The Gift of Sarah Barker

Sadly this is the best cover i could find. Try to ignore the watermark.

The Gift of Sarah Barker by Jane Yolen

Like the main precept of Shaker living, The Gift of Sarah Barker is pleasantly ‘simple’ in its story arc, though not in its intelligence. In Yolen’s first book for young adults (what was to be the first of many) she offers an interesting and unbiased look at life in a small Shaker community in antebellum Massachusetts. Though there is some typical adolescent mushiness (it is a story sparked by the temptations of the two teenage characters), the motivations of protagonists Sarah and Abel are not based solely on romantic/hormonal urges. Yolen develops these teenage characters with a deftness that makes the reader genuinely interested in their lives as they begin to question complex definitions of family, community, love, religion, and discipline– all in a relatively short novel. She also uses the (now common) technique of switching perspectives between the two main characters.

I recommend this for anyone who’s a fan of Yolen’s better-known work or may have an interest in day-to-day life in a Shaker community.

example of the horribly cheesy Puffin cover. (look at that great 1990s-inspired hair!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close