Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Visionist

Polly Kimball is a fifteen year old girl from the 1840's. She sets fire to her house with her abusive father inside. Her mother takes Polly and her brother to the Shaker community called the City of Hope, where they are given shelter. The Shaker community is excited to learn Polly is a Visionist. Polly struggles with her new found status as she tries to hide the secrets from her past.

I won this book in the Goodread's First Reads Program*. The premise of the book sounded very interesting to me. I was a little wary to read a fictional account of the Shakers as I did not know a lot about them, and was uncertain how they would be portrayed. I thought the author depicted them fairly as she did not glorify or vilify the Shakers. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was a moving account of people trying to discover where they belong in the world, and what they would put up with. The human emotions in the story combined with the questioning of what is good and evil makes a very compelling story. I thought it was a beautifully written book. It shows how love and acceptance can change a person's life, and how easy it is to misunderstand the people we are closest to. I did not want to put this book down!

I liked that the author included a bibliography. That is not always done with historical fiction, but it thrills me when the author includes supplemental material for the reader. I will be using it to read more about the Shakers. I already watched a documentary that was listed on the bibliography. I recommend reading this book if you like historical fiction.

*The Goodreads First Reads program does not require winners to give a review. Winners are encouraged to review the book, as the authors and publishers offering the books for free are trying to get the public interested in their book. If a review is given, it is not stipulated that it should be positive or negative, only an honest review. Winning this book does not change the nature of my review, it merely provides me with early access to this book.

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