Monday, April 11, 2016

Book Review: Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin

by M. J. Joachim

Historically sound and positively engaging, this book was absolutely difficult to put down. Thank God it rained yesterday, as I put some banana bread and ribs in the oven, and sat in one of my favorite corners to continue turning page after page, all the while appreciating the talent expressed and shared in excellent writing. (I didn’t find a single typo in the entire book, not one!)

Based on a young girl coming of age prior to and during the Civil War in America, this book delves into the undeniable impact of slavery and its full impact on society as a whole, demonstrating through a viable and perfectly well told story, Austin shares the internal and moral conflict every man, woman and child faced during this wretched time in our history, all the while delighting us with a spiritual element impossible to deny.

Slavery was indeed a battle of good vs. evil, a strange and horrible blight in our history, when people needed to take great risks to be at ease with their own consciences and faith. Told through the eyes of Eli, a slave, Massah Jesus was the true king to be served, and if that meant he was a slave, with all its negative consequences and repercussions, so be it. Experienced through a southern belle, Caroline, the young girl growing into a fine societal lady, cold hearts melted and learned the power of unconditional love, love that is not a bargaining chip or means to an end, but love that recognizes the value and importance of all human beings, appreciating their differences and defending their right to be free.

This book caused me to pause more than once, as it struck chords of discontent in my own life, exposing faulty thinking in my own spiritual awareness. Not only was this an excellent historical fiction novel, introducing us to familiar characters like Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, John Brown, President Lincoln and President Davis etc, this book engaged us with great emotion, involving us in the trials of being a slave, slave owner and Civil War soldier and politician. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and even if it’s not your typical genre, or you have little to no interest in reading historical fiction, I urge you to give it a try, because I’m about as certain as I can be that you will be pleasantly surprised.

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God Bless America,

M. J.

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