It is 1864 and the nation is still torn apart by civil war when Heather Worth discovers she is with child. She has been working as a laundress with her husband's army unit, but when the army gets orders to march south to Tennessee, Gideon insists Heather go home to have their child under safer conditions. Heather agrees, but returns home to another kind of devastation-deaths in the family and a father who refuses to forgive her for marrying a Yankee. With nowhere else to turn, Heather seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill, where her great aunt Sophrena lives. There, after many peaceful years at Harmony Hill, Sophrena is having doubts about her Shaker path. Both women are in need of love and forgiveness-whether given or received. With Christmas coming, can the miracle of new life fill their hearts with unexpected joy?
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(16 Reviews) 16
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16 out of 16100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Christmas at Harmony Hill Very enjoyable read! I was fascinated with Gideon and Heather's tender, yet very strong love that was read to withstand all and sacrifice even more. Have you met that person in life that is absolutely everything for you and an answer to all your prayers? I felt for Heather's father, who was so battled by death and inside war as well as the one outside. the pain of losing your child is liable to rip you in pieces and harden your heart harder than steel.im glad God touches his heart and heals his grave pain. What really made me mad was the Shaker religion. While I was fascinated with the peacefulness they possessed, I was shocked that someone would get themselves into a religion ( more like sect ) invented by a woman who simply lost four children. my grandmother lost five babies each right after birth. I'm not saying it was easy, but neither did she invent a religion. she clung to God, who commended us to have children; God who has engineered us with feelings and passion and love, and to her husband. after those five dear children, grandma had another five that are still alive, and instead of being bitter or delusional with pain, my grandparents were the happiest sweetest couple I've known, just as in love in their eighty's as they were as newlyweds. so much like Gideon and Heather. I realize these villages were a great escape for unhappy marriages and grieving widowers, but still I believe that we shouldn't look for heaven on earth but instead put our burdens on God and find escape in the only One who can truly give it. Readers I hope this book instead of misguiding your belief in God Almighty will show you that God loves you and walks with you through the valley of shadow and death and has the greatest plan yet for your future. Disclaimer: I have received a free copy of this book from Publisher through NetGally, in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Review 2 for Christmas at Harmony Hill
An excellent book, I couldn't put it down.
Date:January 2, 2014
I enjoyed this book. Even though it is a work of fiction it has some basis in facts about the Shakers. I was encouraged to learn more about the Shaker movement in this county.
The Shakers have long been of interest to me. Their furniture inspirations are beautiful but their actions are odd. In this Christmas novel about the Shaker settlement of Harmony Hill, Ann Gabhart allows us a peek into the traditions and doctrines that go along with the Shaker movement.
We are transported to Harmony Hill when Gideon sends his very pregnant wife home from the battlefield during the Civil War. Heather thinks she'll be going home to have her baby with the help of her momma. Once she makes it there she finds that circumstances have changed and she leaves to seek refuge with her Aunt Sophrena at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill.
Unbeknownst to Gideon and Heather they are both going to be brought through the valley of the shadow of death. Providence brings people alongside them to help them through their trials. Their lives will never be the same nor will the lives around them.
I enjoyed reading about how the hand of God is at work in situations long before those situations come about. Ms. Gabhart doesn't gloss over the flaws with the Shaker movement, nor does she bash their ways. I appreciated learning more about the movement while being entertained by a heartwarming Christmas story.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Christmas at Harmony Hill is another great read by this author. I was immediately drawn into the storyline from the beginning. My heart ached for both Gideon and Heather. I worried about their future. Would Gideon survive the war and would Heather survive being turned away from her family home in her time of need.
As this story goes back and forth between what is happening with Gideon and what is going on with Heather the reader begins to wonder if a happy ending is possible.
War is not pretty and being lonely is not the ideal situation either.
Decisions have to be made, lives have to change, love must carry on, forgiveness must be extended, and faith in God that everything will work out must be there.
Ann H. Gabhart in her new book, “Christmas At Harmony Hill” published by Revell lets us experience Christmas with Heather Worth.
