Thursday, June 3, 2010

Refiner's Fire Series Wrap-up

Back in the month of May, you may remember, we read the first book in the Refiner's Fire Series. We read, Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin. A lovely lady from our book club had loaned me the three books in the series to read and I have to say I loved them all. These books don't have to read in any particular order because all three have separate story lines that are interconnected by different characters. Each book is a different perspective on the civil war and each is around 400 pages.

Everyone at our meeting loved the book. The most often made comment was about how courageous the heroine in the book Caroline had to be for herself, her slaves and her world in general. I know many of us say, "If only we had THAT kind of courage to follow God's will...." and at the moment we may not feel like we would or do but I think Caroline probably felt the same way much of the time... just at that moment of need when she needed him more than anything, God was there. When our time comes and we want the courage of Caroline, PRAY for God's provision. He is the great provider! Many readers mentioned how much they loved the Southern perspective because so often the South is painted as all slave abusing people when really that probably wasn't the case to classify ALL Southern people that way.

Those in the group that had already read the other two books, loved the whole experience of learning about the civil war this way. If you are interested in reading the other two books in the series I have provided all three in order listed below:

1) Candle in the Darkness (South Perspective): CAUGHT in a nation splitting apart. ANGERED by those who would enslave others. EMBOLDENED by a passion to make a difference. TORN between the one she loves and a truth she can't deny. Here is Caroline Fletcher's story. Candle in the Darkness, Book One in the Refiner's Fire series, tells the story of a timid southern girl who finds her voice as she begins to tell the truth about the atrocities around her. A short stay in the North confirms her abolitionist feelings, but when she returns to the South she finds herself torn between her home, a beloved suitor who doesn't share her feelings, and the principles she knows are true. Standing for right may mean standing alone. Does she have the courage? (end of quote from author's site)

2) Fire by Night (North Perspective): This compelling story of love and sacrifice follows the lives of two very different young women—one seeing the world for the first time and one who has seen too much already. One DECEIVED by a life of wealth and ease, the other DESPERATE to flee her true identity. In a land SHATTERED by war, unlikely heroes test the limits of their strength? And discover that LOVE has a meaning far beyond their imagination.(end of quote from author's site)

3) A light to my Path (Slave Perspective): SHACKLED in a world where authority is not questioned, Where the will is BATTERED as surely as the body, Hope will not be DENIED. But BROKEN chains bring daunting choices: The way of revenge or the way of the SPIRIT.This is Kitty Goodman's story. This powerful conclusion to Lynn Austin's REFINER'S FIRE series brings to a close one of the most acclaimed sagas in Christian fiction ever. Each of the first two novels won Christy Awards for Historical Fiction. Now Austin completes her trilogy with a dramatic examination of the Civil War through a slave's perspective. Riveting, eloquent, and gripping as all of her previous works, it's the conclusion for which you've been waiting. (end of quote from author's site)

I accidentally read them out of order so can tell you that the order is not a necessity. And remember this is coming from someone who does not like it when things are out of order! Nevertheless these books have everything. They are historical fiction with romance, action and inspiration to keep you page turning. I have to say that the first and second were probably my favorites. I didn't think I would like the 2nd at the introduction of one of the main characters but it turned out to be really good. If you haven't told me what you thought of Candle in the Darkness or read the series later, please share with me your likes/dislikes. I love to hear them! Happy Reading to you in June!

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