Less than three weeks to Independence Day! What better time to think about the faith and courage that built this nation? One of the things I love about historical fiction is the way it lets us imagine what life might have been like in a different time and place. So I am thrilled to partner with three other Christian historical fiction authors to offer a book giveaway exploring the years just prior to the War for Independence. (US entrants only, please.)
Everyone should read this book.
Well, not every book is for everyone. But most people should definitely read this book. I read it twice (because I read it too fast the first time), and it was equally thought-provoking both times. I expected more of your typical digital-detox book (think Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism, but from a Christian perspective), and while there was some of that, this book was far more than that—it got to the heart of the matter. Why do I use technology the way I do? What is my motivation for reading and posting what I read and post? Do I use my digital devices to serve the Lord and others, or to avoid hard questions, entertain myself, and improve my self-image? Is my technology subservient to the eternal glory of Christ or distracting me from it?
Ouch to all of the above.
I’m always game for a good adventure story, and this certainly fit that description. L’Amour’s storytelling style and historical detail always bring to life the men who settled America. Since Kings Mountain and Patrick Ferguson figure into my own current project (see more about that here), the title particularly caught my eye. It’s now commonly believed that Ferguson improved the breech-loading concept but did not invent it; either version fits with the events in this story. I applaud L’Amour’s ability to clearly portray his characters’ loyalties while acknowledging that Ferguson was admired by men on both sides (though certainly not the men he faced at Kings Mountain).
It’s fairly common these days, and has been for quite some time, to call a number of things Christian that really aren’t. I am aware of Latter-Day Saints who consider their beliefs compatible with biblical Christianity, and I am also aware that many of them probably do not realize some of what their beliefs actually are. Thelma Geer is quite clear in this book that much of LDS teaching is not publicized to those who are not part of the “inner circle,” so to speak. She also made it quite clear that many early LDS beliefs have been repudiated…or have they?
Overall, this was a sweet story. I was intrigued by the premise of a man fighting to protect a woman’s children outside of the typical romance storyline. Yes, there was some romance, but it was gentle and woven into the story in a way that didn’t take central stage. Wade was a strong character trying to do the right thing and yet still sometimes questioning if it really was the right thing. I loved seeing him with Starr’s kids and how they all related to each other.