Author: Susan Warner
Other works by author: Wide Wide World volumes 1 & 2
My Rating: 3
The story is about a young Christian woman, Lois, who grew up in a very small farming community with her two sisters and her grandmother. When visiting a cousin she is introduced to the ways of the world, as it then was. She thoroughly enjoys the elaborate table settings, the food, the carpets, and the pictures but she thinks the people of this society are silly and shallow, though they are pleasant to be around.
She returns home and greatly enjoys her work there, taking care of the house and her grandmother, and her garden. In the midsts of all this two young men fall in love with her, neither of which are Christians. Her grandmother cautions her against being unequally yoked together with unbelievers and she promises never to marry one who isn’t a Christian.
The book was very enjoyable and I appreciated many of the Biblical points made.
What I didn’t like:
The author obviously does not believe in election but it is not a prominent annoyance throughout the book.
I understand and agree that Christians should not marry unbelievers but I think we can and should be friends with unbelievers, just on a very different level from what we would be with a fellow brother or sister in Christ. This concept is portrayed in a contradictory manner throughout the book. Grandmother cautions Lois against even enjoying the company of the rich unbelievers that she spent time with while with her cousin, but a young woman, who is an unbeliever comes to board with the family for a time and she is welcomed and her company enjoyed.
Also, there is a portion of the book where a young man, who is not a believer, stays with the family overnight while visiting the boarder. Grandmother cautions the girls against him because he is not like them and again tells them that they should not spend time with unbelievers. The girls aunt asks ” And how are you goin’ to be the salt o’ the earth, then, if you won’t touch nothin’ ?” To which grandmother replies, ” How, if the salt loses its saltness, daughter ?”. Now I believe that we should not surround ourselves with influences that will cause us to lose our saltiness but we do have to reach out to people and show them God’s love. In this context the young man was spending time with the entire family in a very protected environment, I should think it would do him good and the girls no harm.
Where did I hear about this book: I first saw the title in the forums at Librivox.org