From the back cover: A stirring story of healing, hope, and home at Christmas
It is 1864 and the nation is torn apart by civil war when Heather Worth discovers she is with child. With her husband at the front and nowhere else to turn, she seeks refuge in the Shaker village of Harmony Hill. Amid the tumult of the times, Heather yearns for the peace she sees in this strange community. But can this longing really be fulfilled amid these people with their peculiar beliefs about family?
As Christmas approaches, the joy of new life and the love that is born of forgiveness may hold the answer.
Join bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart for a peek into the world of the Shakers–and the world of the human heart.
There is a reason why there are so many stories about Christmas on the television about this time and that reason is everyone loves a good story where the spirit of Christmas changes a person by healing them of old hurts to free them to be themselves. That’s why everyone wishes Christmas could last all year round. History, The Civil War and a Husband and Wife separated by battle right before she is to give birth to their firstborn. Where do you go when you cannot go home and you have no money? A note from Heather’s mother sends her to the Shaker village where her Great Aunt lives. Heather is drawn to these people but also is a bit terrified due to all the stories she has heard. “Christmas At Harmony Hill” is all about Heather and family; the family she has with her husband, her mother and father and then with her great aunt. This is a wonderful story that has a really neat take on the values of Christmas. ”Christmas At Harmony Hill” is one sweet read that you might want to read twice and then keep it handy to read again next year.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
“Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
To those of you familiar with the author, Ann Gabhart, you will be delighted to read her newest novel, a Christmas story!! The Shaker community is one that most of us are not familiar with , but Ann describes the way of life realistically and in such detail , that we can picture ourselves there.
The year us 1864, and the civil war is taking place. Heather Worth discovers that she is with child and is at a loss to know what she can do!! Her husband is at the front and she has no one to whom to turn for help. It is suggested that a nearby Shaker village would provide the refuge that she seeks. Heather's greatest desire is to find a peaceful place to have her baby, and this rather strange community becomes her answer. Can she possibly be content in the midst of those people with their peculiar beliefs about families??? Heather comes to term with the fact that they separate children from parents, spouses from one another.... BUT how can she EVER part with a newborn baby?? Is there any way , that she can find the desired peace and still keep her child with her???
Christmas is approaching and the joy of new life is about to become very real to Heather and those caring for her. Forgiveness is a theme that comes through loud and clear, as the way to approach her future.
Ann's characters are well described, in fact, so well, that you can feel Heather's confusion and pain. Her feeling of being lost, becomes your's. The problems are realistic and believable, so much so that you begin to live within the Shaker village and share the concerns. The plot has just enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and wondering how this young lady will ever cope and endure this strange situation. Questions are constantly forming in your mind! How? Why??
I truly enjoyed learning more about this faith and way of life. This novel is packed with detailed information about the rather different beliefs and daily way of life of these persons.
A five star book. Don't miss it.
About the Author: Ann Gabhart is the best selling author of several Shaker novels, "The Outsider", "The Seeker", as well as other historical novels. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in Kentucky. Find out more at: www.annhgabhart.com.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
Ann H. Gabhart is an established as well as prolific writer whose stories cross a wide field of venues. I enjoy the tales written for audiences to read and enjoy every time the opportunity presents itself. Here is another short, but poignant, writing set near the end of the Civil War. Woven into the story is a Shaker community. I am not well versed on the beliefs of the Shaker community. My first introduction was my husband’s aunt who lived across from a Shaker Museum in Kentucky many years ago. What I can say is that some of what I know about their lives in that setting is presented with the love of Christ from the heart of the author. It is about being courageous enough to ask questions, or extend forgiveness to an offender whether sought by the offender or not. A young woman named Heather works as a washer woman following her husband’s company from one camp to another until her husband begs her to go home until he joins her there. The dangers of the battle aren’t what compels Gabriel to ask his wife Heather to go home, but the drawing near of their child’s birth. When Heather eventually reaches home, it is to a totally different reality than her dreams. From that moment on, readers will want to know what happens to Gabriel, how the Shaker community comes into the story and more. As I sat and read this wonderful tale, I didn’t even notice the time passing. All I wanted to know was what was coming next as I turned each page. In the novel is a story of love, believing, hoping, expecting and moving forward as God leads the characters from one season in their lives to the next. I absolutely loved the book! Thanks Ann, this was a wonderful tale!
