. I can't wait! <3
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars
*I follow the Amazon Rating System* Annie's Story, Blessed With A Gift
A powerful foreword captures your attention and gives you an idea of how oppressive life could have been for the special children (born with defects) of those times. Bowman reveals that she “became Annie” when she was attending the Advanced Hypnotherapist Course and experienced “age regression!” She could visualize the story at that moment.
Characterization has been superbly handled by the author, with vivid descriptions of local beliefs, miraculous healing powers of Annie and disabilities of Thomas. Love and kindness pervades all around Annie in the form of Godmother Hannah, loving and understanding friends Jane and Dancing Feather. If you like historical fiction that drifts between cruelty and compassion, this is a perfect book to pick up.
The story delves into the lives of the people who are close to Annie, including a married minster masquerading as a Catholic Priest and a young Indian squaw whose parents die during the measles epidemic, and goes back in time to give an insight into the terrible reign of fear in Scotland due to religious persecution of Catholics during that troubled time. There are some very disturbing scenes and descriptions about the horrific treatment of women deemed to be witches and their families. This information provides a lot of background to the circumstances that gave rise to the Puritan settlement in Massachusetts at that time and their fanatical and ultra conservative outlook. The book provides fascinating detail about life during that time in both the Scottish Catholic settlement and in the nearby Puritan settlement and is heart wrenching in its descriptions of the rejection and ill treatment of people born with disabilities during that period of history and also the plight of ordinary men and women who are believed to have gone against the religious law.
While the story does have some focus on Annie's extraordinary healing and spiritual talents, it is also a well research historical account of life in the early 17th century in Massachusetts and has an interesting love story which reminded me a bit of Romeo and Juliet.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly and rated it five out of five stars.
Top international reviews
I adored Annie and her grandmother and the other characters in the Scots colony. The characters are so well written that I moved with ease through the book, sometimes moved to tears by the horrific events in the American colonies and Scotland.
The author doesn't hold back and although painful at times, a strong voice is needed to write about the horrors of sectarianism which is still so much a part of Scotland today.
I highly recommend this book, it is not a weekend read, rather it is a novel that you lose yourself in.
Little Annie is orphaned at birth when her parents succumb to a deadly epidemic. She is cared for by her Granny Blackbain, a wise healer who shares her knowledge of herbs and ancient healing traditions with the similarly gifted Annie. The young girl finds solace from the harsh realities of life in the forests around her home, feeling at one with Nature.
She befriends Jane a fellow resident of Lynn, and Thomas who hails from the Puritan settlement of Salem.
Sadly, the persecution of the past continues to grow in the new colonies...