Monday, January 13, 2014

The Visionist - Book Review

Fearing for her life from her abusive father, 15 year old Polly Kimball sets fire to her house and helps her mother and younger brother escape. Her mother leads her to the community of Shakers to find refuge. With the Shakers, Polly will come to know their unique ways while being honored as a visionist. While Polly attempts to cover her secrets, there are those who suspect Polly is more than what she claims.

Meanwhile, the fire inspector has been sent out to Polly's farm to discover the cause of the fire that destroyed the house and greedy men and women seek to claim the valuable land as their own.

The Visionist by Rachel Urquhart had a lot of potential. The situation and characters were unique and it was interesting learning more about the Shakers. When we lived in New Hampshire, we drove often through the Shaker's community nearby and loved their beautiful, simple homes and lovely farms. Even so, I knew very little about their beliefs or customs, beyond the fact that they followed the guidelines set by their prophetess Ann Lee and that they lived a celibate life.

I was immediately enthralled by Polly's story. She sought peace and safety from the world and The Shakers, who had forsaken the world, offered just what she needed. However, there was danger from within.  Polly no longer was allowed to be with her younger brother Ben and she held her own secrets that would turn the other Shakers against her.

The beginning of the book starts with plenty of action and excitement. The middle starts to lag and I almost abandoned the novel around 100 pages. Polly's friend Charity seems to say the same thing over and over. I persevered and thankfully, the novel has a dramatic and satisfying conclusion.

The Visionist by Rachel Urquhart is published by Little, Brown and Company and will be available on January 14, 2014.

**I received a complimentary copy of The Visionist in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**

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