An excellent tale about the ins and outs of married life and how God can make a marriage what it should be. You can really relate to the characters as you see different aspects of your own life in them.
The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers is the story of Sierra Madrid in present day California and her ancestor Mary Kathryn McMurray during their journey across the Oregon Trail.
When I first began reading this book, I really didn't like the character Sierra. I felt that she was a whiny, ungrateful, mean-spirited, selfish person. It was actually very difficult for me to get into the book because of those feelings. I am happy to say that she goes through life-changing circumstances and by the end of the book I liked the character.
This book is a very good read. I especially enjoyed the excerpts from Mary Kathryn's journal on their Oregon Trail journey. I recommend reading this book. I can't say that I would read it again, but I did enjoy it and am happy to have read it.
There is a lot of arguing and selfishness in this book, which is a bit hard to wade through in the first half or more of the book. There are lessons for all of us, to trust Christ and His sovereign plan, follow His ways, turn from selfishness, be submissive wives, and more, but it still was rather painful to read. There were one or two sections I skimmed over, as they were a little more intimate than I'm comfortable with (kissing passionately and the like). The end of the book was better in a way, but the main character still took quite a while in her learning; perhaps this is realistic. Then there was the time in which the woman in the 1800s journal prayed for a dead man's soul: "He was our first and dearest friend, and though he did not know You, Lord, I believe in my heart he was your child in spirit. I have never known a man more humble and loving. Please, Lord, be merciful and bring Koxoenis into Your kingdom." After one is dead, there is no salvation given. Ignorance on the part of the character? Perhaps, but it still gives the impression this is a possibility, and as if "good works" (which done without God's glory in mind are just filthy rags in the Lord's sight) are good enough to save. Elsewhere it seems to contradict this slightly, but not clearly. So I don't think I would recommend this book overall, sadly. The author gave a few good insights and examples, both good and bad--mostly bad, so it was not as uplifting as I would have hoped. Also, note that it deals with adultery. It is quite a well-written book, but that is one of the few things that kept me going, as well as wanting to find out the resolution.