CHRISTMAS AT HARMONY HILL by Ann H. Gabhart is an interesting inspirational Christmas Fiction set in 1864 Harmony Hill. A Shaker story. 1864 was a harsh time for our country, North against South,brother against brother, family against family. Heather Worth discovers she is with child and her husband is on the frontlines, with nowhere to turn, she decides to go back home to Harmony Hill, a Shaker Village,where to seeks to find peace and harmony for herself and her unborn child. But can her family forgive her for marrying a Yankee? Cozy up by the fire for a quick Christmas time read that will have you turning pages. With her usual finese, Ms. Gabhart pens a story fill of hope, faith, forgiveness, healing and love. You get a glimpse into the world of the Shakers and the true power of love. A great Christmas read filled with longing and hope. A must read! Received for an honest review from the publisher.
“Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
HEAT RATING: SWEET
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
So I have read Ann's other books in this story, and while she is an excellent writer, they just didn't stir me. I think it was more about the dislike of the Shaker's beliefs than anything else. HOWEVER, this book was a different story. I liked it from the first page to the ending. I know it was because of the aunt, Sophrena. It was a wonderful story, forgiveness being the theme, but also seeking truth would be another theme you could connect with this book. Over all I have to say this has been one of my favorite Christmas stories this year. Great job Ann!! Thank you Revell for allowing me to review this book. Definitely 5 stars from this reviewer!! Available November 2013 from your favorite seller of Revell Books a division of Baker Publishing Group. This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
I love Ann Gabhart's prose. When I start one of her books, it's like time-traveling right back to the era that she so richly describes. When you begin one of her stories, you know your heart is in good hands. You may get tears in your eyes as you read, you may feel the character's fear, yet you know that you will also feel their love for each other and feel God's love for all of His children, and you will find hope right along with the characters.
In this case, I was transported to a Shaker village during the War Between the States, and my new friends were Heather Lou, Gideon, and Sophrena.
Heather is a young war bride expecting her first baby. For the last two years this woman has followed her soldier husband from camp to camp, washing uniforms for the privilege of being near her beloved. Heather doesn't want to leave Gideon, but love for their unborn child convinces them that she should return to her family for her confinement.
All Gideon wants is for the war to end; to be reunited with his Heather Lou. The thought that she is safe and sheltered, away from the war, convinces him that they made the right choice. Until they meet again, Gideon's memories of Heather and her prayers for him will sustain him.
And Sophrena, Heather's great-aunt, who has lived a simple, serene life with the Shakers for the last decades. Sophrena doesn't know why, but recently she has felt a dullness in her spirit that she can't whirl away even in the worship dances. In the midst of that she has also felt a longing for the things she revoked long ago: certain things of the world.
All of these longings and loves converge when Heather Lou finds herself seeking help from her Great Aunt.
Ann Gabhart alternates chapters between these three characters, building tension and anticipation as we follow the stories. We are waiting for Heather's child to be born, knowing that Gideon will soon face battle, and watching for Sophrena to decide where God truly wants her to be.
All this makes for one of the best Christmas novels I have read. Most definitely a book to read as we enter the Christmas season, a book to curl up with on a cold afternoon when there's a snow flurry outside the window, with a cat on your knees and a cup of good Chai tea close at hand.
Thank you Revell for my review copy!
*Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.*
A very heartwarming story, and it touches a lot of areas of life in America during the Civil War. First we have Heather defying her father and marrying a man with sympathies towards the North. She leaves and becomes a wife, and washer woman, following her husband and camp to battles. Life was so hard, and so many senseless deaths. When Heather becomes heavy with child, she return back home, where her father is so consumed with grief, turns her away for marrying the Northerner. Now she had no where to go...she is tired, hungry and ready to have a baby. Heather's sister Beth gives her a letter from her Mother and tells he to go the her Aunt Sophrena at the Shaker Village at Harmony Hill. Will the Shakers taker her in, will they make her give up her baby? Will Heather's husband Gideon survive the harsh war? Enjoy this quick reading story and see God's hand in a lot of the happenings. We have a lot to appreciate for the sacrifices made by many.
