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Gift

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298 pages4 hours

Summary

New England, winter of 1825: Two orphaned sisters arrive in a New Hampshire Shaker village. Lucy, the younger, is simple-minded while her sister, Catherine, is a mathematical genius. Mother Paulina, the head of the Church Family, tries to separate them and is thwarted by Catherine. They become enemies. Father James, the village elder, encourages Catherine and she matures into a vibrant young sister in the Society of Believers. In her mid twenties the village faces its biggest crisis when a trustee runs off with the savings and it faces closure by the Society. Brother Matthew is the visiting elder sent to do the job, but he relents when he sees an invention of Catherine's which could turn the fortunes of the village totally around. They become close friends and Catherine falls into unrequited love. Add to this that the project to save the village hits disaster and Catherine and Lucy face the crises of their lives. Catherine loses everything except the opportunity to make it in the outside world. Her choice becomes one between the world and a God shrouded in darkness.

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