Book of the Month: December

I am a lover of literature.  I love discovering new books, and I really love discovering old ones.  This series on Novelties and Trinkets is really a challenge to myself to read, at the very least, one book a month.  This challenge takes me beyond just reading, to really dissecting the meaning behind the words.

Enjoy December's Book of the Month and I encourage you all to purchase this book that was written by a Kentucky native, Janice Holt Giles.  This book was written about Shaker life which is a big part of Kentucky's history.


T H E   B E L I E V E R S

About a month ago, my friend and I traveled to the Shaker Town in Eastern KY to run a half marathon. While we were there, we visited their gift shop and I couldn't help but pick up this book which was written about Shaker life in Kentucky by my fellow Kentuckian, Janice Holt Giles.

The Believers is an historical fiction novel and is the sequel to Giles's book Hannah Fowler.  This book embodies the idea of suspense.  Although there were no men with chainsaws chasing the characters, the suspense was displayed through the fantastic writing.  The sentences were fast paced with a sense of urgency and the plot moved very quickly, implying that something big was going to happen. This brisk movement of plot and syntax style creates the suspense that pulls the audience in.  Because the audience is so enveloped into this plot, this book can easily be read in one weekend simply because one will not be able to put it down. 

Not only was the plot and writing mesmerizing, the characters stole my heart.  This story is the perfect combination of heartbreaking and amazing all at once and the characters are what make it that way.  I think the reason it is so heartbreaking is because the husband of the main character reminds me so much of The Farmer.  This book accomplishes what every author dreams to accomplish: to make the audience truly feel for the characters; to dream of them, to cry for them, to show anger for them.

This book's historical context is not to be forgotten.  By reading this book one is receiving an in depth look at the lives of some of the Shakers who lived in one of the two villages in Kentucky. The history of the Shakers is fascinating.  They were completely self-sufficient and sold out to their beliefs, but just like any other organization, it did have its negative effects and this book shows the heartbreaking truths behind some of the experiences that women and men may have gone through during this time of the Shakers.

This book was one I could not put down. Each word, each sentence brought me further into the plot and I felt what the beloved characters felt.  Giles wrote an absolutely perfect book and I look forward to reading more of her work.  If you are from Kentucky or are interested in history this book is for you! 


You can purchase The Believers on Amazon. It is available in paperback, hardback and eBook format.

You can learn more about Janice Holt Giles by visiting the Giles Society website.


L A S T   M O N T H' S   B O O K

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