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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why Do These Hit Me So Deeply?

Last week I had mentally scheduled to do a review of Golden Keyes Parson's third book in her Darkness to Light Series with Thomas Nelson, titled Where Hearts Are Free. I'm not sure quite what it is about Golden's books that always hit me straight in the gut, in a good way. But this one hit me so hard, I needed time to process it before I was even ready to write this post.

I mean, Golden's an adept writer. Her plots are strong, this latest probably the strongest. Her characters are unique and interesting. Her settings pop to life. I loved the French court in books I and II and yet found myself completely charmed by the rolling Pennsylvania countryside and quaint colonial town in book III. While I normally prefer what I would term "literary fiction" to basic romantic historicals, these books have managed to touch me on a very deep, emotional and spiritual level in a way that few others have.

Of course that leaves me wondering, "Why?"

I think what it really comes down to is the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Golden's writing always was and always will be a ministry. She pulls no punches about that. In addition to being a writer, she is also a pastor. Early in her writing career, she focused on nonfiction until she discovered that fiction is even a stronger way to share Biblical truths. And she couldn't be more right about that. I can't imagine that a sermon or a nonfiction book could ever touch me so deeply.

The journey of the main character, Bridget Barrington, sincerely resonated with me. While I'm not the daughter of a rich colonial landowner arranged to marry a scoundrel, I truly related with her struggle to do what was right. She wanted to please her parents and do what was correct in the eyes of society, yet everything in her heart screamed against it. So often I struggle with religious rules and expectations that don't seem to match what God has planted in my heart. So often I struggle to understand the difference between relying on my own strength to do what is right and learning to rest in God's strength. And much like Bridgett would withdraw into her magical hideaway in the woods or into her own imagination, I often find myself seeking to escape rather than facing and dealing with the hard realities in my life.

Just like Bridget, I long to reach that place where my heart is totally free, not only when I'm dancing or in my secret place with God, but all day every day. This book has become a part of my journey, and for that I am eternally grateful.


  1. Oh, wow, Dina! Am I ever humbled by your review. We are all on a journey ... God bless you in yours.

  2. Going to have to read this for sure.

  3. Now you've put this book back on my TBR pile, Dina. I read part of PRISONER OF VERSAILLES, and while I thought it was masterfully written, the time and themes just didn't connect with me personally. That's fine -- not every book is for every body, yanno?

    But now I'm interested again. Drat! My TBR pile is teetering with its top way too close to the ceiling...

  4. I think you'd enjoy it, Louise. It touches on some great spiritual issues.

  5. I know the feeling about the TBR pile, Deb. This one has a strong plotline and also more romance than her previous books in addition to the change in setting. I think it would be worth your time.