As we head into summer, are you thinking about reading more novels? Here are two that I found satisfying. Both have protagonists who find their identity through staying within what they discerned were God’s boundary lines for their lives (see Psalm 16). Interestingly, both include women married to clergymen, though I hadn’t anticipated that…
I was grabbed by The Vicar’s Wife, which of course is hardly surprising as like the title of the book I’m a VW; like the protagonist I moved from the States to the UK for my English husband; like her I’ve experienced the sense of loss, homelessness, culture shock… and the ways God can use those challenges to shape and mold me. Some of the scenes I felt I had lived, such as feeling like an outsider at the school gate, or the way adjusting to a new culture can seemingly sap all of one’s energy. But you don’t have to be a foreigner or a VW to enjoy this gentle story of two women separated by several decades and how they came to terms with the dramatic changes in their lives. It’s an enjoyable read, and I only wished the role of God and faith hadn’t been quite so buried.
All for a Song is mainly set in the Roaring Twenties, as remembered in the present day by an octogenarian trapped in her body after a stroke renders her speechless and mostly immobile. Dorothy Lynn Dunbar’s life as a young woman was set out for her – following her father’s untimely death, she would marry the young preacher who came to take his place. She loved Brent Logan, but she also yearned to see the world – and make her music. When she has the opportunity to sing for the groundbreaking evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, she surprises everyone in her small rural town by following her dream. It’s a moving coming-of-age story, exploring how Dorothy Lynn finds her place in the world, and how she ultimately finds contentment and joy.
What are you reading?
The Vicar’s Wife, Katharine Swartz (Lion, ISBN 978-1782640707)
All for a Song, Allison Pittman (Tyndale, ISBN 978-1414366807)