Mira, 2004 (2001)
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Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
hile the village of historic Shaker Run and its inhabitants are fictional, the background of the Shaker sect and their celibate life is fact. I've been to Ephrata Cloisters in Pennsylvania (live near there) and could identify with the buildings and the long-ago life portrayed in this book at Shaker Run.
ate Marburn - after the betrayal of her absconding husband – lives an ideal life as rose gardener on a wealthy widow's estate. When the widow dies under mysterious circumstances, Kate learns she is to inherit the woman's vast and expensive collection of authentic antique Shaker furniture. Kate changes jobs and becomes the rosarian at Shaker Run, where she lives in the village in one of the old, rambling buildings.
ever able to shake the feeling she is being followed, Kate has several attempts made on her life and has to learn to trust her neighbor, Jack Kilcourse. After her ex-husband's villainy, it's hard to do. Jack makes replica Shaker furniture by hand. He is convinced there is a bait and switch operation going on with this lovely furniture – authentic antiques being replaced by fakes and the fakes sold for huge profits. Kate wonders could he be part of this?
is a well-researched book that filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge of the Shakers. It offers an easy way to learn something new, with a really good mystery thrown in. And the climax is a doozy.
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