A Forbidden Union by Lorraine James

UNION

A Forbidden Union by Lorraine James
Publisher: Astraea Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (70 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Anna Broche is at the cusp of adulthood as a Shaker woman while the nation suffers through the upheaval of the Civil War. Her life is her community and the dancing that frees her spirit. A vision from an angel calls her to serve God, but the voice of a dying soldier who manages to crawl to safety makes her question her future.

Anna nurses wounded soldier Daniel Greenleaf back to health, and their forbidden attraction grows in her celibate, Shaker community. She is unsure of Daniel’s feelings for her with only a stolen kiss between them. He returns to his home and waiting sweetheart and she to her life. But with a change of plans, Daniel ends up back in Anna’s life again, and jealousy and calling war with love.

Set in Kentucky in the late nineteenth century, A Forbidden Union is sweetly endearing and inspirational. Full of faith and hope from the start, this short gem of a story takes us on a journey nonetheless. Anna , a young woman on the prairie, feels no contentment. She has a nice home, is part of a devotional community of Shakers, and has specific duties –even friends – but in her heart, yearns for something more. And the yearning brings her guilt: She is a gentle-hearted character that is so easy to sympathize with.  Any reader can understand her perspective.  Her doubts might be considered universal.

We as readers hope that things will change, even as we suspect those changes will cause Anna, herself, to change – and challenge her faith. James confronts Anna with a challenge – a heart-wrenching challenge, and we readers know what we’ll hope for, but with such regret!  The well-constructed characters kept me turning pages to see what would happen.

The Forbidden Union has some nice surprises.  This heartwarming tale is gentle and thoughtful and lovely. Do read.

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