Thursday, December 3, 2009

Book Review: Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin

I've been wanting to read Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin ever since it was released, and thanks to the Bethany House Book Reviewers program, I was able to get a copy for review! One of the first things that drew me to the book was the cover--it's gorgeous. The story inside the book is beautiful as well.

When Harriet Sherwood finds herself cooling her heels in jail during Prohibition, she can't help but reflect on the time her Grandma Bebe landed in jail during her crusade for Temperance. Her Grandma Bebe had greatly influenced her life, and thinking about Grandma Bebe's stint in jail expands to explain how the events of her life got her in that position. In the process, Harriet retraces how her own quest to make a difference in the world put her behind bars. In the end, she understands that her grandmother's example is rooted in compassion for people as exemplified by God, an example she yearns to follow as well.

This was a very good book. I really liked Grandma Bebe's advice to Harriet: when you realize that your efforts to help yourself are only making matters worse, you need to call on the Lord for help. There was also a theme of understanding what your underlying motives are--are they for your own good, or are they for God's good? Grandma Bebe's life is full of purpose, but much of that purpose was influenced by a lot of hardship and sadness. One of the things I really liked about this book was that the characters were strong Christian women who ventured into volunteer work, reform organizations, and political activism to further what they felt was a call from God to help people. I also enjoyed the location (Pennsylvania) and time period (pre-Civil War through 1920) of the story. The organization of the story is unusual--it is told in a series of flashbacks--which can be confusing at times. But I still think it was pretty effective.

★★★★1/2  This was a really good read. I'm giving it 4.5 of 5 stars.

**This book was provided for review through the Bethany House Book Reviewers program (for more information on my reviews, please view my disclosure policy).**



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