I received this book through the Baker Publishing Group bloggers program, and was not required to give a positive
What an emotional read! Gabhart takes her readers back to a tumultuous time in American history for this Christmas story and that makes each character's quest for peace all the more poignant. Heather's anticipation of the birth of her child at a time when the whole world anticipates celebrating the birth of Jesus adds an extra layer of meaning to an already moving tale. And the fascinating Shaker village backdrop adds yet another intriguing dimension. Christmas at Harmony Hill is a beautiful story that captures the sacred hope of Christmas.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
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Review 14 for Christmas at Harmony Hill
A great gift book for friends, family, yourself!
Date:October 12, 2013
Location:Red Lion, PA
Christmas at Harmony Hill is set during the Civil War. A sad time for our country where families are torn apart by some members fighting for one side while others in the same family become their enemy. Heather Worth finds herself with nowhere else to go after she discovers she is with child and has to leave her job as laundress with her husband, Gideon's army unit. Gideon insists Heather go home to have their child under safer conditions rather than continue south with his unit. Heather agrees, but returns home to another kind of devastation and a father who refuses to forgive her for marrying a Yankee. With nowhere else to turn, Heather seeks refuge at the Shaker Village of Harmony Hill. Author Ann Gabhart does thorough research of the Shakers and gives her readers insight into this strange community of believers. You will find yourself relating to Heather's Aunt Sophrena as she struggles with doubts while Heather struggles with thoughts that she might never see her husband Gideon again or that he may never see their baby. A great book to read as we approach the Christmas season or at any time of the year. Another must-read from Ann Gabhart.
By working as a washerwoman for her husband’s Army unit, Heather Worth has been able to remain with the man she ran away to marry. Then she discovers she’s expecting a child. The year is 1864, and as the troops are preparing to advance into battle in Tennessee, Heather’s husband insists that she return to her parents. Much as she hates leaving him, she knows it’s the best decision. A battlefield is no place for the birth of a baby. But once she makes her way back to Kentucky, she discovers she’s traded one battleground for another. In this Christmas novella, Gabhart returns to territory familiar to fans of her Shaker novels—Harmony Hill. How Heather ends up in a Shaker colony, and the subsequent reactions of her family and members of the colony, form the basis for this engrossing story. I’m always interested in the details of Shaker life, and I loved the way the author gave a balanced view of the beliefs of this sect. Christmas at Harmony Hill is a novel to savor while curled up in a cozy chair with a cup of tea. Be sure to add extra copies to your gift list. Lovers of historical fiction will be delighted to find Christmas at Harmony Hill under their tree this Christmas. My thanks to the author and Revell for my review copy.
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Review 16 for Christmas at Harmony Hill
Not Your Typical Christmas Story
Date:September 28, 2013
This is the story of Heather Worth who married a man her father did not approve of because he was a Yankee and was fighting on the wrong side, according to her father. Heather went with her husband, Gideon, traveling with him as the company’s laundress. She was not happy with the war, but she was happy that she was with Gideon. But this was no place for a woman to have a baby, so Gideon talked Heather into going home. She traveled for days and finally, finally she saw home. So excited to see her family, only the closer she got, she realized that things had changed and she was not welcome. One of her brothers and her sister helped her as she was forced to stay in the barn, and they gave her a letter that her mom had written to her. Her mom told her to go see her Aunt Sophrena who lived at a Shaker village and that Sophrena would help her.
With this being Heather’s only choice, she headed out again into the unknown. When she arrived, she immediately discovered that the Shakers were very different from her and she didn’t understand them at all. But it was their policy to help people, so they let her in and since she was pregnant, they let her have a small cabin and let her Aunt stay with her. I can’t tell you anymore about the book, because I love surprises and I don’t want to know what’s going to happen when reading a book. Just know that you will really enjoy this book.
This book is filled with different beliefs and how God works in people’s lives to save them, whether they are on the battlefield, a father who hates his daughter, or a Shaker who is having doubts. And though this is not a typical Christmas story, Ann weaves Christ’s birth into the story beautifully.