To Have And To Hold

Our rating: ****

Captain Ralph Percy of Colonial Jamestown has been a soldier and bachelor for many, many years. At the urging of his friend, John Rolfe, he decides to consider the idea of marriage, provided God directs him that way. God does so and Capt. Percy marries a beautiful, yet mysterious newcomer to the colony. Little does he know that she has fled to the New World to escape a forced marriage and that trouble will pursue her across the sea. With Indians turning on the settlers, an angry king in England, and a cold, distant wife, Ralph must seriously consider the vow he made, and at all odds, protect the lady he has promised to have and to hold.

This is one of those “hard to put in a nutshell” books. The plot is so well executed, with so many twist and turns, the poor reviewer has to stick to the bare bones and leave the rest to the reader’s imagination. I, for one, found this Vision Forum revision to be well worth reading. It has action, adventure, a little intrigue, a nice kind of romance, and above all a focus on God that is truly refreshing. For more sensitive readers, be aware that they do mention some unpleasant things about how the Indians occasionally kill their victims. But be encouraged that I, the easy to be upset one, made it through. It’s handled very tactfully.

The Secret Garden

Our rating: ****

Mary Lennox was a little girl that nobody seemed to want. After her parents died in India she was sent to live with her uncle in England. Her uncle was yet another person who didn’t really want her, and while Mary was provided with every comfort, she lived a lonely little existence. Mary was a very disagreeable girl, and that made everyone seem disagreeable to her. She seemed doomed to a very un-childlike life, but then the moor, and the sky, and the air started to work their magic on her. Mary began to make friends and discover the wonders of the outdoors. And the wonders of a garden that had been locked up for ten years.

Yes, this is another book that I could ramble on and on about. It’s very charming and enjoyable. Toward the end of the book there seems to be some shaky theology, but I’m not sure if it was intentionally written that way, or if it’s just the way I’m reading it. As a gardener, I loved the descriptions in this book. And it has such a great ending! The authoress seems to be able to introduce a character and help you get to know them in just the first paragraph.