The Visionist

The Visionist

by Rachel Urquhart

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An enthralling first novel about a teenage girl who finds refuge -- but perhaps not -- in an 1840s Shaker community.

After 15-year-old Polly Kimball sets fire to the family farm, killing her abusive father, she and her young brother find shelter in a Massachusetts Shaker community called the City of Hope. It is the Era of Manifestations, when young girls in Shaker enclaves all across the Northeast are experiencing extraordinary mystical visions, earning them the honorific of "Visionist" and bringing renown to their settlements.

The City of Hope has not yet been blessed with a Visionist, but that changes when Polly arrives and is unexpectedly exalted. As she struggles to keep her dark secrets concealed in the face of increasing scrutiny, Polly finds herself in a life-changing friendship with a young Shaker sister named Charity, a girl who will stake everything -- even her faith -- on Polly's honesty and purity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316228091
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 01/14/2014
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 480,352
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Rachel Urquhart's work has been published in The New Yorker, Tin House, Elle, the New York Times, Vogue, and Spy, among other publications, and she is the author of three Chic Simple lifestyle books. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.

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The Visionist 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite This is a review of the audio version of The Visionist: A Novel written by Rachel Urquhart. Polly Kimball’s father was cruel and violent. While her father slept, fifteen-year-old Polly loaded her mother and brother into the wagon. Polly took the lantern and went back into the house; she accidentally dropped the lantern, setting the house on fire. Polly knew she had just murdered her father. Her mother drove the wagon to the City of Hope, a Shaker village and left her children there for the community to care for. The members of the community believed that Polly was having visions through which she could contact their founder Ann Lee. Suddenly, Polly was drawing unwanted attention and was afraid her secret would be discovered. I was particularly interested in this book because I have visited a Shaker settlement and found the lifestyle interesting. The author, Rachel Urqhhart, has well researched the Shakers, their beliefs and culture. The Visionist is told through three points of view: Polly’s, Simon, an arsonist investigator, and Charity, a Shaker teen. The characters of Polly and Charity have great depth. My heart went out to Polly who believed herself to be a murderer and felt responsible for her brother's well-being. The Visionist is a nice mix of mystery and drama with a bit of mysticism thrown in. Rachel Urquhart is talented author and The Visionist has a fascinating plot. The audio format of this book has three readers: Ellen Archer, Peter Ganim, and Ali Ahn. The readers’ voices add depth and emotion to this outstanding book. No matter what format you prefer, this is a read you won’t want to miss.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book!  Great read! Hard to imagine a book about Shakers being a page turner but it is. Beautifully writtentfu
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book very much; I learned a lot about the Shaker religion but it was done all through the story. Very good book that I would recommend to anyone.
BettyM415 More than 1 year ago
I was quite disappointed in this book. I was anxious to read a book about Shakers because I've studied and read about them. This author made the Shakers appear stern, jealous, petty, and greedy. These were Christian people who chose to live their lives as they would in Heaven, with love, compassion and joy. I didn't see enough of that. There is a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding about Shakerism and I found that in this book.
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. Kk.