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There is little to envy about Cissy Nidd's life as the daughter of a jailhouse caretaker turned counterfeiter. Pushed along by those who wield power over her and her dreams, Cissy concludes that a plunge into the deep, icy river to be carried away by the current is the only solution to her pain. But a clear, storing voice calls to her. It is the voice of John Bunyan, a man in prison for preaching, but whose spirit breathes free. A voice with a message for Cissy, and for all of London in the dark, desperate days to come. Recommended for ages 12 to 16.
Publication Date: 1993
Dimensions: 8 1/2 X 5 1/2 (inches)
Wayne S. WalkerSalem, ILAge: 55-65Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5historical fiction featuring John BunyanJune 14, 2013Wayne S. WalkerSalem, ILAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4It is 1660, and fifteen-year-old Cecelia (Cissy) Nidd, whose mother died when she was little, lives in the village of Bedford, England, on the River Ouse, fifty miles north of London, with her father and two older brothers, Harold and Frank. Wicket Nidd is the town jailor and collector of tolls, but he and his family also counterfeit false gold and silver coins for a Dutchman named Degrooter who is trying to ruin England's economy in case she goes to war with Holland. Then a Dissenting preacher named John Bunyan, the tinker of Bedford, becomes a prisoner in her father's jail, and in listening to his preaching Cissy begins to wonder if she might be able to change her life that she can be pleasing to the Lord.
However, she has fallen in love with a dashing and gallant highwayman named Gil Turpin, while her father wants her to marry the odious Clerk of the Peace in Bedford, Paul Cobb who is almost as old as her own father. So she runs away to London to live with her Aunt Meg and Uncle Trig and work in their inn, The Black Pot. There she begins to attend the Dissenters' meetings and to understand the importance of obeying God's will. Things seem to be going well for a while, but then she must endure the horrors of the plague and the Great Fire of London. What will happen to Cissy and those whom she loves? As she experiences these sufferings, will she be a false coin or a true one? Author Lois Dick says that when she read about the grim realities of John Bunyan's imprisonment and his courageous refusal to stop preaching, she knew she wanted to write a book about him. The reader will get to understand a little about the Dissenters from the Church of England and the difficulties that they faced.
There are a couple of common euphemisms (blasted, drat), but the language is generally wholesome. One person complained that the book read like a soap opera. I admit that sometimes the plot bogged down and moved extremely slowly while at other times it hopped, skipped, and jumped along so fast that it was hard to keep up with what was going on and it was somewhat confusing. But there is nothing tawdry about it. Yes, there is a romantic part, but it is kept clean and pure. As Cissy is drawn to the preaching and faith of John Bunyan, she learns the difference between deceit and righteousness, between the false and the true. In the realm of religious beliefs and practices with which some might dosagree, preachers are called "pastors," but I did notice that when the Dissenters met for communion, it is said that they had "a loaf of bread and a bowl of grape juice" rather than wine. Overall, I enjoyed the story.
Jordan Hampton5 Stars Out Of 5January 3, 2009Jordan HamptonI loved this book. My friends all loved it to. It had so many fun characters. My favorite part was the romantic part. The way they kept it clean and good at the same time.
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