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Age: Over 65
5 Stars Out Of 5
Gripping Early Twentieth Century Tale
October 10, 2016
Age: Over 65
The Calling of Ella McFarland
I first heard about The Calling of Ella McFarland by Linda Brooks Davis at the ACFW CONFERENCE in Nashville, Tennessee this past August when Mrs. Davis won the Best Debut Novel of 2016. Later, I purchased a copy and read it in two days. The other review gives the plot line, I'm not rehashing it. Suffice it to say, this is one good book telling a well-written story. It's a bit edgy for some Christian market readers, but never becomes sexually explicit. It does graphically describe the aftermath of physical and alcohol abuse. It's a tale that remained true to the era and to Christian values.
What a captivating and thrilling journey it has been in this historical novel! There are many themes one could glean such as trusting the Lord with vengeance, not worrying about the speck in ones own eyes while there is a plank to be removed first, redemption, trust, love and hope. The story tells about family life in the early 19th century with the suffragette movement and the ruin brought to many lives through alcoholism and lawlessness.
The faith of the McFarland family is steady and the foundation the parents taught to their children and grandchildren firm. While not all members embraced it or understood it at first in the tale readers will see the trust placed in the Lord, the decision to love another above self and prayer being a major comfort in life not just when trails come. The trails that Ella endures throughout the book touch the heart and draw the audience further into the book as the plot thickens.
I loved how the author had two sets of parents who loved their children, prayed for them and had to watch with broken hearts the choices they made. Yet, both sets of parents realized the responsibility for making their choices was on the shoulders of their grown children, and the friendship was strengthened. I enjoyed how the plot reveals how God uses things in our lives to bring us to a point of understanding Him along with His work in the lives of those around us.
I am astounded that this novel is a debut novel as it read more of a story from the pen of an author of experience. The author shares her love of reading and how family history was passed down through the generations. While the story contains a couple antagonists it is really the remarkable redemption in the hearts and lives of characters that portrayed both the good and evil that can be within the human heart. I loved how the author describes the reality in many ways of a person who follows the Lord including when bad, heart-breaking or evil experiences touch their lives.
I really cannot wait to see what will proceed next from this new author. She has gained a dedicated follower from this reader for sure!