Goodreads blurb--- "When Darcie and Walter Goodwin hear of a new cholera epidemic sweeping the area, they join the Shakers whose villages seem immune to the disease. It's meant to be a temporary stay, but Walter is killed in a riverboat accident. With no family and no money, Darcie has little choice but to stay with the Shakers. To complicate matters, she is expecting a baby conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village. Marital relationships are considered sinful in this celibate community, putting Darcie in a unique--and lonely--position. Can the arrival of widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter offer Darcie the hope of happiness . . . and family?"
This book deserves its five stars. I didn't even know that the Shakers existed until I read about them in one of Tracie Peterson's books. Since then I've been very curious. The Refuge was a wealth of information hidden inside a stunning story. This story is full of children and babies and that was the first thing to endear it to my heart. The story has an incredible plot, with a couple curveballs that will keep you reading right through supper ;) The narrative is half third-person and half first-person, so if that is gonna mess with your head... well, you just got your warning. The story is a journey, and you don't want to miss it. From fun-loving little Leatrice, to the grouchy Eldress Maria, each person in this story is going to evoke a response. (Maybe not a positive one...) The characters all come to life, and the backstories are so well developed. It was a joy to read.
I received this book free from the publisher.